Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chris’s Goals, For Reals This Time

by Chris McGinty (According To Whim .com)

On Tuesday, I tried to write my goals for 2012, but soon came to the realization that I didn’t know what they were. These thoughts kept shrouding any real thoughts, “What am I going to do the same? What am I going to different? How can I break out of my comfort zone and do the things I wish to do?” The answer to these questions seemed more important than compiling a list of arbitrary activities to do. Then I went off on a tangent about the terrible necessity of priority, using Nathan’s near contradicting goals as a my example, because I couldn’t think of a comparable example in my own life, aside from getting a better paying job that doesn’t give me as much time to write on the job so that I have more time to work on projects at home.

So today, I would like to try to actually just make a list of activities without having a mental meltdown about whether any given thing is better than the other. I can do that when I make my daily To Do List. FYI: The first ten-weeks this year actually starts after the first day of the year, because of how the last two off weeks fall. So January 2, 2012 marks the official first day of my year.

Nathan mentioned that we don’t have any group goals yet. We technically have one that involves making our blogs less catch all, and more focused on a given topic. As far as anything is concerned, I’m sure we’ll have a brainstorming session and I’ll throw out ideas, but I’m going to leave the choice of what we’re actually doing as a group, and the schedule by which we do it, up to Nathan.

My important solo goals include the following:

Prioritizing – I need to buckle down. I’m always too ephemeral in my choice of what to do on any given day. It works out for me sometimes, but too often, I find myself with too many incomplete projects. I need to pick a primary and secondary goal, and make everything else less important by action rather than concept.

Write 3,500 Words a Day – This will need to include the priority goal. I have to have a primary work and a secondary work and quit veering off into other directions. This year the daily blog was really the priority, so that worked out on some level, but I couldn’t decide on a definite secondary priority. I got serious for a couple of weeks and finished writing a novel, but I was all over the place after that.

Editing – Speaking of my novel, and many other projects of that nature, I need to do the final stages of making it readable. I adopted the “six pages a day” technique of Stephen King well enough at times, but I don’t do the planning future projects and editing thing right, because when I start planning a new project, I just start writing it. This of course means I’m not writing whatever I was writing the previous day, week, or month. This needs to stop.

Publishing – This year. No matter what. Step away from the comfort zone.

Music – I did not write a complete song this year. This will not do. While this is not the first year of my life that I haven’t written a song, it is the first year since I was in JAKT (2006) that I haven’t written (or co-written) a complete song. I bought a cheap acoustic guitar to take with me to work while I was at posts that were secluded from compressed civilization; and I did play, I did form a few ideas, but I didn’t form a full song. I guess I have two days left, and maybe I should get started now, but if nothing else, I can’t let 2012 go without music work. Oh, and… See – Publishing.

Organization – It became very clear how poorly I handled this goal this year when I was trying to find the title to my Mazda that needed to be sold for scrap. If writing is primary either music or organization is secondary. Either way, one needs to be a strong tertiary goal.

Debt – Yep. My goal is to go irreversibly into debt. Not really. Sort of. I’ve had this thought about going to college if student loans and grants could pay my whole way, and provide some living expenses; for no other reason other than to take a break from working low paying jobs and getting nowhere with it. I worked two and a half jobs this year. I think it would be ok to even it out this year. But if I decide against that, which is likely because I’m not all that interested in institutional learning, I’ll instead focus on living on hardly any money and try to pay off debt. Since I’m presumably going to be telling Nathan to live on nothing (it has to do with whether he’s serious about getting out of credit card debt or not) I feel I should put myself through the task too. Since my dad owns the house I live in and pays for it, I could live off of $800 a month (after taxes and child support are pulled from my check). It would mean cutting back on all of my already meager luxury spending, but I think it would be worth it on some level. Either it would allow me to work fewer hours, or it will give me a nice emergency fund and debt payment stream.

My fun solo goals include the following:

Reading Robotech – This is a goal that I’m sharing with Nathan, though it is not a group goal in the strictest sense. He came up with it, and it sounded fun. We’re going to read through all the printed material of Robotech, and watch all the shows and movies. One of our blogs will be devoted to Robotech fandom.

License Plate Game – I’ve been working three shifts at a hotel as a security guard. Not my favourite post to do. I don’t mind walking around. Even when I’m at secluded posts, I tend to do some amount of walking around. I get too antsy sitting in one place for too long. I have to write to keep myself from wanting to get up and walk around. Anyway, while patrolling the parking lots, I see a lot of different states on the license plates, and I remembered the game that is commonly played on long trips. It’s basically playing Bingo with the fifty states by trying to cover as much of your card as possible. I thought that it might be interesting to see how well I could do if I gave myself the entire year to collect states. I was really hoping I wouldn’t still be doing the damn hotel post by the time the new year started though.

Give Me 15 Movies to Watch – I asked a few people close to me to list 15 movies that I haven’t seen that they feel I should see. This started with Miguel and Loren, because I think they watch the most movies of everyone I know. Loren has given me most of his list. Miguel has disappointed me so far by giving me only two movies: American Pie and Avatar. While I appreciate that he feels I should see these movies, it seems like a waste to give me movies that I will probably end up seeing by default at some point in my life. Maybe as he tries to think of thirteen more, he’ll have to think of something more interesting.

And that’s really about it. I’ve tried to purposely keep my list short because of that prioritization thing. If I listed everything I would like to do, the list would be too long. Maybe I’ll create a new daily blog: “Stuff I’d Like to Do.” Eh, it would take up too much time writing that much.

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