January 3, 2012

One Word to Rule 2012

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. They feel like lofty promises we make New Years Eve/Day secretly knowing that by February they will have fizzled out and we'll be off the hook. Take, for instance, the year my husband and I bought 3-year gym memberships with the intention of getting in shape. Yeah, we used those suckers a grand total of about 5 times in those three years, and that's it. Biggest. Waste. Of. Money. Ever.

To me, 'determination' has so much more focus than 'resolution', despite the fact that they are synonyms for one another. Whatever works, right? I feel like determination suggests the need for perseverance and discipline in the process as well. I don't know about you, but I could use a little more of both of these in my life.

Some of the blogs I follow* have chosen an inspirational word for 2012 over a resolution (One Word). So I guess this means my one word for 2012 is (big surprise):

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." 

With my 'one word' and that quote in mind, here is what I am determined to do:

1) Make good use of the time that is given to me.
Six months ago, my husband and I decided to make some changes. We moved, I quit my job, and my husband got work that takes him from home for weeks at a time. He is basically 'taking one for the team' and working a job that pays really well, but that he doesn't like. His schedule is inconsistent with little notice when he gets time off, so we've decided that it's better for me not to work (not like I can find a teaching job anyway). He has told me many times that he's glad that I have this opportunity to see where my writing will take me. We both know that there are no guarantees that it will go anywhere, but at least I plan to give it a shot. I have this amazing gift of time and I feel like lately I've been squandering it (hence the title of this section). That changes now and here's how:

  • Less frittering away my time online - Lately, I've spent far more time on Twitter/Blogs/Pinterest/ Whatever than I should. Though blogging and Twitter have been great for connecting and learning, I need to limit just how much time I'm giving to these things. I need to put more time into my writing and less time into talking about it online.
  • Daily word count/revising goals - Last summer this worked like a charm and then I got sidetracked (moving, the holidays). I need to get back on track with my original 1000 words/day goal or a # of pages to revise/day goal. 
  • Learning to say 'no' - When I have writing plans for my day, I need to learn to say 'no' or 'maybe later' to those who are unintentionally derailing those plans. I don't intend to cut myself off from friends, but I need them to realize that this is not just something I'm playing at (which I think they do know). 
  • Finishing what I've started - I am determined that I will finish one or both of my WiPs, get it (them) polished up, track down some as yet unknown beta-readers to read it (them) and make suggestions, further polish it (them), and then query it (them). I am nearing completion of my first WiP (Watch of Night) and have started revising, so this goal is within reach. And I'm well on my way with the first draft of my second WiP (Only Annie).

2) Chuck some of my bad habits into Mount Doom, so to speak.
It's unrealistic to even think that I could offload all of my bad habits (there are many), but it would be nice to be done with some of them or at the very least minimize them:

  • Terrible eating habits - In the past week, I've consumed more pizza and pop than any person should. Then there's the Christmas treats that I not only baked but felt the need to shove in my gob over the last month. With all of the sitting I do while I'm writing, this is definitely becoming a problem. I refuse to stop eating the foods I love, but I do need to limit myself and work in some better, healthier choices. And I need to drink a heck of a lot more water.
  • Complete lack of exercise - I hate exercise. I don't get a rush from doing it and I will never understand how something painful can be a good thing. For a while I was using the treadmill (which we no longer have *sad face*) while watching an episode of Gilmore Girls and that worked really well. That gave me exactly 42 minutes on the treadmill and I wasn't bored at all (thank you, Lorelai and Rory). I would like a similar way to make exercise more appealing.
  • Laziness & lack of motivation - The best solution I can come up with to combat this bad habit is to set myself small daily goals that have some kind of reward at the end. And I'm talking rewards like being able to read a good book or watch a good show/movie IF I accomplish what I'd hoped to for the day.

I am certain there are other things that need changing, but these are the big ones. It's a lot to work on, but I think with some small changes I can make some real headway. For starters, I printed off the word DETERMINATION and posted it right above my computer on my inspiration wall where I can see it and be reminded regularly of my plans for 2012. I haven't ruled out plastering it everywhere...

How about you? What would your ONE WORD be for 2012? Any big plans for 2012?

*Katy Upperman and Erin Bowman


  1. Determination FTW! I love this one word idea, and I'm going to come up for one for myself.

    I got a 3-year gym membership once and then moved. Very stupid idea.

  2. Rebecca: I think we moved to about a year after getting the memberships. Pretty much they're just a bad idea all around :)

  3. Great pick on your word of the year :) I need some determination too! I had a horrible time picking a word for the year...I think I am going with "bold."


  4. You're spot on, Jaime!

    I love the power behind the word determination... so much more so than resolution. I love your writing goals. I need to set some myself since I'm pretty hit and miss right now ;) Great post!

  5. Jessica: 'Bold' is a great word to go with. It feels confident, and I think that's something we all need to be in this process.

    Morgan: 'Determination' definitely feels grittier to me. Thanks for the encouragement :)

  6. I absolutely love your resolution! Determination needs to be the theme word of my year, too, I think. And yay for Gilmore Girls making exercise palatable! Love that show. :)

  7. I'm totally with you on the exercise thing. I hate it, and it takes a lot of self-motivation for me to exercise. Much of that motivation comes from the fact that I know fitness improves my ability to think, to keep up with my kids, to stay reasonably flexible in my advancing years, and it sets a good example to my children. But--my self motivation stops at leaving the house to exercise. If I had to go to a gym to do it, I never would. Every excuse under the sun would come crashing in. Which is why I have an elliptical machine of torture in my office. That's one less excuse for me not to exercise. So, if there's one tip I can give you that works for me: do what you can to minimize the excuses you have to avoid what you know you need to do. :)

    I wish you every success in your goals!

  8. LOVE your word, Jaime. In fact, I think our choices are similar. And yeah... I SO need to quit poking around on Pinterest during valuable writing time. It'll take DETERMINATION and RESOLVE. :)

  9. Determination is a perfect word, esp when you have certain goals in mind...yours sound great. Best of Determination (instead of luck) with them! Though, a little luck wouldn't hurt!

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