Daily #48: Looking forward

It’s New Year’s Eve! In less than 24 hours, we’ll be entering not just another year, but another decade.

New Year’s Resolutions are phenomenon that I’ve never personally taken part in in the traditional sense. They’re usually framed as new habits that will be picked up in the new year, such as going to the gym, or practicing a new hobby. I like to frame mine as specific things that I will achieve during the upcoming year. I find these easier to quantify, and it feels like I’m working towards an endpoint rather than a continous task.

I sound like I’ve got a good grasp of setting and achieving goals, but I really don’t. I’m good at setting them, and making them realistic, but I rarely pay attention to them after January, and they remain forgotten and unachieved for the most part.

For me and my general lack of motivation (up until about a month ago), I try to avoid the setting of goals specifically for the new year. For example, I started this blog in mid-November. I could feasibly have waited to start posting until the 1st of January, but that would have been yet another excuse as to why I shouldn’t do it now. I tend to avoid the trend of “new year, new me” almost out of spite.

As well as this, avoiding perceived competition helps me do better. I’m a quietly competitive person, and seeing others inevitably do better than me at something discourages me. NaNoWriMo is a good example. Personally, I don’t think the task of writing that many words in a month suits me at this point. If I tried to take part, I’d most likely give up when other participants had outpaced me after a few days. Of course, it’s irrational, and not a healthy way of looking at it – but I prefer to be at odds with myself rather than others.

Anyway, I have a couple of goals for 2020. Some are fully in my control, and others are not, but I want to see how they turn out:

  • Complete the first draft of my novel.
    I’m not entirely sure what I want my end goal to be if I complete a novel. I believe I’ll be aiming for self-publishing, mainly so I can say that I did it. But for 2020, I want to write the ~80,000 words of the first draft, at a bare minimum. Whether this happens by March, or I barely make it by December, I hope this is one I can complete.
  • Continue blogging.
    In contrast to what I said about goals above, this one is a ‘habit’ goal. I intend to continue this daily blog for as long as possible. It’s already helped me immensely with discipline and motivation, and similarly to the novel, I want to be able to say that I blog daily.
  • Work on short stories.
    I’ve always enjoyed short stories as a medium, as it gives the sense of achievement of finishing something without the length of a novel. I’ve not worked on any in a while though, so I’d like to pick back up with that. They’ll probably go up on here if I finish them.
  • Get myself into a position where I can be or work at home at least part time.
    Right now, I work full time in an office. My job is something which could be done from home, but it doesn’t seem to be the done thing in my workplace. Eventually, I’d like to get a dog, but I don’t feel comfortable with doing that unless either my partner or myself is at home for some of the week. However, this one isn’t completely in my control.

Thus far, those are the goals I can think of. As I said, I’d like those to happen at any time this year. Yesterday, while talking with my partner, I came out with the line “I refuse to stop.” He told me I should remember that I said it, so I commemorate it here.

Happy New Year!

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