Monday, January 9, 2012

Goals, Shmoals

At our age, we've been through a few hundred New Years' resolutions. You'd think by now it would have resulted in all of us being thin, healthy and accomplished.

Last year, I wrote about setting goals and having something to show at the end of 2011. I didn't do everything, but I came close. For example, I didn't publish my book, but I did revise it with the help of a great, wonderful editor, and now I'm vetting agents. So that feels good.

But did setting goals have anything to do with it? Wouldn't I have done all that anyway?

I decided to have one goal for 2012, just one, but it's big, because you know how they say Go Big Or Go Home? I have to try. It's a new year and that primitive urge to excel is bubbling up in me, so here's my goal: to embark on my own personal Creativity Training Camp.

Let me explain. Back in October I freaked out when I learned that alcohol can increase your risk of breast cancer. (If you want to know more, read this.) So I cut WAY back, to almost nothing.

There was another element to my healthful period: exercise. According to the 20-year long Nurses Health Study, walking three hours a week can reduce your risk of cancer and improve just about everything else in your health profile. So I did that for a month, too. I kept track on my calendar and achieved 180 minutes a week, one way or the other. I either went to the gym, or walked or rode my bike around the neighborhood, or swam.

The results were great. I slept well, my creativity and curiosity shot through the roof, and I was less anxious and more peaceful and productive. Then Thanksgiving hit, and the holiday decadence began. Whoopee! I sure did enjoy all those calories. Yum.

But now I'm back to restless sleep, anxiety, and stupid-brain, which is not going to help me at all as I embark on the rough draft of my new book. I want to enjoy the process of creating and writing, and to return to that place before the holidays where I felt calm, happy and productive, so that's my only goal: Creativity Training Camp.

How do we motivate ourselves?

You probably know that fear is not an effective motivator. Even fear of death can't make us do anything after the novelty of the thought wears off. What is a motivator is the thought of a positive outcome, and that's what's I keep in my mind in spite of my long and tattered history with resolutions. A girl's gotta try, right?

How about you? Are you resolved to make a change or do something new in 2012?

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