December 27, 2011

I Resolve...

I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions. It's too easy to break them when everyone else around you is breaking theirs. Generally, I take time near my birthday to review goals and set new ones for the coming year. Having a wild party with pointy hats and lots of cake and ice cream and friends coming over to play silly games is a lot more fun than goal-making, but the goal-making is a lot more grown up.

Sometimes New Year's Resolutions do get hung on to and worked on. In 2001 Anne's resolution was to submit something, anything, to a contest. She did, and won. The audio book of A Heart Full of Diamonds was the result of her resolution.

My Success for College teacher said that goals should be made on the "DAPPS" plan. That is, they should be Dated, Achievable, Personal, Positive, and Specific.

If you don't put a date on a goal, then you don't know how much time you have left.

Your goal has to be achievable, and measurable. "I will lose weight" isn't a good goal, because if you lose only one ounce, you have lost weight, although not enough to notice. "I will lose ten pounds" is something you can measure, and know when you have completed the task.

Your goal has to be personal, something you can do without the outcome depending on others. "I will get a promotion" is not achievable, because you can't control that. "I will ask my boss for a promotion" can be done, no matter what your boss decides to do.

Your goal should be stated in a positive manner. "I won't smoke" is a negative statement, while "I will quit smoking" is a positive one that will accomplish the same thing.

Finally, your goal should be specific. "I will write more" doesn't cut it. More than what? More than I have been? More than a house? "I will write a new manuscript" is specific, although it could get more specific if I added a word count to the goal.

This year, I resolve to:
·         Graduate from college.
·         Write a new manuscript, something I haven't had time to do since I started college.
·         Take a vacation someplace out of Arizona.
·         Hug my daughter every day.
·         Learn how to make book trailers and post them to YouTube.

Let's see how far I get.