On Goals (& My 2014 Word)

Happiest of New Years to you, friends! Can I just say how relieved I am to see 2014? I’m incredibly excited about this new year, a clean slate, and a fresh start.

You see, 2013 was not such a great year for me. While I had some wonderful moments with friends and family, when I look back on the last twelve months the overall tone is one of stagnancy. I’m standing in pretty much the same place today as I was this time last year. I’ve not achieved much of anything. I’ve grown very little as a human. It’s depressing, if I think too hard about it.

Lately, I’ve taken a step back and really reflected on the last year, and I’ve come to realize this bleak feeling that I’ve accomplished nothing stems from the “goals” I set at the beginning of 2013.

(Here’s where I get personal and possibly overshare a bit…)

My “goals” for 2013 were to 1) Sell a book, and 2) Get pregnant.

Simple, right? I wrote a fantastic story. I have an awesome agent. I’ve put in YEARS of writing time. And hello… I’ve already had one child. How hard can it possibly be to have another? People get pregnant every day!

*sniffle*

First, let’s address the obvious problem with my 2013 goals…

 THEY’RE “GOALS” THAT ARE COMPLETELY OUT OF MY HANDS.

I can’t control publishing or editors or the literary market. And I can’t control chemistry or fertility. I broke big and obvious goal-setting rules, and I set myself up for failure right out of the gate. Of course I’m disheartened now. Of course. But at least I see the flaws of my ways. At least I can make changes now. At least I can look forward to the brightness of the future, to 2014.

My (attainable) goals for this year…

  1. Revise and polish the manuscript I wrote last year.
  2. Get CP/beta/agent feedback on said manuscript.
  3. Face future submissions with a smile and a shrug and a “work harder” attitude.
  4. Be the best CP/beta I can be, and learn from my friends’ writing.
  5. Approach fitness differently; nourish and strengthen my body instead of beating it up.
  6. Cherish time with my family. Be present in the moment.
  7. Worry less; take deep breaths.

And with those goals in mind, I’ve decided on my focus word for 2014…

STOICISM

It’s an idea my husband and I both want to work toward this year. Living stoically basically means that we’ll try not to stress about things we have no power over. We’ll try not to let our emotions control our actions. We’ll live ethically, and with clear heads. Instead of getting upset, we’ll adjust our expectations and try to make the best of things.

Already, we’ve been reminding each other… “This isn’t very stoic of you,” I told my husband the other day when he was irritated about a move-damaged piece of furniture. “You’ve gotta know adversity,” he noted when I grumbled about how impossible it was to move a crazy-heavy armoire up four brick stairs. Sure, the reminders can be a little annoying, but they also make us laugh, and they help us take a step back from whatever situation is threatening to ruffle us.

Nothing like a cross-country move to put stoicism to the test. 🙂

So, that’s me. 2014 is going to be a good year.

Tell me… What are your goals for 2014. Do you have a focus word?