Tag Archives: Resolutions

Resolutions, Intentions, Challenges, and Reality

Mistakes photo

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.

Western MontanaMost people know that my vision was very limited to begin with. I had adapted to continually diminishing visual abilities. December changed all.

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.

Time is money concept with clock and coins

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

abstract_2008012903-1113int.epsAfter much deep breathing and meditation, only one conclusion surfaced.

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.

English Knight Fighting Dragon England Flag RetroThe 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.

 

 

At Home with a New Year

stock-photo-13Yep, it’s finally come to this—2015, a new year. Have you had a terrific holiday season and a fantastic New Year’s Eve? Did you have champagne and watch fireworks? Do you have a hearty cup of hot chocolate in your hand calming those after party nerves? If not, grab one. It does wonders for others.

Everything begins anew today; new goals, new aspirations, and definitely new life plans. What do you mean you haven’t made life plans? You made resolutions, didn’t you? Well, those are considered life plans.

Puts a whole different perspective on things, doesn’t it?

Now, you might ask what new plans I have. I’ll tell you. While I have goals that contain writing and other creative arts, resolutions aren’t in the mix. I stuck them in my goals list. It’s easier to deal with them there.

Take health, for instance. Many of us resolve to do better in our health department over the next year, but how many actually follow through and for how long? If it’s a goal, you can create changes in smaller increments without having to leap off the cliff at the outset and expect to fly on the way down.

My health goal is simple. Each day I’ll get on that exercise bike for 5-10 minutes for the first week. The second week I’ll increase each day for another five minutes, and so on until I reach half an hour. I’ll stay at that time but increase speed. On a recumbent bike, different rules apply. Along with that change, I will decrease my sugar intake. Most of those treats will have to go. Between those two things and my current breathing exercises, I’ll be content until around May when I’ll add something else to the regimen.

That goal, taken in smaller increments will get me what I need—more endurance, loss of weight, healthier eating, and better lifestyle. Simple, huh.

Creative work isn’t the same. I can resolve to write the great American novel this year, or I can make a goal of finishing those projects that are already sitting on my storyboard. Those, too, can be done in smaller increments for completion. I can work for an hour a day on each of three projects and get something accomplished more slowly, or dig in and slog through a vast project and go down the burnout road again. Not a good choice there.

I’ve had enough people tell me in the past few months to progress more slowly that I’ve chosen that route. The one specific goal of mine that deserves to be fulfilled each and every week is the submission of at least one project to a publisher. It doesn’t matter whether it’s poetry, flash fiction, a Kindle ebook, a short story, or a non-fiction piece. I’ve practiced fiddling long enough. It’s time to play for the audience.

Those are my strategies for this coming year. I’ve make only a few goals, all doable with determination and perseverance. Lifestyle changes will evolve as a result. Now, I have to go to work on a poem for today. I have the prompt. All I need is the spark.

Raise your cocoa cups in a toast to all of us: May the New Year brings each of us what we need for an inspiring life and a changing scene.

See you all next week, if not sooner. Happy New Year, all.