Hau’oli Makahiki Hou…

by Tania Ginoza on January 1, 2013 · 14 comments

2013revised

Happy 2013! Have you written resolutions for the new year or do you eschew resolutions? I’ve chosen the latter.

In areas of self improvement I have found a focus on the process and the present is more productive for me than striving for a defined goal.  I’d rather be a constant work in progress.  Perseverance comes easier without the distraction of perceived failure.

However, I did agree at lunch last week to have a first draft of a novel prepared by next year’s holiday season.  That would be a defined goal I suppose, but I will thread lightly there as well.  I’ll write a bit each week, work on improving my writing skills and share whatever I have produced by next holiday season with my fellow writer friends.

How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions? Do you find goal setting at the beginning of the year helps you achieve throughout the year? What are your intentions for 2013?

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Shalagh Hogan January 1, 2013

Eschew, Bless you. And me. Sometimes a big goal is great. Like create a blog or write a book. I didn’t know this was a dream of yours and I’m excited for you. I had the same intention some years back. I discovered I was too afraid of seeing where I was to start. So I’ve been reforming my perspective. If you listened to Thorsten’s advice on Branding, there are goals to be made everywhere. I think the trick is is setting them with trust and faith instead of the knowledge that you really aren’t going to accomplish them because you never do. That’s the sabotage. My friends’ favorite NY resolution that I set one year was to cook with more booze.
Happiness Tania!!!!
Love,
Shalagh

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Tania Ginoza January 1, 2013

I’ve wanted to write a book since my Charlotte’s Web and Judy Blume groupie days. Well, I’m still somewhat of a Blume groupie and was a little sad when I tweeted her and she didn’t respond.

I would like to write a comprehensive post/article one day on the no goal theory. I think Leo Babauta of Zen Habit articulated more or less my feelings here: http://zenhabits.net/no-goal/

It’s not so much having no path and assuming failure but it is removing the concrete target, especially one with a duration. I think Weight Watchers is my own best personal example. I set a goal weight because I was required to but personally wasn’t very tied to it. I also set no time limit and instead focused my seeking improvement on the process itself rather than seeing the process merely as an ends to a mean, the goal. While I was taking joy in running with my dog, spinning, tennis class and discovering healthy takeout, some of my peers were agitated and disappointed because they were not meeting the time deadlines they had set for themselves. Even though I thought they were doing great, all they could see was they didn’t meet their goals or were impatient because it was taking too long. I was happy with no loss in some weeks or a very small loss because I considered enjoying the process itself a win. Enjoying the present with less focus on being happy sometime in the future. Having that mindset at that point in my life I felt was a the difference from prior attempts for me and was key to how I lost 40 lbs and maintained it for years thereafter.

There is something about setting a hard target for me personally that takes away the focus on the daily/weekly process for a creative or self improvement project. Having a perceived beginning and ending also increases my likelihood to procrastinate. If I don’t need that book done until December, I can start next month when I have more time; kind of thing. Also, starting a big project can overwhelm me because the goal is staring me down and I will avoid starting at all. Now, I just write each weekend a little because I love it and I read guidance on the process of writing because I love it. An intended path with no beginning and ending, just ongoing is a distinction for me. I now see writing as one ongoing path rather than the book I never wrote or the career I never pursued. Blogging has really helped me with this.

That said, defined targets really work for some people! I’ve seen friends set that goal, focus in on it and do it. It just doesn’t work for me. Except at work of course but those are deadlines, not goals and I do the whole break it down into smaller pieces to get it done and having the end time target ensures it gets done. But I think work and other life issues or self imposed projects require a different approach for the way my brain works.

I missed the branding post! Totally forgot to read it yesterday. Shucks.

Cooking with booze is awesome. I make a not bad vodka tomato sauce.

Sorry such a long reply! I thought it might be helpful for other readers too. Happy happy new year to you too!

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another jennifer January 1, 2013

Hmmmm We seem to be aligned with our thinking. I’m always working on goals, so I don’t see the need to have resolutions at the start of the year. This year, I decided to make one huge goal around writing a book. Good luck to you with your writing.

Happy New Year!

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Tania Ginoza January 1, 2013

Good look to you too Jenn! I can’t wait to hear more about your project when you’re ready to share. Btw, here is a post including a list of books on writing from a Maui mystery writer (and fellow blogger) Toby Neal. I think you might enjoy it. Each time I run into her, I’m always picking her brain about her process, it probably drives her a little crazy but I always find her answers interesting and helpful. She also published another post on publishing trends in 2013, check out her site.

http://www.tobyneal.net/2012/12/26/stephen-king-is-my-writing-coach/

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another jennifer January 2, 2013

Great article. Thanks for sharing!

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Angelia Sims January 1, 2013

I had pretty good luck with resolutions. I stopped smoking 7 years ago on January 1st. I didn’t make any this year, but I do hope to get healthier. :-) Happy New Year!

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Tania Ginoza January 1, 2013

That’s awesome Ang! One of the hardest habits to break.

I want to live healthier too.

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Gwen January 1, 2013

Good for you girl! Get your writing on. You are def a great writer and I look forward to reading what you produce. I think it’s very brave of you to not only make that goal, but share it with the whole world. Happy New Year!

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Tania Ginoza January 3, 2013

Thank you Gwen! To be honest sometimes I have to go back and read my blog later because I’m like uh, “I think I declared I was gonna do something”. Out of all my resolutions last year published on the blog, I only accomplished a few but one was pretty important so I’m ok with that.

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jen January 1, 2013

Happy New Year, Tania.

I have yet to figure out what my goals are for this year. I’ve been kinda slacking on that one. I want to make more SMART goals than outlandish ones, which I tend to do.

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Tania Ginoza January 3, 2013

Well said Jen. I don’t make outlandish goals but I think I err more on the side of too much.

Except the cooking one new thing a week last year was outlandish, for me, relatively speaking.

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lisacng @ expandng.com January 2, 2013

Wow, a novel! That’s so exciting! I had goals/resolutions in 2012 and started some of them ;). For 2013, I’m not making any resolutions. I have some short-term goals in mind, which are easier to track and accomplish!

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Tania Ginoza January 3, 2013

Ditto, I have things I’ve been working in the last quarter of 2012. I see things now more as ongoing or as a project versus a resolution, which has the knack of making me feel like a failure. I don’t want to feel like a failure :-)

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Ann January 4, 2013

Wow! That is an awesome goal! Do you already have a story idea?

I have some short term goals but nothing big this year.

Happy New Year Tania!

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