I don't believe in making New Year's Resolutions. They're too easy to make and then forget about.
Rather, I use the first of the year and the first of July to take stock of where I am, where I want to be and what I need to do to get there. Yep, I do this twice a year. I usually wish all of Facebook Happy New Year on July first. Most of my friends who know what I'm doing laugh and wish it back. I understand I've convinced a few other people to do the same thing. Score!
My goals are always doable, if a bit of a stretch sometimes, and they always follow these 3 rules: Personal, Positive and Present-Tense.
I will explain.
Personal: This means something that I can control. "I will be published by a big 6 publisher" is not something I can control. "I will submit my first finished book to 10 publishers" is something I can control.
Positive: I am working towards something, not running away from something. "I will quit smoking" is not positive. "I will develop positive personal habits to replace unhealthy behaviors" is better. "I will take a walk or do push ups every time I crave a cigarette" is even better because it names a specific alternative to smoking rather than a vague "positive personal habits".
Present-Tense: This one is a bit harder to do at first, but much fun once you get into it. "I will submit to 6 publishers" becomes "I am submitting to 6 publisher this year."
Easy enough to understand, yes?
So, what are my goals for 2012?
I am writing and finishing 3 novels this year. Amaria, Urban Fae and Cthulhu Penguin are the titles I am finishing and submitting to publishers.
I am writing, finishing and publishing a short-story every month of 2012. I am continuing in the worlds of the first two stories that are published and will be collected into an omnibus edition for each of the worlds at the end of the year.
I am visiting Jillybean in New York.
I am going to continue working with my doctors to find out what the heck is wrong with me and I will seek professional help if my phobias block my ability to do this.
I am walking for 30 minutes 5 days a week.
I am adjusting my cooking and snacking to make what I eat healthier.
These changes will contribute to the loss of about 1 pound a week, with an over-all goal of losing 50 pounds in 2012.
So, these are my goals for 2012. What are yours? Will you be stretching yourself or staying within your comfort zone?