Tuesday, January 03, 2012

2012 Resolutions

I've was never a big believer in New Year's resolutions until about two years ago. Unhappy with my weight after two kids I finally resolved to do something about it and over the course of a year and a half I lost 50 lbs. I don't mention that fact for bragging rights (though I am modestly proud of myself) I mention it because it taught me that sometimes the beginning of a new year is a great time for reflection. It might sound trite because the improvements we strive to make at the start of the year are things we should address all year long. But there are few landmarks that are as effective as the start of a new year and, like two years ago, I have reflected on a few things that I'd like to improve in the coming year.

  • Spend More Time Writing While Wasting Less Time on the Internet-- I don't know about you, but I have serious Internet ADD.  I log onto the net with the best intentions of sitting down and writing a blog post and end up web-surfing for waaay too long (I'm embarrassed to talk numbers) while still not accomplishing my goal. The inevitable outcome of this is that my productivity has declined in virtually every area of my life-- just ask my laundry pile. The real silliness here is that I will bounce back-and-forth between the same few sites to see if anything new and interesting has popped up and usually end up staring at the same page over and over. To accomplish this I am effective immediately instituting time limits on how long I can stay on the net. 
  • Write More Fiction-- I'm horrible about getting in ruts. A few years ago I wrote several short stories and liked the sense of accomplishment that came with that. But I got lazy over time (that *&^%$ Internet ADD again) and pushed the story writing off to the side. To accomplish this I am going to schedule a solid time every day that will be set aside only for this.
  • To Be a More Well Rounded Reader--This year has been the year of the book club and it has been a good thing for me. I am not one to broaden my horizons if I can help it and having a group of women insist that I read books I'm positive I'll hate has been surprisingly enriching. It turns out that I have my own brand of literary-snobbery that causes me to dismiss anything I'm not interested in as an Oprah book and it has made me overlook some extraordinarily good books. I will admit that I have read a few stinkers this year too, but that would have happened even if I had stuck to my own genre. To accomplish this I am going to pick authors within my own comfort zone (generally scifi or fantasy) but choose titles that I have previously chosen not to read because I didn't believe they were to my taste. 
  • Be More Organized--This is probably going to be the most difficult for me to accomplish. I am not a naturally organized person. I rarely plan my blog posts in advance and usually end up staying up far too late to finish my reviews (it's 12:33 am right now). I used to have an incredible memory, but age and children have robbed me of the few bits of self-monitoring that I was once capable of. To accomplish this I am going to learn to embrace lists-- I've already started writing down ideas for blog posts and it has already come in handy. 
So that's my list. I'm stopping at four resolutions because I think it's a doable number and just those few things could make a huge difference in providing some structure to my occasionally chaotic life. What did you resolve to do this year?


Blodeuedd said...

Good luck!!! And oh yes I sure would like to accomplish what i set out to do, as it is now i sit down by the computer and spend wayyyy too much time on castleville, evil FB

Mieneke said...

Good luck with your resolutions!

I also set myself some goals, one of which was to comment more on the blogs I follow. The others are reading 100 books, dent my TBR-pile, catch up on my backlog of unreviewed books and to read more historical fiction, SF and YA.

I hope we both succeed :-)

Bob (Beauty in Ruins) said...

Great resolutions - if I hadn't resolved not to make any resolutions, I'd certainly steal the first two!

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

Those are some great resolutions, and I wish you the very best of luck in achieving them.

My resolution for this year was to stop wasting time, and blogwise it is to get a little more serious with the blogging.

Michael Offutt, Visitor from the Future said...

I struggle with weight too SQT. A few years ago I really got on it and lost 170 pounds. I've let a good 80 pounds of that creep back on but have slowed it down by exercising and eating right. But the fact is, in order to get down to a healthy weight, I should try harder and cut even further into the calories.

Once I get to a manageable weight (maybe 10 pounds over my ideal weight) I will probably get liposuction simply to get rid of the fat cells for good. My friend who is a doctor said that our fat cells stay with us like open warehouses ready to shore up when calories increase, which is why once fat people put on weight so easily.

Anyway, we can both get through this. It's a good resolution to have and we'll both be looking good later in 2012.

Elfy said...

I haven't actually made any resolutions this year. I did resolve to try and write fiction every day, but I started doing that in November and I've managed to keep it. One thing you could try with the blog post is write it before logging onto the 'net, try and do it on a machine that isn't even connected if you can. Once it's written you can tidy it up using material you need online. Just a suggestion.

SQT said...

Blodeuedd-- I gave up FB games awhile ago. I toy with trying new ones but generally give up after a day (I don't want to add a bunch of friends to play). I'm glad I did-- much less time on the computer that way.

Mieneke-- I've noticed a lot of people have resolved to read 100+ books this year but I'm not sure I can consistently read an average of two books a week. Though I do need to try to get more of that TBR pile done...

Jamie-- Thanks! I always tell myself that I'm going to be a better blogger, but I'm getting to the point where I'm just happy if I get regular posts up.

Michael-- Wow! That's a lot. I'm at my goal weight so I just want to maintain now. I started with Weight Watchers and that helped a lot. But it wasn't until I switched to a more low carb diet (the Primal diet) that I found I could get rid of those last ten pounds and not starve all the time. I have arthritis and switched to the diet for that reason (research is starting to show that processed foods are inflammatory) and it has helped a lot with my joint pain and mobility. The happy side-effect is the added weight loss and satiety.

Elfy-- I've been thinking of actually switching to my iPad for writing. I have a Bluetooth keyboard and a word app that makes it easy to use. Because of the way it's set up it's harder to surf because I can't open windows in the background-- which is what causes all my problems right now. Sometimes I need the Internet to look stuff up (blogging primarily) but I think it would work when I stick to fiction writing.

Linds said...

Oh I can commiserate with internet ADD.

It works best with blogs, tumblr, that sort of thing, but have you checked out google reader? It saves me having to constantly check to see what's updated.

SQT said...

LInds-- I do use Google reader. My problem is that want to be distracted half the time-- not good.

Geeky Daddy said...

I know the feeling of getting distracted in the internet. Good luck with all your resolutions.

Rebecca said...

Best of luck to you. I'm a college student and I too always struggle with meeting my resolutions. This year I decided to do something a little different and set some goals I want to achieve before March, that way I don't procrastinate and have that mindset that I have the entire year to get the stuff done. I'll hopefully add on more goals throughout the year. I also tried to keep them simple because in many ways I still have an adolescent mind that needs to adjust to the bigger changes. haha Good luck again! :)

SQT said...

Geek Daddy-- Thanks!

Rebecca-- I like the March deadline. That's a very good idea.