Making Grand Plans: My 2020 New Year’s Resolutions

Every year I make New Year’s Resolutions, but last year, I conceived of them in a different way.

A way more conducive to my successfully achieving them.

As it stands, I have a fairly decent resolution record.  I try to set goals that I really want to achieve, and that I really think I can achieve through a noticeable, yet still reasonable, amount of effort.

But I’m always on the lookout for new and better ways to do goal-setting.  And last year, I had the idea to borrow from my working life, and the work I do in program evaluation.

Although not actually questions, I conceptualized each of my resolutions as an evaluation question—an overarching topic of inquiry that is being assessed.

In an evaluation framework, evaluation questions are further broken down to a number of indicators.  Indicators provide specific, measurable, and perceptible methods for answering evaluation questions.

Applied to goal-setting, indicators are sub-goals that act as both strategy and the means by which you measure progress in your larger goals/resolutions.

This method worked so well for me in 2019, I’m back to give it another go—along with my two-year’s strong strategy of quarterly progress check-ins that I post to this blog.

My New Year’s Resolutions for 2020 (some of which are variations or extensions on goals and sub-goals from last year) are as follows:

  1. Continue to make progress in my writing journey
  2. Improve my non-writing life
  3. De-clutter/Mary Kondo my entire apartment
  4. Complete additional long-standing/outstanding tasks

The breakdown for each of these resolutions includes the following:

1) Continue to make progress in my writing journey

  • Completely finish my WIP
  • Query my WIP
  • Figure out the rest of the plot for my next novel
  • Start my next novel
  • Read at least three writing craft books
  • Always be researching in general in support of future novels
  • Read the first draft of my WIP’s sequel and make general/overall revision notes
  • Rewrite my blog bio

2) Improve my non-writing life

  • Explore and sample potential new hobbies
  • Create/put myself into situations that allow me to meet new people
  • Go on a trip somewhere I haven’t been before

3) De-clutter/Mary Kondo my entire apartment

  • Remove excess/unnecessary items from every room
  • Attempt to give usable items away to friends/family who want them
  • Donate usable items that no one wants
  • Minimize the amount of garbage generated

De-cluttering Checklist:

    • Living room

My day-planner for 2020

[ ] Bookshelf
[ ] Desk
[ ] Armchair
[ ] Magazine box
[ ] Couch

    • Dining room

[ ] Table
[ ] Side chair

    • Kitchen

[ ] Fridge
[ ] Cupboards
[ ] Drawers
[ ] On top of cupboards

    • Hallway

[ ] Coat closet
[ ] Shoe trays
[ ] Storage closet

    • Bathroom

[ ] Shower caddy
[ ] Medicine cabinet
[ ] Cupboard under the sink

    • Bedroom

[ ] Closet
[ ] Top of dresser/ornament shelf
[ ] Dresser drawers
[ ] Smallclothes drawers
[ ] Bookshelf
[ ] Nightstand
[ ] Under the bed

4) Complete additional long-standing/outstanding tasks

  • Get new running shoes
  • Make a will
  • Try to get a doctor

All of this, yet while keeping in mind my theme word for 2020, which is pacing.


(Image source #1 and #2 – J.G. Noelle)

3 thoughts on “Making Grand Plans: My 2020 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. If you don’t have a doctor, I’d put that at the head of the list. The best time to do that is when you don’t need one! Then you see them once a year, have your shots up to date, and someone knows who you are if you have an emergency.

    If you’re happy with having your state step in and pay someone out of your estate for settling it if something happens to you, and you know your state awards any leftover funds the way you would anyway, you can postpone that one. I am sorry to say I didn’t have a will until our first child was born – 11 years after we got married.

    Now that I have ‘intellectual property,” I need to make sure one of the kids will handle it as I would have liked, but right now it isn’t a biggie. When the trilogy is finished, I will have figured it all out – most heirs haven’t the foggiest idea what to do with IP. If I’m any good, it might some day put THEIR kids through college.

    Good luck on the writing and the decluttering. You do know the best way to clean everything out is to move (haha!)?


    • I agree that moving is the ultimate decluttering strategy. I haven’t moved in a while, though the thought is never far from my mind. My place isn’t even visibly messy. Just the awareness of all the stuff I have but don’t need is giving me a sense of mental clutter that I could really do without. I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about.


      • Define “don’t need.” It was good to leave the house, because we could make final decisions for SO many things. I KNOW I won’t need an old pair of skis when I’m in my last room, the room in skilled nursing or assisted living (downstairs), if I get that far.

        I think the husband had plans at one time to build a sled. Then maybe he thought one of the kids would produce an heir (not so far) and he could still build the sled.

        Now we know that, grandkids or no, we won’t be building them a sled – skis gone.

        Also, I miniaturized a lot of memories into photos on a hard drive.


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