When What’s Old is New Again for the New Year

Rearranging New Year's ResolutionsF**king Twitter!

I love the concept of Twitter – of microblogging in general.  I love the way those who are Twitter-savvy are able to use it to meet new people, remain connected to friends and fans, and obtain information that’s of value and of interest to them.

I just don’t seemed able to do any of those things myself.

I struggle at finding time in my day-to-day to devote to getting good at it.  I struggle to come up with things to tweet about.  Unlike blog posts – which endure well past their publication date and may eventually find an audience – both the speed and brevity of Twitter, in the absence of an audience from the outset, make it feel like a largely futile to me.

And all of this makes me mad, because improving at, and becoming a regular user of, Twitter, was one of my New Year’s Resolutions two years ago.

I usually ace my New Year’s Resolutions.  I love New Year’s; I love the opportunity to make a changes in my life at a convenient starting point.

F**king Twitter put an end to a many-years-long successful streak.

Good thing failed resolutions don’t make a person a failure.

Still, though, do I dare resolve to try again?

If at first you don’t succeed…

Also, there’s reading.

When did it become so difficult finding time to read for pleasure?

I’m a writer; I need to be reading regularly.  In my youth, I read voraciously – this, I’m convinced, is the reason I can even write stories at all.

Nowadays, in between writing, work, and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, I manage about a book a month, and even that pace had to come about as a recent New Year’s Resolution.

Yet another resolution I didn’t fully achieve if one discounts the creative reckoning I employed when counting books (I considered Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth, mammoth, 1000-page tome that it is, to be two books, and a 200,000-word serial story on Fanfiction.net as two books as well).

Last year, I made no reading resolutions at all, and just barely finished 10 books.

(In my defence, though, last year I probably read a novel’s length of pages from numerous books I didn’t end up finishing.  I was particularly brutal about DNF books in 2014, or else the books I attempted to read were particularly brutal, or something.)

This year, not only do I want to read a full 12 books, I want most to number among the many unread books taking up space in my apartment.  And I want to review all 12 on Goodreads.

The same, but totally different

And, then, of course, there’s writing.

I’ve been resolving to finish my WIP since 2013.

Admittedly, had I known I was actually writing a trilogy instead of a duology, I would have known the goal was unrealistic and not set it in the first place.

Still, I’m ready to be done drafting this project so I can both move to the next stage of the creative process and eventually move on to something new altogether.  For once in my life with regards to writing, I want to be a finisher.  And I want it to be sooner this year rather than later.

Happy New Year 2015

So, it looks like 2015 will see me reprising a number of lapsed New Year’s Resolutions of old.

But it’s not enough to simply restate the past.  Albert Einstein famously stated that the definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over and expecting a different result.

If I want to succeed year – for anyone seeking success at resolutions or goal s/he didn’t achieve the first time around – it’s important to not only change the plans associated with those goals, but to change the very thinking that informs those plans as well.

Here are the top three ways I intend to think differently while forming my new New Year’s Resolution strategies for 2015:

1) Re-examining and re-stating my reasons

Simply put, part of the reason I failed before is because even though I wanted to succeed, I didn’t quite want it enough.  Which means I need to determine the precise version of my motivation (and consequences for continued failure) that will make persistence favourable.

2) Embracing the power of partnership

Just because my resolutions are chosen to make me a better person doesn’t mean I have to go it all alone.  Instead, I need to team up with others who either have similar goals to mine or just big goals in general so we can inspire and encourage each other through our respective progress.

3) Recognizing the little victories

Last year, I started a month-by-month list of all my achievements, large and small but inexplicably stopped in July.  I need to stay mindful of everything I accomplish, for any type of success is inspiration for even more success. (It’s also worthy of reward, even if it’s just a small cookie!)

Happy New Year, everyone!  What resolutions (if any) are you making for 2015?  Any that you’ve recycled from previous years?  Let me know in the comments.

