Saturday, January 5, 2013

Out With The Old...

I don't like New Year's resolutions. Never have. However, I do think that as civilized people living in a free and democratic society we can collectively do a better job, and this becomes much easier to do if each individual does a little something different in an effort to improve. As such, last January I outlined a few goals for 2012 that went a little something like this:

Leverage some key P's:

  • Patience 
  • Persistence 
  • Practicality 
  • Positivity 

So how'd I do? Well, I was pretty good at persisting, being practical, and staying positive but patience was a bit of a challenge. To be honest, it always has been so I didn't expect to knock that one out of the park. For 2013 I plan on leveraging all of those things by doing all of these things:

  • Set goals outside my comfort zone
  • Think ahead more than one step
  • Think more about others
  • Breathe

If being off work for more than two months with a concussion taught me anything in 2011 it was that things do not happen overnight and there will always be setbacks. With that in mind, at the start of 2012 I vowed to do the following:

Work within my limits but always know that it's in me to do more. 

So how'd I do? Well, I managed to get on stage and sing in front of more than 10 people - twice - and I got a new job and did many more things around the house and with my family than I every thought possible, and you know what? I can do more. So this year I plan on focusing my attention in a slightly different way in an effort to get more out the next 12 months (I will explain this in a minute).

Lastly, I committed to three things that supersede everything else:

Be a better father to my kids;
a better husband to my wife;
and a better friend to all the people in my life.

I think I succeeded on all of these fronts, but as the previous section indicates, I am capable of doing more. So, I will do more:

  • When one of my kids is nearby I will put my laptop or phone aside, and even if they are not desiring my attention, I will give it to them
  • When asked to do something by my wife, I will do it right then or I will set a reminder in my phone if it needs to be done later
  • I will get out and see my friends. This means one event every now and then as well as coffee or tea with individuals at lunch or whenever our schedules align. This also includes golf :)
  • I will buy some local art
  • I will read more books written by people I know and I will give them honest and constructive feedback. I would be forever grateful if they would do the same for me

As for the specific goals for last year, I failed to accomplish all but one (the Twitter goal). A couple of them could be considered successes with an asterisk but that's not the point. The point is to be working towards something and to come closer to figuring out what I want to be when I grow up (without actually having to grow up).

When talking about my web presence with a friend last year he said I needed to focus on one thing; that between my blog... and writing... and photography... and music, that I was spread too thin. He was right. That's why I've decided to focus 2013 on writing. Winning NaNoWriMo, getting a short story published, and seeing so many friends have so much success with their writing is more than enough to light a fire under my ass. Personal, professional, and family goals aside, any goal with a number on it this year has to do with writing. In case you care, here they are:

  • Finish Novel #1 + edit
  • Write Novel #2 + partially edit
  • Win NaNoWriMo (again)
  • Write 2 screenplays (based on the novels)
  • Write 3 short stories + edit
  • Write 1 blog post every week

After I succeed I will have written roughly 300,000 words, and at least a few times I will have the pleasure of writing "The End".

So, here's to a great beginning! All the best to you and your loved ones in 2013.

~Andrew

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