Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year's Resolutions? Meh...

This is the first year in a long time that I haven’t made any resolutions.  My typical resolutions are the following:
  • Write xxx # of words per day.
  • Start an exercise program.
  • Make xxxx $ in freelance income this year.
  • Post 7 blog posts each week.
  • Finish and publish the next book by October 1st.
  • Etc...
You get the idea.  I set lofty goals and then feel like absolute shit when I fail to reach them for whatever reason.

Now granted, it helps to have SOMETHING written down and something to work towards.  And considering that I’m STILL unemployed and have just a little freelance work trickling in, maybe I SHOULD make a few resolutions, but I’m trying something a bit different this year.

I’m going to create new habits and only focus on one habit at a time.  This month, I’m getting addicted to writing.  You heard me right.  Get myself addicted to a GOOD thing.  I’m going to force myself to set a timer at least once a day and just write for 15 minutes.  Even if I have no idea where I’m taking it, I’m going to do it.  I signed up for an online flash fiction that requires that I critique at least 4 stories a month and (suggests) that I write at least one.  I have 3 blogs of which I'm trying to grow and build traffic for.  I have Tweets to my (currently) 215 followers to create and find.  I have an outline of a book project to work on. I have freelance work to find and produce.  There is plenty of substance for this addiction.

Courtesy of Matt via Flickr
So whether it is a freelance assignment, a blog post or creative work on one of my many incomplete projects, I’m going to force myself out of the box occasionally, ignore whatever crises seem to be on hand, and take that time to write something outside of the box.  I'm going to stop being obsessed with one problem at a time.  Stop retreating into distractions such as Words with Friends tournaments with my buddies, seeking the top Bejeweled Blitz score of all of my Facebook friends, or obsessive TV series watching.  December featured a run of the last 3 seasons of Dr. Who on Netflix...

In addition, December had the death of a close friend, a washing machine that could not be repaired and needed to be replaced, a gas furnace that, was too expensive to repair, also needed to be replaced, and, of course, the holidays.  So the 30-Day Writing Challenge was a miserable, epic FAIL.

This is always the darkest part of the year for me. After the holidays are over, here in Ohio winter usually bites down hard… with gray skies and a deep, painful cold that makes you just want to roll yourself up in quilts and hibernate until the sun comes back.

But I’m going to fight this. I have to.

So what do you do to chase away the mid-winter blues?  How do you keep productive during stressful, busy times?  And what are your New Year's Resolutions (if you have any)?  Comment below.