There are so many excuses to think about writing posts for this blog later, but now that the holidays are over and it’s Resolutions season I’m running low on excuses. One of them used to be NaNoWriMo — and I’m very happy to say that I did win that challenge. I didn’t actually finish the novel, but I passed the 50k mark! So that ate up most of my attention span and creative energies during the month of November. It was totally worth it.
My plan for 2016 is to turn the end of the holiday season into the end of my procrastination season. Through Meetup.com I’ve found a health group that aims to support the connections between mind and body. So far I’ve attended one small workshop for mapping out goals for the new year, where the idea was to do something nice for ourselves as a reward for all the hard work we’ve done throughout the year — and not have a few drinks, eat cake, or go to a spa for a massage, but to make changes in my own habits to nurture my physical and mental health. The group leader challenged us to each pick one goal that we really want for ourselves, explain why while focusing on the positive reasons, and then break it down into sub-goals and sub-sub-goals.
Apparently when someone’s thought patterns tend to be negative, it gets easier and easier to automatically return to these thought patterns. (1, 2) Which makes sense, and I caught myself trying to do a lot of that while going through this exercise.
These are the things I’ve resolved to stop procrastinating on in 2016:
Get back into mindfulness and meditation
I used to go to a weekly group to start and then help maintain a meditation practice. Then life got a bit busier and I got out of the habit of going. Since moving last February it took me a while to find a similar group in the area, but I finally did through Meetup.com. I also have the free version of the Calm app.
And if the dog or kitten want to pop up on the couch and lounge on me while I meditate, that’s okay. These things happen. What I get out of this is more time spent in the moment and more space cleared out in my head in which to deal with stress and anxiety.
Make more local friends
My partner and I have not been terribly proactive about this since moving in together. (Does getting a kitten count as making a new friend?) Both of us grew up on the West Coast but went to school on the East Coast, with some time spent in the UK as well. Our college friends are mostly at least a three hour time-zone jump ahead of us, and friends from before college have mostly moved away.
So we’re working on that. What I (we) get out of this is feeling more connected, and people to hang out and recharge with.
Get more exercise, go on more hikes
The Meetup group might help with this too. I haven’t been on any of the group hikes yet, but I’ve read that half of it is spent in silent contemplation of a particular subject and the rest discussing it. I did go on a hike though. I was aiming to go with the group hike but ended up being a half hour late, so I just did my own thing for about 5.42 rather hilly miles. It was California cold — nippy, but warm enough once I really got going, and an invigorating way to spend the day before Christmas Eve.
What I get out of this is a better mood, better health, and better appreciation of nature.
There are so many parts to this one.
One, I want to continue working no my NaNo novel. I didn’t finish the first draft, but I already want to change so many things. I’ve decided that it makes more sense to start writing a detailed outline for a second draft than try to finish the first — and I’m already so much happier with what I have. Before November, I had a partial outline that also wasn’t finished, so once I hit the middle I just sort of put down whatever came to mind. These were all things that I’d had in mind in some form or another before starting, but I didn’t get close to including everything I’d been brainstorming. Now I can include all those little extras and draw out the journey in the novel quite a bit. The ending will come to me when it comes.
Two, this blog. I’ve been looking around WordPress and following bloggers that inspire me to do more on this site. So far I have cobbled together these ideas for posts:
- My thoughts about writing/about things I’m writing
- Sunday Gratitudes
- Monday Musings
- Wednesday Words of Wisdom (might end up being my favorite quote of the week from Goodreads)
- Daily Writing Progress (posted once a week)
- Writing soundtrack posts for different stories and/or characters
- A 10 interesting facts about me post
- … Please comment and give me any suggestions you can think of!
Three, someone recently told me about 750words.com and I want to start using it. The idea is to write every single day. I don’t care if it’s creative or just journaling, that’s something I want to get in on. Once I get an idea of how much I usually write I’ll set some regular writing goals. I’d rather set reasonable goals and hold myself to them rather than set unreasonable ones and let them go if it turns out I can’t meet them without more stress than emotional wellness.
What I get out of this is an amazing sense of creation and accomplishment.
Happy New Year everyone! Those are all of my resolutions for 2016. What are some of yours?