The R Word

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Finish LineToday’s topic from the Daily Post was to name a resolution I actually kept. My immediate thought was, “All year?” Because the answer to that is just me laughing hysterically. I think the longest I’ve gone with a New Year’s resolution is four months.

I know I’m not the only one who’s never kept a resolution, but I also know that I have this ugly flaw of not finishing things. (Also, hitting on another Daily Post topic.) I love to plan, make lists, envision the big picture. I get all wide-eyed and excited and Cinlach tells me how cute I am (probably because he knows I’m going to crash and burn). Then I get bogged down in the minutiae, the setbacks, the lack of time. I get impatient and just want it done.

So when I see things aren’t going according to plan, I give up. I learned in therapy that this is actually a perfectionist trait. Some people (your obsessive cleaners and workaholics) will go and go and go until a project is done while others (yours truly) wait until they believe they have the time to devote all their time and energy and complete the task from start to finish. This was the reasoning I gave my mother when we talked about my cluttered office. I don’t think she bought it.

Yes, I know that I can spread things out and stop even though they’re not finished, but sometimes my brain doesn’t comprehend that — that’s one of the reasons why I went to therapy.

So that flaw brings me to the real gist of today’s post. Thoughts on Plot provided a great exercise for setting goals for 2013. (I refuse to use the R word.) Here’s her four-part process and my responses.

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This scene dialogue runs through my head on occasion.

  1. Pick one word to frame your year. Finish: I think I’ve sufficiently explained why.
  2. Pick a verse or quote that embodies this word. “You fail only if you stop writing.” — Ray Bradbury. So many times we all avoid doing something from a fear of failure. This quote is a great reminder that we don’t truly fail unless we don’t finish.
  3. Pick some categories in your life you want this word to impact.
    1. Writing (short stories): No one publishes unfinished short stories.  
    2. Organizing (my home office): Sitting with my back to the clutter doesn’t make it go away.
    3. Walking (5k & 10k events): It’s something that gets me out of my house and out of my comfort zone.
  4. Pick a friend who you can share your goal with and encourage one another this year. I’m currently taking applications for this position, so feel free to submit your resume to — kidding! I actually haven’t asked said person yet, but I have someone in mind.

I figure I’m already doing pretty well. When my freelance gig ended in November, I set three monthly goals for myself: write one short story a month (rough draft), read at least a book a month, and post at least one blog post per week. It’s January 2nd, and I’ve posted two entries this week. Pardon me while I do the butter churn and then throw the goat with the manliest grunt I can muster.

Little victories, people, little victories.

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