Ah, another new year (and for me, another birthday). I can never resist the impulse to make resolutions, even knowing that the combination of diehard old habits and my busy life will make it difficult to really do all that organizing and exercising and so on.
So I've done the same this year. My 2012 goals list is long, and I probably won't meet all of them. However, the most important ones boil down to:
1) Have a productive year as a writer.
2) Live a more healthy life.
I'm not going to share the rest of my goals, or even the exact steps I've delineated for productive writing and healthy living (though I may blog about them if/when I succeed).
BUT, I decided to give myself two challenges that ought to be easily achievable within 6-7 months, talk about them publicly, AND set up consequences for failing to meet them:
Challenge the First: After I turn in the manuscript for my WIP, due April 1, I want to work on a short novella. Key word here is short: I'm shooting for around 15,000 words. Once I've done a bit of research and settled on the plot, I should be able to complete the first draft in less than a month. So I'd like to finish the draft no later than 5/15 or so, and have it submission-ready by mid-June. But life happens, and my editor will most likely send me developmental edits for the WIP sometime within that window...so I'm giving myself till July 23, the day I plan to fly down to Anaheim for RWA National, to finish that first draft. And if I don't? I will wear a shirt like this on the plane:
Challenge the Second: By that same date, July 23, I want to lose 20 lbs. and/or enough to drop at least a size in my favorite jeans. (Which ought to be one and the same, but I'm giving myself an out in case by some freak chance the weight decides to come off everywhere BUT my waistline.) If I do not do so, I will wear this hat on the plane:
For me, those are some dire consequences for falling short of my goals. You see, in my real sports fan life, I'd wear this hat with this shirt:
Anyone want to pick their own sports gear nightmare and join me? I got the idea for this after hearing a pair of coworkers, one a UW grad and the other WSU, challenge each other to quit smoking with the threat of having to wear a Cougars tee for the former and a Husky one for the latter.
The fine print: the bet is off if some dire medical, natural, financial, or similar disaster interferes. F'rex, if this is the year the Seattle Fault or the Cascadia Subduction Zone is destined to slip, I'm not going to inflict Bama and Yankees gear upon myself on top of everything else.