September always feels like a new year. It’s my birthday month and back-to-school all rolled up in one. As a kid, the smell of newly sharpened pencils and the sight of perfect Crayola crayons lined up like little soldiers in my 64 count box were enough to make me feel anything was possible. So did blowing out all those birthday candles.
So, in September I pull out my list of resolutions from January to see how much progress I’ve made. Then I make adjustments for the final few months, like a GPS recalculating the route.
Apparently, I felt like anything was possible last January. My list, which covers three categories, is filled with exuberant optimism. What was I thinking?! 100 pushups at one time? Another finished novel? Clearly, I was deluded. If I’m determined I might manage 50 pushups at one time by January 1. Maybe.
Fitness Goals: Out of the 14 fitness goals I made, I’m on track to meet four or five of them. By December 31st I’ll probably have run at least 1000 miles and, if I work at it, I should be able to hold a 3 minute plank.
It’s clear I didn’t lose 10 pounds by my May marathon and my marathon time goal is going on my 2013 resolution list, since I didn’t achieve it and I’m not running another one this year. Actually, I’ll probably carry quite of few of these fitness goals forward while continuing to work toward them. I’ll get there. It’s just going to take longer than planned.
September Resolution #1: Keep Working on the Fitness List while Meeting the Attainable Goals. At minimum, I need to add another minute to my plank length and log another 255 miles before December 31.
Writing Goals: If the 9 goals I set were a finish line, I’d be the runner who ran off the course and got hopelessly lost in the woods. Forget the finisher’s tape. I’d like to find the trail again.
It’s not that I haven’t been writing. I have. But I’ve been writing completely different things than I’d planned back in January. This is okay. I had several unexpected work referrals and landed two new clients. That’s why this blog has sat mute, with nothing new to say in months.
September Resolution #2: Keep the Clients Happy While Adding Back Blogging and Fiction Writing in Doable Doses.
I won’t be updating the blog three times a week like I’d planned in January and my twice-weekly coffee date with the novel-in-progress isn’t going to happen, but I can safely expect that the next four months will have more unpaid-writing-just-for-fun than the last four months. I just set the bar really low there. I didn’t write just for fun one time in the last four months. My September self must be more of a realist than my January self. Thankfully, I love my job as a freelance wordsmith and the paid writing is also fun. In fact, it’s a lot of fun.
Speaking of fun, this year I made a list of……
For Fun Resolutions: Out of 6 resolutions I’ve met 3 of them. Yay me. Only 1 of the other 3 is attainable at this point but I’m plenty happy with my 50% success on this category, particularly since I met my resolution to make a new friend this year.
When I made that a goal, I wondered how to make it happen. I didn’t just want a new acquaintance. Those are easy to come by. I wanted a new friend, which is far more difficult. I’m busy. Other people are busy. Building a friendship takes time and intention. To make this goal more challenging, I wasn’t doing anything to meet new people and I didn’t have a plan.
By serendipity it happened anyway. When I blogged and wrote a newspaper column about doing the memorial run for Sherry Arnold, a local running club added my invitation for other runners to join me that morning. One other runner came. We ran a few miles together and discovered we run the same pace and only live a few miles apart. That was enough common ground.
Since then we’ve run together at 5:30 AM most Tuesday mornings, alternating between our neighborhoods. We’re forging a friendship on foot, mile by mile and each week I look forward to chatting with Susan on the run. It’s fun. As a side benefit, it’s made my conversational pace get a little bit faster. It’s also helped me toward those other resolution categories, like working toward that 1000 mile mark. It’s even helped my writing, since Tuesdays tend to be one of my most productive writing days of the week.
While I’m still working toward a lot of those January resolutions, if my new friend were the only resolution I’d met this year, I’d consider it a success.
September Resolution #3: Keep Fun at the Forefront of the Final Months of 2012.
Do you make September Resolutions? January Resolutions? How are You Faring on Your Goals?