New years followup

February 20th, 2012 | Tags:

Well, I put on a good front, but the only true metric of effort is accountability. I made a number of vows for the new year, and I intend to follow through with them. So here’s a straight and merciless look at what I set.

Write, edit, and submit one novel OR three short stories
I have written some, but mostly on actual paper, and not enough for a single short story yet. I’m developing a period in my current setting’s history, but it’s been stolen between moments of procrastination and terror. My progress: D+

Read 25 new books
I have only finished one book. I have two that I’m juggling right now (GK Chesterton’s Orthodoxy & Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice), but they’re on my smartphone, which has fallen out of use of late. I need to grab paper copies, or print them, and just finish. My progress: C-

Brew 12 distinct styles of beer on my stove
Two beers are bottled (a special bitter and a sorghum ale), and a third (an American IPA) is in secondary for dry-hopping. No trouble there, though I predict a slowdown, as a few brewing minions have stepped up to join the rotation in our little homebrew circle. My progress: A+

Find paying work in the teaching/tutoring field
I got word that a classmate was leaving a tutoring gig, and I leapt at the chance to fill it. Scored a phone interview right off the bat, but I got bogged down in paperwork and school deadlines loomed. So I cut bait and hunkered down. Not ideal, but it was good practice. (Also nerve-wracking!) My progress: B-

Volunteer 50 hours in the local community
I had opportunity to help with a community yard sale, and grad school ate my free time that week. I should have stuck it out, but let’s just say I suck and move on. My progress: D-

Write 50 letters
I got a good start–I have sent five letters, and written a sixth. Two have even been replied to, but I have been less vigorous this month and not gotten on maintaining the dialogue. Must do better. My progress: C+/B-

Overall, I’d say I’m rating about a C- or a C. Not very inspiring, but not altogether hopeless. Grad school is the chief priority, and my progress in these things illustrates this, but it is also an easy excuse for why I fail to make progress. (I have somehow managed to fall into the trap of new grad students the world ’round: procrastinate until the last possible moment.) I must do more, in every way. I must be more for the world. I owe it to everyone around me, even those people I have not met.

How have your new year’s resolutions progressed?

  1. February 20th, 2012 at 11:01
    Reply | Quote | #1

    I’ll take some of the blame for the last one – but I will get back to you soon!

  2. Steve Killen
    February 20th, 2012 at 14:06
    Reply | Quote | #2

    @Rob Carlson
    No sweat. My own failings are the source of my poor self-evaluation there. But I look forward to your letter all the same!

  3. Kathy Hardy Reid
    February 27th, 2012 at 20:54
    Reply | Quote | #3

    I will give you very high marks for quantifiable key performance metrics for this year. Mine goals are much more ill defined, and that is probably why I didn’t reach them much yet. I have a huge goal of organizing all of the boxes of photos of my children, and I got a good start on that. Execising 5 times a week and eating lots of fruits and veggies is harder to achieve. Send me a letter! True correspondence is a fading art form worthy of all attempts to revive it. I remember going to summer camp and the highlight of my day was mail call often!