The start of a new year brings forth resolutions and goals. These can be as simple as smiling more, going to the gym, or quitting smoking. They can be as far reaching as winning the lottery, getting married, or cutting bacon out of your life.
I am normally not one for resolutions, at least not these days. I might have been the type to make one or two back when I was in my teens or my early college years. Those days are long gone, with the idea of making new year's resolutions no longer present in my life.
Developing goals, though, are a completely different story. The first time I really paid attention to goals was back in the seventh grade when I was given an assignment to write out a list of 100 things I wanted to do in my life. That original list has been added to and subtracted from over the years, but is something I return to often.
Breaking it down from there, I have a list of goals I try to accomplish every five years. This is usually a list of five things, something more focused in relating--for the most part--to my career.
Going even further, I have a goal list of things I want to accomplish within the year. This is a balance of career-oriented goals--leading to the five-year list--and personal goals. I first started this in May of 2007 so it is a list that starts towards the end of May every year. (As of now, I have not pared my life down to day-to-day goals. If anything, that goal is to simple live and enjoy life in the moment).
Sitting here on January 2nd and flipping through my binder of submissions, resumes, outlines and such, I decided to write out another list for the internet. While some goals may bleed over from the private lists I already have, I wanted to make a list here that I can revisit it roughly a year from today. It's a way to track my progress, to be held accountable in life, and hopefully to continue to grow as a person.
1. Finish the first draft of The Blue Gem, the follow-up to my first fantasy novel, The Dragon Princess.
2. Write in 'yes' ten times. This is in reference to the annual list I keep of submissions, opportunities and projects. It ranges from play submissions to agent queries to fiction contests and also involves acting, directing, and play reading opportunities. In 2015's list, the word 'yes' was written five times. The number grew to seven in 2016 so 10 seems like a reasonable goal.
3. Finish with an edit of my full-length play The Latitude of Life.
4. Start and finish a new full-length play.
5. Write more articles for Bronco Nation News and Chowder & Champions.
6. Direct a play/short film or both.
7. Have an original screenplay produced (short or, if a feature, at least optioned).
8. Blog post once a week over at my blog site. Post on this website at least once per month.
9. Attend three writing workshops/conferences.
10. Act in two projects.
These all, of course, are related to being creative. Other things, like drawing, playing guitar and other endeavors are a daily practice as time permits.
Be present. Be bold. Be kind. Dream big. Have fun.