Well. I took the step of making my new year’s resolutions public on this very blog last year. There is some debate about the value of openly stating your targets. I’ve always been a believer in telling people what you’re aiming for, because then you have to stick to it. However, I read somewhere that this can backfire as some psychologists believe that once you’ve verbalised an aim, a part of your brain thinks you’ve achieved it, and so you put less effort into that aim. It’s interested but I’m not totally convinced. However, I know that stating my aims works for me because I’m motivated. And motivation is like a muscle – you have to work at it, but it gets easier with practise.
Now then… did I keep those resolutions? Yes, to a large extent. I totally failed at “learn Spanish” – I started on this, but didn’t keep it up because I had no reason to. That’s a big factor in learning a language – I think there has to be a “why”. It might be to communicate with a friend. It might be an interest in the culture. It might be because you’ve forked out for a course and now you have to get your money’s worth. I had none of those, so the Spanish studies dropped off in February.
Over the course of 2012 I cycled 1068 miles, and ran 60. I didn’t have a yearly total target, but now I know what I can achieve, I can set a new target for 2013, using 2012 as a baseline.
I didn’t self publish Bunny Ruddington as it needs a lot more work. I have self published 26 erotica ebooks though, and since August have been earning about $300 a month from that – and it’s rising, so that’s positive. I’m getting into erotic romance this year, with a new penname. I also had a lot of success with non-fiction, and I’m blown away by that!
I pretty much failed on the personal resolutions – be nicer, and take more time for people. In a way I’ve come to more of an understanding with myself over that. I was measuring myself by society’s expectations. But actually, I’m not a chatty person. I don’t want to be talking to people every day. I would rather prefer to spend long hours on my own.
I also began to see some aspects of my life where I was giving out a lot and not receiving. There’s only so much emotion you can expend on others before you shrivel up so I had to withdraw. I’d also been suckered into thinking that Facebook, email and blogs were a viable expression of friendship, when the reality is that online interaction is pretty shallow and meaningless, and we all just use it as a way of kidding ourselves that we’ve connected in a real fashion when actually it’s a fleeting glimpse into what people want to project, and has no substance beyond an artificially constructed persona. Obvious really – but there’s knowing something, and then there’s understanding it. I’ve only just understood this.
So, what of resolutions for 2013? Actually – I don’t have any. Not that I have fully formulated yet, at any rate. There are some things I have been doing that I intend to continue: run twice a week, and cycle twice a week, for a start. Continue the writing. Start my new erom pen name. Get more non-fiction commissions and expand my market. Be a stronger person emotionally.
That’s about it, though. I’m not consumed by any frantic desire to make big changes – I’ve forged a life for myself over the past year that I’m quite happy with, and it’s a solid base from which I can now safely explore.