A Penny for Your Thoughts: The New Year Resolution Trap


A Penny for your Thoughts

A friend of mine found a way to have a New Year Resolution without actually making resolutions. Instead of saying “I’m going to exercise more.” or “I’m going to spend less.” or “I’m going to learn how to do {insert wishful thinking here}.” you choose one word to help you grow throughout the year. Last year she chose “Enough”. In doing so, she learned how to say “I’ve given enough of myself.” and “I am enough. We are enough. This is enough.” I took this in another way to apply to my writing. My word for the year was “Prolific”.

I had meant to write a post about it, but it’s in my ‘dead post’ folder, ironically enough. However, I do feel that I have been prolific when it comes to writing. I’ve participated in 24 Masturbation Monday posts. I’ve published thousands of words in short stories. I’ve written many posts and I couldn’t tell you how many tweets. I’ve written countless emails and participated in private chats. I feel that I have been prolific in my writing this year compared to last year.

And now it’s almost time to choose a new word. This kind of scares me because Prolific has been such a great word. While I didn’t do anything special with it, like create a background to remind me (since more often than not, I never see my desktop wallpaper), or even put it on a post-it note, I could’ve done more. I had plenty of lazy weekends and lazy weeks and ‘I’ll get to that tomorrow’ moments.

Am I being hard on myself? Yes. And no. If I wrote 750 words per day this year, I’d have 273,750 words. Oh wait, this was a leap year. Make that 273,500 words. That’s 6 novels I could’ve written (45,000 word range). That’s 70 short stories. (4,000 word range). Or 10 novellas (27,450 word range).

So, am I being hard on myself? Absolutely. I could’ve done so much better if I had done as little as 750 words a day rather than 0 words for several days or 0 words for lazy weekends. Instead of choosing a word like Prolific for next year, I’m going to look into something that can encompass more than just writing. I have no idea what that word will be yet or what my goals will be for 2017 (hahahaha.. goals?), but I do want to be taken seriously as a writer. Which means I need to start writing every single day, just like I intended when I created this website originally with the name Write Every Day.

What do you do when it comes to New Years? Do you participate in creating Resolutions and if so, do you keep to them? Do you wish to join me in choosing a Word to represent what your goals are for the year? I promise, it’s not so harsh when you fall off the word wagon as it is when you fall off the resolution wagon. Share your thoughts in the comments or write a post and share the link.

Another thing my friend says is when things get complicated “Do the Next Right Thing” which is excellent advice when you’re swamped or overwhelmed or being slammed and have to figure out what the fuck do I do now?

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