I Resolve to Not Wear Purple Polyester Pants in Public

I’m not a big fan of the New Year’s Resolution.

My standard joke is that I make the same resolution every year: “I resolve to not wear purple polyester pants in public.” That way no matter how bad the year, no matter what happens or doesn’t happen, I can still hold my head up and say “At least I didn’t wear those pants. New Year’s Resolution, check.”*

I don’t know why, but for some reason, New Year’s Resolutions have no permanence for me. They aren’t real. They aren’t things that people actually plan to carry through with. They are more along the lines of things that you say or do in order to appease others. I mean, everyone has to do the resolution thing, right? Not doing them makes you look like an arrogant ass who thinks he is perfect.**

Maybe it is just me, but New Year’s Resolutions have always seemed like something you say you are going to do, invest a little time or effort into, then lose no sleep over when they fall by the wayside.

Still, the start of a new year is a good time to set some goals for oneself. Not resolutions, mind you, just goals. Things to strive to achieve. Without goals we just sit around like lumps.***

With this in mind, I present a meandering list of personal goals (again, not resolutions) for 2013.

Write More
250,000 words in 2013.
I don’t know if it is better to be specific or general with this one, so I will include both. I can’t call myself a writer if I fail to actually write. We all know the answer to the question “How do you become a writer?”
My personal goal is 1K per day, never skipping more than on day. This means getting up and writing when I don’t particularly feel like it.*4 It means slogging through the boring parts to get to the next good part. Hopefully it will mean
finishing more.

Which brings us to:

Submit What I Write
One of my personal goals is to have
Howl finished, edited, and ready for submission by the Spring. Then I submit it. The same goes for the numerous short stories that I start every year. I have to finish them, edit them, and send them out to be judged. Should they return, wings bent, bodies battered, I have to let them mend, then push them out of the nest again.
Yes, I realize that this means actually editing things, not just finishing them and saving them to a hard drive somewhere.

The Whole Healthy Thing
Yeah, yeah. I know. It’s on everybody’s list. In my case this means exercising. I would say “Exercise More,” but in my case this could be replaced by “Exercise At All” as the phrases are fairly interchangeable. Towards this end, I have a number of different things at my disposal. I have number of DVDs to work with. That bloody Wii Fit actually kicks my ass at times. Thanks to Groupon I have access to a kickboxing gym and Fencing lessons. Of course the big motivators are T & T who are always up for walkies.
Once again, it is just a matter of getting up off of my butt and doing something.

Sooner Begun, Sooner Done, Never Forget, Work Before Fun
I am a procrastinator. I readily admit this. I am really good at finding things I would rather do than what needs to be done. I am a good one for “just one more” and “right after this.”
I also have to stop replacing preparation with productivity. Sure, a certain amount of prep work makes the real work easier. However, spending all day working on getting ready to do something that only takes an hour or so is a phenomenal way to waste a day.
I also need to make sure that I use my distractions a rewards for
after a task is accomplished.

Update the Site, Not Just Facebook
Holy crap. The last time I updated the site was before Halloween. Really? That is simply unacceptable. Sure, people can keep up with me via the snippets I post on the Zuckerberg Experiment, but I should really take my on-line presence more seriously. This is especially true now that I am hosting the site on a different server and using a new program to create it. I don’t have any hard and fast rules for this one, but I think at least once a week is a good goal. If nothing else it will allow me an opportunity to figure out what I am doing and make the site more presentable.
One little helper goal towards this end is that the rants which pop up in Napalmed (this one included) will count towards the day’s writing goals. Facebook posts will not.

Take Advantage of Opportunities
This is another one of those things that I am not very good at. Opportunities present themselves and, for one reason or another, I do not pounce on them. I talk myself out of it. I procrastinate until it is too late. I allow the opportunity to pass by because I am too worried about what will happen if I actually step outside of my comfort zone and try something.
This year I hope to change that. I know that I will not be able to do this all of the time. My goal is to take advantage of at least a few things which come my way, be they writing projects, money making chances, whatever.
I may need some help with this one. Feel free to prod me.

Class It Up A Little
Not everything I plan for this year is super serious. One of the things I would like to work towards is making men a little more respectable looking. Yes, I recognize the irony in me, Captain of the Jeans and Tee Shirt Brigade, saying this. All I have to do is remember how much better I look in a dress shirt, maybe a vest and a tie, and this gets easier. I rocked the bow tie a couple of times this holiday season and got nothing but compliments.
Maybe we can bring back the gentleman wear hats thing too. That would be cool. I love hats.

Spread the Word
I used to keep track of every book I read over the course of a year.*5 I would give each a little mini-review. This is actually a lot easier now. All I have to do is remember to log on to Goodreads when I finish. So look for the return of the mini review. Heck, if something is really good, maybe I will do the whole, full blown review thing.

So, I think that is a good start for the year. Let’s see how I do, shall we?

Remember, the only official resolution is the purple polyester pants thing.

*For those who are wondering, I have given up religious observances every year for Lent for quite a while. Think about it for a moment. The aspirin is in the top drawer.

**Or so I have been told.

***Trust me, I know.

*4 Just like a real boy.

*5 This started as a means to answer the question “How many books do you read in a year?” I seem to average one a week.