I am a goal setter, I always have been. I think that’s why I enjoy this time of year so much. I love to look ahead and make ambitious goals about what I could possibly accomplish. The funny part is that I almost always accomplish something different than I set out to in a given year. Often times, what I do accomplish is so much better than what I originally laid out for myself.
This year, I am having a hard time settling on goals. That almost never happens to me. But here we are at December 31 and I have to make a decision. Since I know that my life will take a circuitous path this year, as it does every year, I am going to set “good enough” goals rather than perfect goals. I am letting go a little bit on this year.
Before I set my goals, I had to decide what my One Little Word for 2011 would be. In the past two years, I’ve used “essential” and “resource.” When thinking about it this year, I realized that I have yet to choose a verb. So I intentionally limited myself to verbs this year, because I think that I should have a year of doing. I waffled over a few words this year, (both hustle and connect were contenders) but eventually landed on one.
My One Little Word for 2011 is Create.
The definitions I am focusing on for create are highlighted below:
–verb (used with object)
1. to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes.
2. to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.
5. to be the cause or occasion of; give rise to
6. to cause to happen; bring about; arrange, as by intention or design
–verb (used without object)
7. to do something creative or constructive.
I can’t be the only person using the word “Create” this year. In a sea of arty and writerly bloggers who participate in One Little Word, I will probably be one of a large handful of people using this word. And I’m okay with that. Because even though it seems obvious, I think that I need to focus on a few basics in the upcoming year. I think I need to focus on the fact that I am a writer who needs to write. I need to produce writing of substance. I need to create opportunities, for myself and for my now published book. I also need to give rise to new things in my life. (I think that may be my favorite of the definitions.) So, I am going to create this year.
How does this break down to my New Year’s Goals. Typically, I’ve been choosing three small goals each year. They help me to focus on what I think is truly important. I can remember three goals, even memorize them. This year, I am going to have three goals and a bonus goal, because I want to focus on specific achievements in my creative life and my personal life.
Goal #1: Create something every day.
It can be a piece of writing, a photograph, or a collage, my traditional means of expression. It can be a part of something: a metaphor, a couplet, a rough draft. Or it can be an opportunity or connection that I hadn’t created before. I will track my progress using the #onecreativeact hashtag I used last year.
Goal #2: Create connections between potential readers of Blameless Mouth and my book.
Ideally, this means for me readings and retail venues for my book, once the global distribution gets approved by Lulu. But I would also like to think out of the box on this one. How else can I create connections between readers and my book? I am looking forward to how this unfolds.
Goal #3: Create a draft of a book length manuscript.
I started and finished a chapbook manuscript last year, but I feel that it’s underdeveloped. Instead, I would like to flesh out this manuscript more, so that I can more clearly demonstrate the connections between the two subjects I was exploring in the work.
Bonus Goal: Add 5 new fruits or vegetables to my diet.
As I have mentioned here before, I am a recovering picky eater. I have made lots of strides in my eating habits, because I now choose healthier foods on a regular basis. Still, there are some foods that I am afraid of, like a three year old. I would like to give up those fears and try them again. At first, I thought I was going to designate which foods I would like to add. Instead, I am going to open myself to whatever foods I feel like trying. Hopefully, I will find 5 that I like, that I didn’t like before, by the end of next year.
So, those are my goals. I hope that you have fun setting your own goals for the year. Personally, I can’t wait to see how I surprise myself by what I end up accomplishing.