(Image source #1 and #2)

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7 thoughts on “When What’s Old is New Again for the New Year

  1. My experience with Twitter has been odd. I’ve had individual tweets of mine get favorited and rewteeted hundreds of times to thousands of people… which resulted in exactly zero new followers and zero brand awareness. It’s like you are the super-cleverest person on Twitter for .003 seconds and then instantly forgotten. I’ve also been ganged up on my Men’s Rights Activists (because, you know, I’m so controversial in thinking women should be able to use the internet without facing rape threats). Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock himself, accidentally followed me for a couple of months (I think he meant to “favorite” some leftie comment of mine and clicked “follow” by mistake).

    I haven’t made a new year’s resolution. “Don’t quit writing,” I guess. 2015 is going to be a science experiment for me I think.

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    • Yes, Twitter is a strange beast, but I can see the potential it offers me if I’m just willing to make the time investment. My new strategy for Twitter is to not worry about being the cleverest person and being retweeted hundreds of times (because I had the same experience with that as you), but instead meeting an tweeting with people with whom I have shared interests. I’m starting with people I know IRL and getting them to introduce me to their friends and followers and hope to build and authentic following that way.

      “Don’t quit writing” is a useful goal, though you wouldn’t anyway, would you? There’s nothing wrong with 2015 being a science experiment – recall that quote about the unexamined life.

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  2. Nice post Janna. Yes I hope you can get your project closed off this year – can’t wait to read it. Personally I’ve never felt the need for resolutions. Certainly I want a good running 2015 and 1st Jan is a good place to start measuring training & progress.

    As to Twitter I invested a small amount of money in a Twitter publicity drive for my new novel. The tweets/retweets have been voluminous, almost embarrassingly so. And there’s been NO discernible spike in sales. It doesn’t work commercially. I’ll keep my account open only to keep in touch with friends and the world generally.

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    • I will finish my draft this year. As part of my push toward partnerships, I’m teaming up with a friend of mine. She has to study for and then sit a major exam in order to advance in her career. I’ve vowed to be finished writing by her exam date, which is in March.

      I’m sure you’ll have a great running 2015; you seem pretty committed to it!

      Twitter is indeed and odd beast. As I was saying to Eric, rather than try to go viral or get a million followers, I’m going to focus on connecting with friends, friends of friends, and folk who are genuinely interesting to me.

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  3. Ah, new year’s. Nothing really special about it and then we make it into something more and because we think it’s more, it IS more.
    Last year I made a resolution to listen more to my body and try more fasting experiments to help the healing. I’ve done that and it has helped, but I’m still not quite where I want to be. Yet I will not make any promises on this part because if the doctors can’t cure me in a year, who can count on me doing it? Lol.
    I want to read a book per week but it’s not really happening because I’ve had a hard time finding books I was really hooked by. When I find books I love I read them in a few days. Perhaps I should go traveling, just so I could read on the train?
    I think the funniest resolution will be to get better at dancing, doing tricks in the pole and perhaps moving on to aerial ring tricks. I want to have more fun playing around and rediscover the wonders of childplay.

    I liked your point about changing the way we view our goals.

    The thing about new year’s resolution is that the best resolution is to cease opportunity when it shows up and to be the person you want to be. Life happens unexpectedly. You can’t plan for it 🙂
    And in that aspect, I think I won 2014.

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    • I think I will always make New Year’s resolutions; I just love this time of year so much – so shiny and new!

      I am marveling at your goal to read a book a week. I’ve never done that, even when my reading was at its most prolific. More and more I’m coming to realize how very slow I am at a lot of things I love – slow reader, slow writer. Fast driver, though, so it’s probably best I get around mostly by bicycle!

      Definitely with you about seizing opportunities as they present themselves. I feel that it’s through the process of trying to make oneself a better person that said opportunities are most likely to arise.

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      • Not to forget that positivity helps with creating those opportunities!

        Sometimes I read slowly as well. It’s most likely because you savor it. Ever read one of those books where you keep rereading passages? It undoubtedly makes you a slow reader but no wonder – you’re rereading a lot!

        I probably won’t succeed at the goal, but things are looking up because I found a book that grasped me on the first page! The Lies of Locke Lamora. Heard of it? It’s cover page is very thrilled to announce that G. R. R. Martin liked it 😛

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