Resolutions are so overrated. I have never been a fan of using January 1 as a day to enact some sort of life change simply because it is the first day of the year. If I find something inadequate in my life or in need of change, August 21 is just as good a time to start.
That said, I get why it is popular to make this week a starting off point for a new habit. Last year, I made some resolutions for myself for my writing. I firmly believe in holding myself accountable for what I promise, so let’s see how I did.
- Finish a manuscript for a book to publish: Um, yeah. There has been work done on a manuscript for a second, more timely book but it is far from the light of day. Right Stewie?
- Sell some of my writings to publications that at least a few people will recognize: Good news! I did have some articles appear in print and on well-regarded websites. Check out the sections of my site with my published materials to see some of them.
- Grow this site so that it becomes a community: Soon
- Actually update my URL with the new domain!: As you have probably noticed, this has been an accomplishment this year! I have also switched the website’s look to this newer, more modern look.
- Have published a short fiction story: This was set aside early, as I just have not found any inspiration or luck for a fiction story. I love nothing more than reading a good fiction short story (Stephen King or George Saunders) but I have yet to find the inspiration in me to write one.
So as you can see I didn’t do too well on my writing goals for 2016. However, the year was far from a failure. Consider:
- I launched my own great new soccer website SoccerMinnows.com
- I was a guest on numerous sports and soccer shows, including a media hit on sports radio in Boston and a collaborator on the World Soccer Talk EuroCopa podcast
- I became a regular contributor for Bloomberg Government’s blog, writing on leadership
So while life kept me from achieving all of my goals, or even coming close in some cases, 2016 was a good year for me and my writing. It was also a valuable lesson – planning even for just a year is fraught with unknowns and potential life changes. As I look ahead to 2017 and begin to think about what I want to accomplish, undoubtedly there will be challenges that will surprise me as well as successes I cannot even consider right now. Maybe this is why so many people love New Years Day. It’s a day where you have the chance to look ahead and, not knowing what is to come, plan to do your best and succeed anyway.
Alright, time for some goal-setting for 2017. Let’s see if I can hit above the Mendoza Line for this year’s resolutions. In no particular order:
- Finish that manuscript I said I would finish in 2016
- Join a writers’ organization or community and pay for the dues with money I’ve earned writing
- Start, join, or become a regular contributor on a podcast
- Become a regular contributor on three new blogs
- Write an article, chapter, story, or something similar every day
- Publish an article about a destination I visit this year
- Revise my goals every three months to adjust for the unexpected
Alright 2017, let’s see what surprises you hold for me.