Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Accomplishments and 2014 Resolutions

Remember how 2013 started?  I do.  It started right on this post of mine, the January 1, 2013, missive in which I resolved to accomplish several awesome things.  That, incidentally, was the first post of my friend Cricket Walker's 365-day posting challenge.  You know, that challenge for which I was going to post 365 blog entries, one each day, in 365 days, thus creating a travelogue for the year I'd just finished traipsing across.

Remember all that?  Well, I do.  And now, watching the tail end of 2013 gallop past me like Secretariat with a jet engine up his butt, I'm pretty sure that "I blew it" is an understatement.

Don't go getting all soft on me, now.  I cut my professional teeth in the U.S. Army Infantry, where if you can't handle a "your performance sucked so much shit, you were farting pastures" in an after-action review, you aren't going to last long.  Granted, I didn't last long, but my anti-longevity wasn't due to thin skin.  

So anyway, first, I need to review all the stuff I didn't accomplish last year.  Then, and only then, can we get to all the stuff I'm not gonna accomplish next year.  Trust me, that's the best way.

Chief Blog Goal #1: post a blog entry each and every happy little day of the happy little year.

Nope.  Not really even close.  I was 115 entries short.  114, actually, once I post this one.  Oh, I kept up for quite a while, with one post for every day right up to the end of May.  That's nearly five months of consistent blogging, I'll just point out, and that ain't bad.  It's also 251 posts in a year, which really ain't too shabby at all, as blog activity goes.  It's also helped me see the importance of back material--many days my most-hit post wasn't even from that day.  Oh, and also, I doubled my total hit count.  All in all, not bad, then, but as goal attainment goes, it sucks big fat ogre toes. 

The rest of my 2013 resolutions:

  1. Write every day.  Nope, didn't do that.  Wrote a lot of days, and a whole lot more of what I wrote in 2013 was a whole lot better than the crappola I scribed in 2012, in my own less than entirely humble opinion.  Still: fail.
  2. Publish four books.  Nuh uh.  I got one, and then a boxed set.  That's it.  One novel and a marketing device don't equate to four novels in any realm.  I did press on quite a bit, with Elf Queen nearly ready to go and its successor's first draft done.  Still: fail.
  3. Take risks.  Well, hell, I did that the very first day, making crappy goals like this one.  I did some other stuff that can be considered risks, too, but--ah, hell.  Final score on this one: indeterminate.
  4. Operate smarter.  What the hell was I thinking with this one?  "Operate smarter"--really, big guy?  Okay, show of hands: who thought I was smarter this year?  Who thought I wasn't?  Yeah, I'm gonna fail myself just for writing this unmeasurable-as-hell, stupid goal down.
  5. Freelance each week.  Just--no.  The time I was spending doing freelance, though it made me a better writer, paid off in very small ways, while the time I have spent writing novels, embarrassingly for the freelance sites, is already paying off better, and will hopefully in the future pay off heads and armpits above the freelance rate of pay.  Smart fail, but fail nonetheless.
  6. Dozen short stories written.  Or, um, not.  Fail.
  7. Social network weekly.  Hey, I've played Facebook games weekly; does that count?  I think the main purpose of this goal was to pull my weight in APG, and since they and I are no longer associated, I'll just rate this one a nice big juicy ball of fail, okay?
  8. Move.  Now, this one makes me giggle in a way that would probably lead you to suggest that I need professional help if you were to hear it.  I did it.  I frickin' moved.  But.  The goal was to move into a house from the craptastic apartment we were renting.  Nowhere in there was I suggesting a journey of a thousand miles.  While I'm not saying it was bad that I moved to where I did, I gotta give myself only half credit for this one.  And half credit, on a goal, is--yes, you guessed it.  Fail.
  9. Exercise once a day.  Not even close.  If you strung 'em out it would probably be closer to once a month.  Big fat floppy fail there, with whipped cream and sugar on top. 
Okay, so now that I've proven the exercise, let's sum up.  I suck.  I either suck at setting goals, or I suck at achieving goals, or I suck at both.  You can't miss nine out of ten goals, though, and have a good year.

Wait.  Let me rephrase that, because it's patently untrue.  2013 was, in fact, a pretty dang good year for me.  I moved into a great job opportunity.  I met some great neighbors.  I accomplished more writing than I've ever done before, and a lot of it is sweet awesome sauce.  Heide's health continues to improve.  Jessa graduated from high school, and Vinny graduated from a college program.

I guess you can miss nine out of ten goals and still have a pretty dang good year.

Oh, yeah, and I got a Gandalf lunch box for Christmas.  That, and a TARDIS throw-blankey.  How many of you got a Gandalf lunch box or a TARDIS throw-blankey, hmm?  Pretty dang good year?  Nah, pretty dang great year!

Okay, so I've had a pretty good few years, honestly.  It's been a lot of cases of not accomplishing what I set out for, but what I did accomplish has made me happy.

So with all that being said, what should I vow to do in 2014?  Keep in mind as I ask the question that I haven't accomplished much of what I vowed in 2013, 2012, or other years in the past.  So--maybe--maybe I should just play the odds?  Since history tells me that I'm most likely not going to do what I say I'm going to do, maybe I should work it like this:

In 2014, I resolve to:

  • not INCREASE my income by any substantial measure.
  • not COMPLETE four novels that are rockin' good.
  • not BREAK THROUGH to world wide publishing success.
  • not ACHIEVE every goal I'm assigned at work.
  • not LOSE most of the weight that I've gained over the years.
  • not GET IN SHAPE.

Take that, Cosmos...

Now, we'll see whether I accomplish what I've said I would, or what I've said I wouldn't. 

To tell you the honest truth, though?  If I merely succeed in spending the next 365 bright and beautiful days under the sun with the love of my life, Heide, I'll be the luckiest man on the planet.  I can only hope, for your sake, my friend, that you have someone who brings the sweet awesome sauce to your life like she does to mine.

Goals or no, here's hoping you have a great, happy, and, above all, safe New Year!


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