Screw Resolutions. Got Any Plans for 2016?

I’m anti-resolution, but that’s no surprise to anybody. I do, however, have plans.

I’m going to keep a journal. Not a “Dear Diary” kind of thing where I put my hopes and fears. I don’t have hopes and fears. I have cravings and exasperations. Just a book that I write something in every day, even if all I say is “Screw Thursdays, they never turn out well for me.” I used to try this every year when I’d get one of those faux leather jobs with the lock and key that kids in the sixties got all the time, and I never made it past January before I quit, but I was twelve. I’m pretty sure I can make to February this time.

I’m going to rearrange my office which has never worked right. This will mean tearing out stuff I built, but since I built it, it’ll probably fall off the wall the minute I start taking screws out, so that’s a plus. Also, I’m putting casters on all my furniture. I like furniture that rolls. So much easier to clean under.

I’m going to clean, too.

I’m going to write a book on art fraud. I’m doing the research now and it’s helping tremendously on two different books–Courtney”s and Nadine’s–so that’s fun. I wish I hadn’t named Courtney “Courtney.” For some reason, I’m having a hard time getting her right in my head which is death because I’m a heroine-centric writer. Both of those books hit a wall because I couldn’t figure out the plots. Turns out, I just needed a refresher on art crime.

I’m going to take Milton for walks. He needs them desperately and so do I, no matter how much I don’t like them. I used to like running five miles a day, so I figure I can get hooked on walking again. Then do short walks with Mona (no kneecaps) and Veronica (shortest legs in the history of dog) and we’ll all feel better. I’ve been thinking I couldn’t because it’s just too cold in the winter (asthma) but it was 65 on Christmas Day here, so that argument’s pretty feeble. Also, Milton really, really, really needs the exercise. He’s so thrilled every time I go near the front door and he damn near has a heart attack every time I put a leash on him. Then he goes to the vet. It’s just not fair. He’s a good little dog and he should be allowed to pee up and down the road at will. Also there’s a lifesize statue of a deer about twelve houses down that fools him every time, and he has a marvelous time barking at it. Simple pleasures.

I’m going to blog about premise, the Sleeping Ninja trope, structure for the Writing/Romance blog, and Disney princesses. And I’m going to clear out the Argh draft folder. I have 157 draft posts, most of which are completely inane and worthless or I’d have posted them.

Speaking of clearing out drafts, I have fifty-four unfinished crochet projects. It’s definitely Frog or Finish time. My plan is to either finish or frog (unravel and reclaim the yarn) one a week. Also, I need to use up some of this yarn, so I’m going Cold Sheepish, which means I’m going to stop buying yarn, mostly. I’ve tried going completely Cold Sheep, but that’s too much of a resolution. Also impossible. I’m not giving up chocolate, either. Are you insane? Why would you completely give up something you love? Jeez.

Speaking of unfinished, I have six unfinished novels. Pick a lane, Jenny.

And then there’s the house. I’d really like a ceiling in my bedroom. And a new septic system. Finish a book, Jenny.

The important thing about all of this stuff is that none of it is a resolution. A resolution is “I will.” A plan is “This is what I think I might do, but that could change.” Resolutions are orders, plans are directions to head in. Resolutions hang over your head, heavy and dull like the stones they’re set in; plans flit about the room on wings of possibilities, morphing in flight. There’s a reason “Change of plans” is a common phrase and “Change of resolutions” is not.

So my goal for 2016 is to stay fluid and unpredictable, changing my plans as life shifts and billows. Change is good, resolutions are bad, nothing but good times ahead.

So what are your fluid, changeable, exciting plans for 2016? I don’t want to hear any crap about losing weight or working harder; tell us the stuff you’re looking forward to, all of which is subject to change because you, too, are fluid and unpredictable and free from self-flagellation over ridiculous goals that seem like a good idea in January but stink after three days.

Also, don’t join a gym.

58 thoughts on “Screw Resolutions. Got Any Plans for 2016?

  1. Oh, Jenny, how I love the idea of plans instead of resolutions. And how interesting that you’re planning a journal. Liz and I decided to do that, too! I have several lovely empty journals that I can use or I may find an online journaling app (I’m investigating) or I may just use Word. Whatever, my plan is to start on December 31 and try to write in it every day.

    I plan to write two more WOWB books and then move on to another state, another town, another story… I plan to keep my editing gigs to a reasonable, not overwhelming, number–like maybe two a month, so that I have time for the rest of my life, which could be very nice if I wasn’t working 24/7. I’m looking forward to cozy winter nights watching Netflix with Husband and knitting. I’ve got a baby blanket started and a long, long scarf almost finished for me that will go with the grey coat I love.

