Resolved: To, Um, Resolve Some Stuff
These last two years, I've participated in National Novel Writing Month, a group challenge in November to push yourself to write at least 50,000 on a novel, start to finish. The founder says commit yourself to doing this big thing for just one month—that's not taking too much time out of your life. People who study behavior changes, however, say thirty days is about how long it takes to get yourself settled into a new habit, so NaNoWriMocould be a good launch for a writing habit. I've come out of NaNoWriMo each time thinking this writing thing doesn't have to be as hard as I sometimes make it: I can accomplish a lot with the small bits and pieces I have left over after my other obligations have been scheduled. (There's an online word count tracker that you can use to demonstrate this for yourself: you set project goals and it will fill in the daily steps.)
This year over the Christmas hols, I looked back at what I'd done in 2010 and what I wanted to do, where I wanted to be going—and realized that I was getting bored. A phrase popped into my head that could be a resolution: "more pirate, less PTA." I was mainly thinking clothes, I think. But after I made the resolution, I decided to write a TV script, something I've read a lot about but never attempted. My resolution is a test for the invitations that cross my path: will this stretch me, push me? Is it something new, or more of the same? When I'm feeling well-rested, it feels like a fun resolution to keep.
How do you approach resolutions? What do you get out of making them? Do you make long- or short-term goals? How do you implement them?