Rituals Part II

On the last day of the year, I did a lot of thinking.

On the first day of this year, I did a lot of planning.

It is funny to me how the scope of my New Year’s life plan has changed. Three years ago I divided my goals into Non-negotiables, Need and Wants.

The Non-Negs included finishing a degree that I’d left hanging for nearly five years. I had a whopping single class with lab left. It was a kick. Science had changed so much that my professor was using techniques regularly that were cutting edge the last time I was in school.

Other Non-Negs included getting the house organized, keeping it really clean and getting healthy. In the end I hired a personal trainer to teach me how to exercise since I didn’t have either the desire or the ability to go back to ballet and I knew there had to be more to it than just showing up at the gym. I also ended up having someone come in to clean my house. That happened just last year when my doctor prescribed it for me in order to take some of the load off of my allergies and migraines.

My Needs were simple – I wanted to NOT work 8 to 5 and I wanted to write.

I got my wish.

My Wants included learning more about Scotch, learning Latin, and getting my PMP (Project Management Professional accreditation). I only succeeded in learning more about Scotch. But I found that the PMP and Latin were, like many things before that, just ways for me to put barriers between myself and what I wanted to be.

Anyone else do that?

Last year’s goals I wrote about in Rituals Part I so I won’t repeat them, enough to say that they were very holistic and very general. This year’s are very tactical. I like my life and I intend to find a way to keep it. It is a combination business plan and life plan.  

  • To continue the blogs – move them to their own websites – leverage them for other writing gigs.
  • To get healthier and learn how to do it on less money.
  • Use Yoga, Mediation, and biofeedback on my migraines – I’ve tried everything else.
  • Reduce my spending (I need to give myself as much time as possible) so no more scotch or wine (except as a reward for submitting stories) and I’ll need to cook more.
  • Write!!!

The last one is the big one. So big in fact that I’ve decided I need to break it down on a monthly basis. So – for this month Musings will post a minimum of 4 times a week. My writing goals for January are to finish a novella by its end of month deadline, write two short stories, and read my 3-Day Novel and see what I think about it four months later.

That’s it. That is the ritual I go through every year. I look at what I want, what drives me, what my Non-Negs, Needs and Wants are and I move forward. 

  • Non-Negs – I never want to go back to corporate life.
  • Needs – Make a living writing.
  • Wants – To enjoy myself!

So what are yours? Macro or micro?

~ Tess Anderson


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