I’m not a fan of new year resolutions. In my opinion, why wait for a calendar event to do something positive in your life? It’s like saying, “I’ll start that new project on Monday” or “I’ll stop drinking on Friday.” Why not do it right now? Why wait?
With that said, I’m not against setting goals and deadlines. What’s the difference, you ask? To me, a resolution is something like, “I’ll start working out three days a week starting January 1st.” A goal is, “I’m going to lose twenty pounds next year.” Maybe I’m arguing semantics, but I see a difference between the two. One is setting a start point, where the other is setting an end result. It doesn’t matter when you start or how you get there, as long as you arrive.
My goals for the next year are as follows:
My main goal is to finish editing my novel and get it published. The draft has been tweaked over the past few months, but I’ve been focusing on other projects because I wanted to get some time away from the story. I spent months working on the first draft and I felt like I was no longer seeing the story, just words on a page. Now that I’ve gotten some perspective on the beast, I’m ready to dive back in.
Next, to keep my creativity podcast going and to increase the number of listeners. I’ve developed a small group of listeners, which is fine, but I feel my podcast – which focuses on inspiring and motivating people to explore their creativity – could be reaching a broader audience. It’s a labor of love and, really, it doesn’t matter if I have ten listeners or ten thousand. If I can inspire just one person, then I’m happy.
I’m going to complete and publish a second short-story collection. I was inspired by one of the people I follow on Twitter who posts cool little vignettes. I asked if I could use some as story prompts and she approved…and yes, I’ll be giving her co-author credit and a cut of any profits. I plan to complete ten stories based on her posts.
I’m going to also start publishing some cooking videos on my YouTube channel. Nothing fancy. It’s just that I enjoy cooking and see it as another way to be creative. I plan to share some simple recipes that can feed two or more, some tips, and things that I’ve learned as a self-taught home cook. Back in my bachelor days I learned to cook by necessity. It was far too expensive to eat out all the time, so I started experimenting with cooking simple things on the tiny gas range in my tiny, one-room efficiency apartment. There were more misses than hits, but eventually I began to grasp the fundamentals and upped my cooking game. In fact, I started cooking for some of the women I knew at the time and, well, eventually married one of them. Or it may be more accurate to say she married me. I think it was the chicken and mushrooms in a white wine sauce that sealed the deal.
And in between all that, I’ll continue to post on this blog, make music, write in my journal, draw, take photos, and explore the world of creativity.
Most of all, I want to continue to motivate and inspire other creators. I’m not talking about being a social-media influencer or anything like that. I want to be someone who quietly helps others. I spent many years working in solitude with very little encouragement or support from the people around me, and I hate to think that there are other people out there going through the same thing. I want to change that for them, I want them to feel like they can accomplish anything, can try anything, and that they do so without embarrassment or self-doubt.
I hope you have lofty goals for 2020 and beyond. Remember, don’t be afraid to be creative or to be your true self. Enjoy life, embrace opportunity, and above all, be kind.