I was feeling excited for the upcoming new year, so I went ahead and created my 2015 goals (with a little unsolicited help from my alter-ego, Hannah.) I hope everyone has a safe and inspiring start to a brand new year! Also, if anyone wants to add their goals to the comments, I’d love to see what 2015 has in store.
I was rudely distracted from the nearly blank index card by a cheap noisemaker as Hannah joined me in my corner of solitude. She was wearing a conical hat and carrying a sparkler in one hand, and a champagne glass in the other.
“Starting early, aren’t you?” I asked. “New Years is still a few days off.”
“Hey, you’re the one doing goal setting,” Hannah said, gesturing at the card with her sparkler and sitting across from me. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s the new year for us literary types.” She giggled in a way that made me think this wasn’t her first glass of champagne. “So, what do you have so far? Anything?”
“Um, well, the normal stuff—”
Hannah snorted at this. “Normal. You totally just started this thing with the cards last year.”
“So, you always talk about things like its ancient tradition passed down through generations. It amuses me. Go on.”
“Daily quota. I’m keeping it at 1500 words.” I paused here, waiting for her to remind me that my average last year hadn’t come close to that, but she didn’t. But then again, I couldn’t remember a time when Hannah told me any of my goals were too ambitious. “And ‘Publish first book’ is going back on the list. Since that didn’t quite happen this year.”
“Delightful. What else?”
“That’s where I’m stuck. I have two slots left.”
“Possible candidates?” She grew tired of holding the sparkler and created a small vase of sand so it could finish out its exciting little life.
“I don’t know. Something with submissions, maybe? Like, ‘have X amount out at all times.’”
“Good. So what’s X?”
I smiled. “That’s the most math-y thing I’ve heard you say. And I don’t know what X is right now.”
“Well, what was your average for last year? Not total, just on any given day.”
“I don’t know. Maybe four or five.”
She nodded. “Okay. X is ten.”
I wrinkled my nose at her. “Not likely. I don’t think I even have ten stories ready to be submitted right now.”
“That’s why it’s a goal.”
“Ten is a lot,” I protested. “I’m really busy.”
“Yep. And you’re about to be much busier.” She leaned over the table to tap the card. “Put it down.”
I did. “Okay. One more then. Something about marketing, maybe? Blogging goals? Maybe I could try to finish the dagger trilogy…”
Hannah shook her head firmly. “No. Yearly goals aren’t allowed to be project specific. It’s a rule.”
“Passed down through generations, Liv.”
“I feel like it should be something concrete. Significant. But I’m really not sure what my next move ought to be.”
“Well, what are you hoping is going to happen in 2015?”
“Could be anything,” I said, but not with the trepidation that normally accompanies not knowing. “Could be everything.”
Hannah stared at the bubbling glass in contemplation for a moment, and then reached towards the card. “Okay. Gimme.” When I handed it over along with the pen, she hid the card around curled fingers as she added the fourth item on my list. She handed it back, looking exceedingly proud of herself.
Enjoy the ride.
“Not exactly concrete,” I said.
“Yeah. But more important than any quantifiable goal. If you really think 2015 could be everything, then I want you to be reminded every day to enjoy it. I want it right in front of your face at all times.”
“It might not always be enjoyable,” I said. “I’m thinking it’ll be exciting, which might mean extremely difficult.”
Hannah grinned. “I’m counting on it.”
And truly, so was I.