Good Intentions

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New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. — Mark Twain

Yup, I’m starting to make my resolutions for 2011. (We will not mention the fact that I had resolved to go to the gym yesterday and didn’t because I ended up working far later than I intended.) The thing I like about New Year’s is that it feels like a fresh start even if it really isn’t. That’s probably a good thing psychologically; 2010 wasn’t a particularly great year from my point of view and I’m glad to see the back of it.

The problem is, what do I set as goals in a year when I’m trying to figure out what constitutes “normal.” I have crossed “Win Pulitzer Prize” off the list because I thought that was biting off more than I could chew. Seriously, though, I’m trying to figure out what would be some goals that will prove a stretch and a bit of a challenge, but not be so far out of reach that I can’t possibly obtain them.

Some goals are fairly easy — write regularly, keep up the blog, don’t let myself go into hermit mode. But those are also mechanical goals. I need something more concrete to work for and not just “finish a book and submit.” What type of book should it be? What do I hope to achieve with it? What am I hoping to do that will push me to stretch and grow?

That’s the questions I need to answer — and maybe that’s the first goal. Decide what I’m hoping reach for in 2011. Think I can do that in the next four days?