Monday, December 28, 2009

Being Resolute

I love the days between Christmas Eve and December 31. Last week I spent time with loved ones laughing, catching up, singing, worshiping, cooking, and gorging. This week I’m enjoying time at home and savoring the last days of Christmas lights and sparkly greeting cards. It is also the time for New Year’s resolutions.

I can hear you groaning. I admit resolutions do not have an auspicious history. The American mercantile ship Resolution had its crew massacred in the Cumshewa Inlet in 1794. The Resolution was also the name of an airliner that crashed in San Francisco on October 29, 1953. All nineteen passengers died. Of the 100,000,000 Americans who make New Year’s resolutions, four out of five do not follow through. That means by the time we’re toasting 2011, 80,000,000 Americans will have failed.

Despite those facts, I love resolutions. The idea of mapping the next 365 days of my life thrills me. Actually, I make resolutions twice a year. Every year on my birthday and on January 1, I sit down and write a recap of the great things that happened in the previous year. I include what I did, where I traveled, who I met, the relationships rekindled, the ways I came to know my husband better, and any other memory that makes me smile. My thankful-lists take up many pages of my journals. Then, I plan how the upcoming year can be as great as—or better than—the previous one.

For 2010, I am determined not to be one of those 80,000,000. I will have concrete goals. I will outline steps to get me there. They will be quantifiable, so I know when they are achieved. They will depend on me and my actions, not the goodwill of the universe. For example, I cannot make editors or agents love my story. I can make sure I write every day and send my work out to x-number of agents and/or editors in 2010.

And I will be resolute.

I believe that trait is the ingredient missing from many of those 80,000,000. Perhaps they do not have the firm determination necessary to see their goals through, even if the goals are concrete, quantifiable, and attainable. Perhaps these people do not really think they have it in them. Maybe they doubt whether they are worthy of what they want.

Did you know that Merriam-Webster lists faithful as a synonym of resolute? I love the idea that we can be steadfast in our loyalty to ourselves and our future. We can be faithful to ourselves and our dreams.

And we can be faithful to one another. The expert go-getters say enlisting a team of supporters helps people work toward their goals. I’d really appreciate it if you would be part of my team. I’m going to list a few of my work-related goals. Feel free to cheerlead, taunt, or give a motivational kick in the arse.

  • I will read at least 100 books this year. You can follow my progress here.
  • I will finish my current rough draft and take it through my editing process. (The process is already outlined, but I won’t bore you with it.)
  • I will let at least five people read the finished manuscript.
  • I will post to Fantastic Spatula before 9 pm every Monday.
  • I will write over 500 words every day, come hell, high water, or family reunions.

Of course, I will return the favor and cheer you on. What are your plans for making magic or mayhem in 2010? How do you want me to spur you on?

Happy New Year!


  1. Ooo, I like this leest, yessss.
    Can I be one of those 5 people to read the manuscript? (Since I've been bugging you about it since grade NINE.) ;)

    I have yet to make a leest of my own, but I'll let you know when I do!

    Much Luff & Frosting!

  2. Lucy,
    Hell yes! I was hoping groveling would convince you to read it, but you just made my job so much easier.

    Please let us (me and the lovely followers of FS)know your list. I'm excited to see where you are going in 2010.

    Love you!