Snowflake, Aaron Burden

New year, new you? Just focus.

I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions. Inevitably I keep none of them. I rarely make it even a few months. Weeks, even, sometimes. Yet every year I still think that maybe, just maybe, this year will be the year I keep all of my resolutions.

Thinking on that, I don’t like the word ‘resolution.’ I prefer the idea of goals. And I don’t think that any goals I make for 2016 will be transformative. They might broaden my reading horizons. They might urge me to finish something or try something new for me. They might anticipate things I already know I’ll slack on. But they won’t change me. I don’t mean to sound negative about all of this though I know it’s coming across that way.

The way I see it, each year brings new opportunities. For me, the opportunities I want to take are those that revolve around things I already like doing or things I want to be doing. For instance, I read a lot and love doing it, so I want to make some goals about my reading list. Or goals with cooking or writing, things I already do and love. Another example is exercise. I hate exercising. In New York City, it was so easy because I walked everywhere and up and down steps every day. Now, I’m being a bit hypocritical to my own opinions here because I have actually added an exercise goal to my 2016 list, but it’s one I already know I’ll fail. On the other hand, I know I won’t fail my reading and writing and cooking goals.

I talked about this last year – Writing and Reading in 2015 – where I disparaged New Year’s resolutions there as well. I’m pleased to report that I pretty much failed most of what I said I’d do last year, so you can see why I’m not very confident about success this year.

2016 Goals

1. Bake something new once a month.
2. Read 75 books.*
3. Exercise, somehow, once a week.
4. Meal plan. Cook more often.
5. Revise, edit, and query SWEPT AWAY by May.
6. Keep a budget.

*Including a few additional reading goals: 3 collections of poetry, 2 short story collections, 5 books on my TBR shelf, 5 books published in 2016, and 2 “classics” I’ve never read.

Last year, I chose my word of 2015 to be WRITE, and though I didn’t meet all of my goals, I did do a lot of writing. I feel like maybe my word choice was on par. I feel good about what I wrote and what that means for what I’m going to write this year.

This year, I’d like my word to be FOCUS.

To start, I will focus on several areas in my life: reading, writing, cooking, and the self. In each of these areas, I’ve made goals for 2016 that I hope I’ll be able to keep. I don’t want to be transformed by the end of 2016; I simply don’t want to be stagnant and the same during 2016. And to do that, I know I’ll need more focus in my life.

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