By Angel Smits
This week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is pretty much a lull.
At the day job, so many people take vacation time that it’s like working in a ghost town. I don’t normally take it off because it’s the quietest week of the year, and I can get work and projects finished before the end of the year. It’s also a time when management isn’t looking at what they want accomplished. That’ll come after the first of the year, so I take advantage of the quiet.
It’s a time to think and focus on things without so many interruptions. I actually like working this time of year.
Also, the rush of Christmas shopping, mailing and wrapping is done and, selfishly, I can take time to focus on me, on what I need to do, rather than what everyone else wants and needs. (And it gives me time to figure out where to put all the “stuff” I got as gifts.) That can be a project in itself.
So, with the slower pace at work, and what feels like a slower pace at home, I find myself with time to think--something the holidays are not good for. I find my mind wandering more as I think over things. Do you do that?
About what I didn’t get done this year. What I decided to stop doing because it’s a time suck, or bad for me. What I want to continue working on, what I want to start in the new year. What do I want to accomplish? I’m not sure if it’s really because of the slower pace, or what, but my brain wanders down these paths almost naturally.
|My office, the perfect place to think and set goals|
I’m not necessarily a New Year’s resolution maker in that those frequently fail. They are almost like wishes, or promises that are easy to break because there isn’t really any consequence.
But what I do like to do at the beginning of each year is set goals. It seems more productive, and tends to have a better outcome. I like to succeed. I like to say, “Yeah I did that!” So why not indulge myself? Why not start out the brand, spanking new year on the right foot?
Goals are specific—or they should be. To finish the next two manuscripts in my Chairs series for example. (One by Feb 1, the second by September.) That’s specific. Instead of, write more or stop letting the Internet interfere with my writing. Resolutions tend to be like that, more negative, not really giving me something to aim for. Maybe other people are better at making, and sticking to, resolutions. I applaud them, but I know the truth about myself.
I have to have “visible” line to cross and a consequence somewhere in the world that motivates me to succeed. If I don’t reach my goal of finishing the book by February 1, there could be a financial as well as emotional price to be paid.
If I resolve to not chew my fingernails (something I did when I was a kid) the only real consequence is that oh well, I’ll have to go another year without anything changing. I’ve proven I can do it because I am. A goal is something I haven’t done yet, something I’m aiming for.
I want to do more promotion this year, but if I word it like a resolution, to do more—yeah that’s ignorable. But if I put that I want to be more involved in my blog, that’s concrete. That’s reachable. That’s attainable, and I might actually reach that goal and have something to show for it.
Do you make resolutions? Set goals? Both? Neither? Why and if you’d like to share, I’d love to see. Maybe I’ll get some really great ideas from your discussion