Are you on the New Year’s Resolution band wagon? Did you make resolutions and already break them? Yeah, I hear ya.
I set all of my goals for 2016 in December and was actually proud of them. All of 2016 was mapped out. It’s funny how that calendar’s worth of work flies out the window of reality,
Life happens to all of us. Thank the heavens we still have one. Realizing that our desires and plans are just that, not life and death decisions, is part of coping with reality.
Circumstances change and we must adapt or perish.
But my attitude and adaptive skills were rusty from complacency and habit. The past several weeks forced me to step back and regroup.
Progressive macular degeneration drives in the express lane. My central vision is rapidly disappearing. I must now unpack all of those voc rehab skills I tucked away in the closet labeled “Learned” and dust them off for renewed use.
My nemesis is the need to slow down and map out movements before the muscles leap into action. That hesitation is more necessary than ever.
But most of all, the mental processes needs to take center stage. So many factors influence every decision, every plan. Also the possibility of dependence on others takes on monster proportions for a normally strong, independent person.
The mystery novel that should’ve been ready for final edit and a February release isn’t through revision yet. The work takes tons more time and effort than ever before.
If work slows down that much, what about the three other manuscripts waiting in the wings for their revisions and editing? How long will it take to do those?
Fear of never getting my other stories ready for launch haunts me. And I have so much new work done last November to think about, too.
Enter common sense and calm reflection
As is true of everyone, I can do only what I can do. If it takes three times as long to finish a book, that’s what it takes. Trying to push harder, work longer hours, etc. only creates strain, frustration, and burnout.
Tools are available to aid in this journey’s next stage. Practicing with those tools while working on each project can bring completion.
Perfectionism and self-expectations may rear its nasty head, but patience and constant reality checks can tame that beast. Patience doesn’t always dispel the frustration, but it can help make it bearable.
The new intentions are simple. I will attack revision work on the mystery—two hours per day. Another novel will also get an obligatory two hours work. One hour will go toward getting a short story ready for submission to contests or magazines each week.
The rest of the day will be devoted to learning new tools and realigning my daily life. A blog post per week for each website will find its way into the mix. Everything else is gravy.
All of my former intentions—better known as “goals”—are out the window for now. Once I’ve made more progress with adjusting work and life to fit in the new visual challenge, I’ll know how to plan for the rest of the year.
So, tell me. Have new challenges cropped up to wreak havoc with your 2016 goals, resolutions, or intentions? If so, drop a comment below and share. It always helps to lessen a burden or concern.