In 2011, I set some pretty intense goals for myself. Some of them, I actually achieved (I took Italian lessons, published my first novel, saved up money to go to my friend Tranner’s wedding in Spain) and I made an honest effort at others (running a half-marathon didn’t happen, but I did go to the gym diligently and hit the treadmill). Even though I didn’t cross off every single item on my list (I swear, whirlwind trip to India has been on my annual list for almost a decade now), setting realistic goals really did help me stay focused on what was important to me during the year. I even squeezed in a few extra achievements, like finally moving into my first apartment in New York that could be described as “pretty nice.”
For whatever reason, I was too distracted last December to write down goals for 2012. I was busy writing The Believer’s Daughter at all hours of the day and night, and settling into a new job, so perhaps I thought my two main goals for the year were self-evident. 2012 has been a year of chaos for me, juggling emergencies as they’ve popped up and doing my best to squeeze in exercise when there’s been available time. All around me, friends have had similar experiences in 2012… lots of bad luck, dissatisfaction at work, unexpected inconveniences, heartbreak, illness and general crappiness. Factor in a horrible hurricane, school shootings, and impending lousy fiscal cliff anxiety, and 2012 kind of sucked.
This year, however, I want to get re-focused. Some of my goals may seem trivial and not even that important, but the fact that they’ve made the list means that they need to get done. Here, presented without any frivolity, is my list of…
1.) Hang living room curtains. Really. The box from Target has been on the floor way, way too long.
2.) Finally watch Homeland so I know what the heck people are talking about. It is ridiculous that this is on the list. I feel un-American because I have never seen this show.
3.) Finish screenplay, submit to Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab for a few months of nail-biting and heart-fluttering.
4.) Run a 10K race. I am giving myself a small break by reducing this goal from half-marathon to 10K. This is achievable. I cannot make up excuses to prevent this from happening unless I am involved in some kind of horrible vehicular accident.
5.) Resume Italian lessons, go to Italy even just for a few days. It makes me sad that I worked so hard at learning my verb tenses in 2011 and then let this fall off my schedule in 2012. My wonderful, beautiful friend and teacher, Valeria in Milano, is counting on me. Ci vediamo presto, amica.
6.) Go on a real summer vacation for at least 5 days. I skipped my summer break in 2012 and I felt like the season passed me by. This doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive investment. This could just be taking 5 days off from work and getting my buns on the train to the beach every morning. I think everyone should make an annual goal of setting some time aside for at least one break during the year. For me, summer is the most restorative time to recharge. There’s nothing like watching waves break to bring balance back into my life.
7.) Finish reading Infinite Jest. This might be the most lofty goal on the list. The book is powerfully written but after every five pages, my brain begs for rest. This might even be a more unrealistic goal than #8.
8.) Become best friends with the entire cast, past and future, of The Walking Dead. I’m not sure yet how I am going to achieve this goal, but I would very much like for it to actualize.
9.) Make more of an earnest attempt at getting into yoga. Everyone else is doing it, why aren’t I?
10.) See more movies. I love going to the movies, I love popcorn, I love velvety seats. Somehow in 2012 I convinced myself on a regular basis that taking 2 hours off to go see a movie was a waste of time. Not in 2013! I have gotten a head start on this goal by seeing This is 40 yesterday, and seeing Zero Dark Thirty today!
So there you have them. Sure, there are loftier things on my overall list, like being a better person and of course my writing goals, but these are the things that I want to be mindful about accomplishing this year. What are your goals? Drop me a line, share! I’d love to hear what you plan to tackle in Lucky 13.