I like setting goals, I do it every year for the new year. I once told this to someone who sneered at me and said “resolutions are stupid, no one ever follows through with them.” To this person I said “fuck off” and to myself I say, “I actually do.”
I follow through with my resolutions because I know how to set reasonable ones. My resolution isn’t “I will be a totally different person who works out constantly and then suddenly has self-esteem.” That’s crazy, and I agree that won’t work and no one should do that. Instead I pick just a few small things and I figure out how to structurally make those things happen. I project manage my life.
So for 2024, I have the following goals:
- Read “The Count of Monte Cristo”
- Read short stories regularly
- Add another form of exercise to my life
- Complete a writing project (any size)
- Perform the violin in public
- Buy no yarn, find creative ways to destroy my stash
The Count of Monte Cristo
This is just the latest in my desire to experience some of the great works of fiction. I know it will be impossible to read every great book, but we’ve only got one life, and great stories are transporting. So I will add to Middlemarch and War and Peace with another great story that will give me more lives lived.
2023 felt fast. I tried to read 52 books, one for each week, and had to really plough through books to make that happen. (Not to mention also listen to a lot of audiobooks — which totally count!)
For 2024, I will read Monte Cristo slowly, and only read short stories quickly. This will keep me from getting bogged down in stories that are good but don’t have a fast pace, or are bad but I once I realize that, I feel I have to finish because I don’t want to lose time. It will also help me discover more kinds of writing and keep myself creatively inspired. The exact pace is TBD, might be 2 a week, or everyday?
I’ve got a regular workout, which I am dedicated to. I’ve successfully added pilates into the mix. In 2024 I will try both spin and swimming (for cardio) and see what sticks. Running is definitely off the table. I’ve been there, done that, and hate it. But having 2-3 solid exercise events every week (give or take) feels like the right number.
Complete a Writing Project
I started sooo many projects in 2023. I really worked those muscles that I didn’t know were weak. In 2024, I want to “complete” a story. It doesn’t mean it will be published, but I want to get to a place where I know it represents my best effort. This will likely be done in a solo-vacation/retreat in late Spring.
Perform the Violin in Public
This is sort of cheating as a goal, since I’ve already signed up for the class that will make this happen. It’s something I’ve wanted to try for a while and I’m glad it will happen this year.
My stash mocks me. It sits with its piles of failed projects, or on sale yarn that isn’t enough to make anything significant. I’ve de-stashed a few times, and still it sits there. This year I will track and reward myself for finding good uses for it. I will make time and force myself to complete these crafts. Some year, I want to start with a goal of buying yarn specifically for projects I’ve dreamed up, for my own creative purposes, but I can’t do that with a brain cluttered by guilt over the yarn untouched.