My 2012 Resolutions, in three acts

After I completed my last post, I took some time to think about what I wanted my resolutions to be and how I wanted to structure them. The “make exactly three concrete goals” plan has historically worked pretty well–except in 2011, when I completed just one of the three–so I’m sticking with that.

2012 Resolution: Attend more parties with disco balls.

Meghan’s Meghan-Style Resolutions:
1) End the year with more money in savings than I had January 1.
2) Freelance for at least one publication outside my company.
3) Take all the steps I can toward finding out more about my birth family medical history.

I like these because, by December 31, I either did ’em or I didn’t. But I kind of like bigger-picture thinking, too. So I didn’t stop there.

I’m a fan of Rachel Wilkerson‘s blog, and she likes to pick a verb every year as her New Year’s Resolution. I like it! Having a single word you can say to yourself–as a reminder, and also as a command–is simpler and potentially more effective than having a few goals to accomplish by year’s end. So, on that note:

Meghan’s Rachel Wilkerson-Style Verb Resolution:
Focus. I’d like to live more in the moment and be more present while I’m doing the things that I do. I’m always multitasking, and that often leads to me getting nothing done. If I really immerse myself in one thing at a time, I will be so much more productive at work, and I will enjoy life so much more in all other contexts.

I also like “focus” because it will (hopefully) remind me to devote more attention to the things that matter (my relationships, my running, my writing, and other interests that give me some dimension) and less to the things that don’t (Facebook, endless hours of Netflix, eating all the food in my fridge).

But wait, there’s more! I recently wrote a little something for work about how you’re more likely to keep resolutions if you recommit to them every Monday. There’s even a whole class of campaigns based on this idea. So, I thought, “Why not think of a few things I’d like to do at least once every week?” I did it. Five seemed like a nice number.

Meghan’s Monday Campaign-Style At-Least-Once-a-Week Resolutions:
1) Write a blog post.
2) Write in my journal.
3) Walk to work.
4) Strength train.
5) Eat a big salad as a meal. (It sounds silly, but the more I make myself eat veggies, the more veggies I want to eat.)

And I’ve already handled items one, two, and four for this week. I’m off to a strong start, 2012! Here’s to more success, and even more bacon.

The spaghetti alla carbonara I made last night. Heavenly.

About Meghan Loftus
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4 Responses to My 2012 Resolutions, in three acts

  1. Jen Miller says:

    Freelancing outside your company can be a tough one – I found it hard when I was on staff. Have you looked at trade publications?

    • mgloftus says:

      Why did you find it hard? I imagine it would just be hard to find the time outside work to do it, but that’d be a problem with trade pubs too. (Which I have not looked at, no!)

  2. Jen Miller says:

    I was EIC at a magazine with a staff of three, so the job ate up a lot of my time, so that was one. Two, every story I thought of I immediately would slot into the magazine.

    So it took some time to re-form habits: I got into the office very early and wrote from 7-9am before the workday started, either on essays not for the magazine or pitches. And I made myself a reminder that my eventual goal was to freelance fulltime, which had me thinking of outside opportunities FIRST and then the magazine.

    That probably makes me sound like a bad employee, but some of my paychecks had bounced, so I was working on a plan B at the time because what job is worth that?!

  3. Jen Miller says:

    Also, trade magazines are my best clients. I do little consumer writing anymore. If you have a speciality and can write toward people who are in that business, use it. I write science and construction – not a lot of writers have that ability, so it sets me apart, and there’s a lot less competition for those writing gigs.

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