Today is the start of so many things.  It is, of course, the start of a new year.  A new year always represents a clean slate to me, as it does to most people.  There are things I want to start doing and things I want to stop doing.  I’m not really into New Year’s resolutions, but I do like setting goals for myself.  I know some would say I’m splitting hairs between “resolutions” and “goals” but to me resolutions are just things people say and then don’t follow through on, whereas goals are something you strive to do and not just forget about them.  I feel like if I don’t have a goal to reach for, I don’t reach at all.  Meeting my goals is another story.  I’m not very good, or at least haven’t been in the past, at follow through.  I feel as though that might have changed with NaNoWriMo.  I’d like to think I have turned over a new leaf after writing 50,000 words in one month.  So here are some of the things I’m aiming for this year:

January:      Write at least 750 words per day on 750words.com.  I’ve committed to their monthly challenge, and I don’t want to miss a day.  No matter what.
Keep my sink shining.  Don’t allow dishes to pile up, even ones that need to be hand washed.  Keep it clear and clean so that it looks nice and is readily available when needed.  There’s nothing more annoying than having to clean the sink before I can begin to cook dinner, and it’s no one’s fault but my own when I come right down to it.

Ongoing:      First edit of NaNo novel.
Clean and pack house for our eventual move (once the house sells)
Potty train M.
Continue building my body of freelance work.
Start budgeting and sticking to it.

That’s really all I can think of, at the moment, for goals I want to meet.  Once January is over, I’ll set a new goal.  Maybe it will be the same one, maybe a different one, but I think it’s important to have something to aim at.

There are also a number of things that I’d like to do, but they aren’t necessarily on my goals list yet.  Maybe later in the year they will be, but for now they’re on the “want” list, not the “have to do” list.  I would like to take a writing class (online of course) or a workshop.  I would like to get my novel ready for publication and start querying agents, if I decide it’s good enough to be worth the effort.  I’d like to eat healthier and maybe even exercise.  I wouldn’t mind losing about 5 lbs, but really what I need is to tone up what I have.  I could come up with more, but why overwhelm myself so early in the year?

Another thing I’m trying to do is be reasonable.  I’m setting two or three monthly goals and that’s it.  Anything I can’t do in a month, I’m keeping on my ongoing goals list.  If I finish one of those in a month, great.  If I don’t, it will either stay on the ongoing list, or move to the monthly list if it seems near enough to completion that moving it is the next logical step.

Every year, I say I would like to be more organized and every year, well, I’m not.  At least not in any lasting way.  I get one area of my life or my house under control, but when I move on to the next thing, the first thing falls apart.  I’m not so good at juggling.  Much as I’d like to think of myself as a multi-tasker, what I really am is easily distracted.  It’s not so much that I’m keeping a bunch of things going, it’s more that I’m starting something, moving on to something else, then something else, and then remembering that I was working on the first thing and I try to go back to that.  It’s really not an effective way of getting anything done at all.  I’m trying to change my approach this year, and I’m hoping that will change the outcome.

What are your goals for 2011?