At the end of 2007 I made myself a list of goals. It’s been a year. How did I do?
-Get English Degree
It’s done. I could tell all the stories again: how there were days I didn’t think I’d make it, that things didn’t turn out the way I’d planned, blah blah. It’s over. I’m applying to grad schools. I’m gonna teach. I love words and I love helping other people love words.
-Keep weight below 140
At last weighing I was at 139. That’s too close for my comfort given that I probably won’t be losing any weight over the holiday food binge, so I just a few weeks ago I started hitting the gym on a semi-daily basis. As a bonus, my new exercise ball will make a nice meditation chair!
-Submit Portfolios to various MFA Programs for entrance in Fall of 2009
I’ve submitted my first portfolio. The other two will be submitted within the next month.
I’ve read about 6 novels this year, but by no means was I reading consistently or daily. To some degree I can chalk this up to burnout, but I need to make it happen next year.
I successfully saved for most of the year, but a series of car/legal problems this August I saw my emergency fund drained to zero. Since then I’ve been trying to rebuild it to no avail and frankly I’ve spent most of the fall & winter sputtering as I struggle to stay above water. Starting in January I’m setting up automatic monthly withdrawals.
-Zazen 3 times/week
It’s often said that Zen is something you do, not something you believe. By that standard I’ve been a terrible no good awful Buddhist this year.
-Submit 6 short stories for publication
I sent 5 stories and received 5 rejection letters, which is fine, but essentially I didn’t meet this goal because I got lazy.
-Write a novel
lol. Didn’t happen. I had a bad habit of telling everybody about my ideas before I’d actually started working on them; by the time it came time to write I didn’t have any excitement left. I won’t make that mistake again: I’m working on a new idea now, and I’m not telling you a damn thing about it.
-Reduce car debt to below $3,700
This goal was created before I understood exactly how much I was paying per month in interest.
Three of my nine goals were unambiguously reached. I’ll drink to that.
Two goals proved to be messier than I’d anticipated, but that’s life, right? You don’t know what’s coming. I should probably stop beating myself up for bottoming out my emergency fund over the course of a few rapid-fire emergencies, shouldn’t I? I did it. Rebuild and move on.
The four failures can be explained by lack of ambition, lack of motivation, and lack of knowledge. If I want to reset and give these another try in 2009 I’m going to have to ask myself: what do I really want out of this? What drew me to writing/Zen practice to begin with? Do I want to continue? Why? How bad do I want it?
I’ll have to take all this into account when I make my list of goals for 2009. Tonight I celebrate my successes.