Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

So I shared this great video produced by Dr. Mike Evans on the effectiveness of New Year's resolutions exactly a couple of years ago, but it deserves to be seen again: "You are 10 times more likely to stick with a change made at the New Year." There may be a couple of reasons for this. The video is quick and informative, so give it a (re-)watch.

It seems that every time I make New Year's resolutions (serious ones that I write down rather than just tell people about offhandedly), I actually do stick to them for at least 6 months. And yes, changing habits a little at a time makes a difference.

This coming year, my resolutions focus on practicing and improving my writing. I've spent the past year helping students work on their writing skills. It's my turn to level up.
  1. I'm planning to start this Jane-a-Day 5-year daily journal that uses Jane Austen's writings as prompts for very brief daily musings. I received it as a present a couple of years ago, but I could never get my act together. I start it in 2016. It requires just a quick sentence per day, so it shouldn't be too difficult to keep up (and yet I'm still probably going to miss days here and there).
  2. I've also decided that November is a bad time to write a novel when you're teaching three classes, hence NaNoWriMo is not going to happen for me during their official month. But I'm happy to start a daily 30-minute writing habit, whether it's writing something new or revising/editing. But the writing habit has to be focused on a creative work rather than my journal, blog, or academic work.
  3. However, it wouldn't be good to ignore my academic work. I have an essay that was accepted for publication (!!) so I'll be working on revising that once I get the readers' notes from the editors. I also want to write at least one essay on my new long-term project that I can submit for publication somewhere.
  4. I've asked my significant other to get the writer's app Scrivener for me as a present so that I can revise my writing in a more orderly manner.
Looking at this list, I'm excited. For #2, I don't expect to write anything publishable. I just need the practice so that I can improve. (I tell my students this all the time -- writing is recursive. So you need to write, revise, revise again, get feedback, write some more, revise again, get more feedback, revise again, get even more feedback, and, if you're lucky, finally edit.) I'll need to ask someone to read a draft, which will be scary, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

I also have to add a #5: the usual resolution to improve my health. In my case, I've gained quite a bit of uncomfortable weight, which I'll blame on teaching. I'm not a freak about becoming skinny, but teaching really screws up my daily life. For one thing, it's crazy how sedentary it all is. I stand for hours at a time when I'm teaching. However, my campus is not only super small but it's completely flat. There are no acres of hills for me to run across just to make it to my next class or appointment. Also, I can't tell you how much time I spend sitting so that I can grade all the writing I have to assign. Whew.

For another thing, I'm always up super late working on my class prep. I've mentioned before that I need to work on not changing up so much of my syllabi. In any case, when I don't get enough sleep, it causes a cascade of problems: I get hungry when I should be sleeping, I'm more likely to choose poorly (sugary and/or carb-y things), and my body doesn't have enough time to repair itself which leads to bloating and inflammation. Long story short, I'm not healthy at the end of a semester. It's definitely time to harness the power of a New Year's resolution to change things!

Anyway, good luck on crafting your own resolutions! Here's to an amazing new year. May it be peaceful, kind, and righteous.

xo, Gladys


Post a Comment

I love comments! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts here. :-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...