The Resolution Tree

I had planned to publish this post on New Year’s Day, but as we know the best laid plans often go awry. While my husband and I had a wonderful time ringing in the New Year with friends, it wasn’t the best idea since we were hosting a party at our home the next day. What was I thinking? If (“drink” provided = jello shots, then massive hangover, otherwise feeling good). That was just a little “if, then” statement humor for Excel users out there, but even if you’re not familiar with Excel, I’m sure you can determine whether that logical test was true for me.

Here is a review of my 2013 resolutions:

  •  First, and most importantly: spend time with my family making wonderful memories.

This goal was a little nebulous, but I can say that we made some wonderful memories in 2013 including the items on my daughter’s Summer Fun Bucket List.

  • Lose the 5+ pounds I gained over the holidays

I don’t care for cold weather, so I’m like a bear during winter and spend most of it hibernating. I still work out regularly, but I don’t get the same level of intensity from a stationary bike or treadmill. Plus, I tend to overindulge during the holidays. As a result, this is a recurring resolution for me. I get back in shape for bikini weather and put a few back on during sweater weather.  And so it goes.

  • Read 50 books

At 41 books, I didn’t quite meet this goal, but I read some wonderful books. Here are my top five books for 2013:

  1.  1984 by George Orwell
  2.  Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
  3.  On Writing by Stephen King
  4.  Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero by Charles Yallowitz
  5.  Hook Me by Rebecca Talley
  • Continue to work toward my goal of reading the Modern Library’s Top 100 books.

I read nine books on the list in 2013. 1984 was by far the best.

  • Finish my first novel.

I finished the book in February, but it remains unpublished.

  • Submit my first novel.

I submitted my novel to half a dozen agencies before I realized I had a lot more to learn about writing.

 Resolutions added after submitting that first novel:

  • Expand my writing knowledge.

I read ten books on the craft of writing in 2013.

  • Start a blog.

I published my first post in March 2013. I plan to do a “Year in Review” of my blog in a future post.

  • Participate in NanoWriMo.

I won NaNoWriMo at just over 50k words. It was a wonderful experience for me, and I highly recommend this for all aspiring authors. It’s a fantastic way to exercise those writing muscles and develop good writing habits. 

Resolutions for 2014:

  • Spend quality time with my family throughout the year and create another Summer Fun Bucket List. Again, no precise measure here, just a reminder that my family is my main priority.
  • Lose the 5+ pounds I gained over the holidays, again.
  • Read 50 books, with at least 10 from the Modern Library list
  • Continue to increase my knowledge about writing by reading at least 5 books on the craft.
  • Continue blogging and post at least 2 times per week.
  • Finish Downtrodden, the novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo
  • Publish Downtrodden
  • Write and publish two more books
  • Win NaNoWriMo

 I’ve noticed a lot of people voicing their distaste for New Year’s resolutions, saying they’re “silly” or “pointless.” If you feel that way, then I would agree. You’re entitled to your opinion, and by all means don’t make them if you aren’t committed to them, but they can be a great motivator if you are committed. The word resolute means to be admirably purposeful, relentlessly determined; to possess an unwavering resolve in the pursuit of something.

To a resolute mind, wishing to do is the first step toward doing. But if we do not wish to do a thing it becomes impossible.” ~Robert Southey

If you approach resolutions with this mindset and make them something meaningful then you will have a much better chance of achieving your goals. Making New Year’s resolutions is something I do every year. There is always room for improvement in my life, personally and professionally. I like to make a list of my goals and I get this strange high while checking them off when completed. Yeah, I’m that person. This year I’m going to take it one step further and make a Resolution Tree where my goals are visible for the entire year. Here’s a picture:

Resolution Tree

 Now I’m off to play air hockey with my family.Happy New Year everyone!

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16 thoughts on “The Resolution Tree”

    1. Thanks, but I forgot to mention that several were short stories (like Tuan Ho’s book at just 12 pages) so if you look at total pages read for the year, the average book size was about 200 pages, lol.

  1. I’m one of those who don’t make resolutions, but I’ve certainly got nothing against those who do, and your list almost makes me wish I did . . . key word is “almost”!

    As for Excel users, you really lost me there, except that I chew it all the time, and more after I’ve been drinking.

    Have a great weekend and good luck with all your goals . . .as for all those books, and seeing what a smartie you are, do you read the short ones last?

    1. You must be one of those lucky people who doesn’t need to set goals because they’re innate. As for the Excel comment, that’s my nerdy side coming out. I used to develop financial models in a prior life. And of course I read the short books last! I hate not achieving a goal. I was trying to get to 50, but there was too much going on with the holidays and kids at home. Plus, I couldn’t neglect my #1 resolution 🙂

      1. No, I wouldn’t consider myself lucky that way, but thanks for the sentiment. I gave up my nerdy Excel days almost ten years ago…spent about half my time, maybe more, working on or with marketing models.

        As for the kids, if you read them ten books last year then you made it . . . gotta love your commitment to #1! 🙂

        1. Those days are over with my son. He reads on his own now and read all of the Harry Potter books last year. Well, almost all. He’s about half way through the last book. My daughter and I have been reading (or re-reading) the HP books together (alternating each page), but I didn’t count them in my total. It’s just a bonus in more ways than one 🙂

          1. Ah, now that brings back memories! My oldest was reading them as they were just coming out. At one time she was reading the first four at the same time!

            It really screwed her up though – she wound up in the country’s finest art school.

  2. Happy New Year Melissa! Congratulations on your 2013 achievements! Good luck on 2014. You can do it. You always do. You are very inspiring! I miss seeing you and getting inspired!

    1. Aw, thanks Andrea! So good to hear from you! I love seeing pics of your adorable little boy on fb. I miss seeing you too! I hope you’re doing well and wish you many blessings in the year to come!

  3. Great Post! Whether resolutions, goals, the “one word” as I do, personally I think it’s important to do whichever works and motivates the individual. LOVE the idea of tree! Have a beautiful, blessed New Year working on your resolutions. Looking forward to following you throughout the year. (not meant to be “stalkerish.” 🙂 )

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