    I’m looking forward to the lake when spring gets here and having guests there and boat rides and swimming and having Grandboy come to visit and watching Son and Husband fish. I’m planning a trip with Liz–we travel so well together and really enjoy each other’s company. I want to participate more at church and get to know the folks there, they all seem so kind and fun.

    I’m excited about going to Chicago for RWA Spring Fling and meeting other writers and editors. It was such a great time in 2014. I’m going to work on my arthritis–working right now with my chiro and we’ll see where that goes. If I end up needing knee replacement, I’m going to be very zen about that because medicine is amazing and my ortho is wonderful and it’s all going to be okay.

    Oh, and yes, Bernie in 2016–I’m feeling the Bern!

  2. My plan is to take back my closet by donating all the clothes I never wear to make room for the few that I do. And to get back to lifting weights twice a week. Both totally doable.

    Oh, and to finish my current manuscript which is so close to being done I can smell it in the air like a batch of nearly baked cookies.

    Cheers!

  3. (I apologize ahead of time if this winds up a duplicate)

    I plan to take back my closet by donating all the clothes I don’t wear to make room for the ones I do. I plan to get back to lifting weights twice a week, a habit that fell by the wayside during holiday travels.

    Oh, and I plan to finish my current manuscript that is slow close to done I can almost smell it in the air like a batch of nearly baked cookies.

    And a massive hell YEAH to Bernie 2016!

    Happy New Year to all.

    1. Perhaps I should add a third plan, like to practice being more patient as I wait for my comment to appear . . .

  4. I am going to Scotland in March. I’m researching a book about a tour guide/Travel watsit who is going to get in a pickle in different places in each book. I’ve given up on writing romance as such. I’m crap at it. And I like writing mysteries, although I’m sure there are some that would say I’m crap at that too.

    I deserve this trip to Scotland, as I’ve been working 55 hour weeks since August to take care of a bit of a financial mess. I just want to say – not my mess – but I cleaned it up anyway. And I will continue to work 55 hour weeks until my youngest has braces, but meanwhile I’m going to Scotland in the cold of March to look at castles and men in kilts and at the very end I’ll go to Ayrshire where my family is originally from. McIlvaine is my maiden name. There are even castles and things still around.

    Then I’m going to plan a trip to Ireland in summer of 2017. And a trip someone next Christmas because my children need to get out of this town and see something of the world.

    Other than that, I will reevaluate the ghost writing I’m doing. It’s fast cash – which I needed – but I can, and do make more from my own writing. If I can finish a doggone book. (I can’t if I’m ghost writing, because let’s be honest, 40 hours a week at one job and 15 at another plus 10,000 words a week for someone else doesn’t leave much extra time.) So Reevaluate.

    Also, I plan to continue to enjoy life. Not in an expensive way, but in a I don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks, I’m not getting my nickers in a twist over stupid shit that other people do. Expecially stupid people I’m related to.

    Life is too short.

  5. All I know for now is I’m going to San Diego for almost 2 weeks probably in February. And I’m going to figure out some food issues. Is there such a thing as a food therapist. I plan to continue my weight reduction journey. I plan to write a book and poetry. (That was a very hard sentence to type.)

    With you on the Bernie thing!

  6. My current plan is to sort through the opening scenes for my current novel-I’d-like-to-be-writing-only-dear-God-where-do-I-find-the-time-and-energy, since… upon checking that folder… I appear to have created at least a half-dozen opening scenes for it, and in the process written enough text to fill a novel (albeit, in this case, a weirdly repetitive and disconnected novel). I have a reminder-list of the primary story elements that I’d like to include, so it’s really just a question of figuring out which approach actually flows into those events and dynamics in that sequence. It’s… how to say this? It’s not the writing. It’s the logistics.

    Alternatively, I might just set aside some time to have a nice, soothing nervous breakdown.

        1. “It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.” a wise person in a recentish movie said

          Maybe take some me time and try to head it off at the pass.

  7. I plan to get back on my diet and make it the rest of my way to my goal weight. I plan to see if I can afford a vacation and then take one. I plan to have a housewarming party and invite the guy who told me he still remembers (fondly) the food he ate at my house 10 years ago. In short, I plan to become less of a whining hermit.

  8. I’ve got two main plans for 2016: to write a first draft of the novel I’ve been brainstorming, and to buy myself a new home that I’ll love living in (which involves first sorting out and selling my mother’s house). I’d also like to celebrate my 60th in May in a way that makes me happy.

  9. Like everyone else, I love love love this approach to 2016 and can’t imagine why I didn’t think of it. Because you’re a genius, I guess.

    So yes. One of my gifts was a blank book, a lovely one, that has been scaring the you-know-what out of me because the cover says ‘brilliant thoughts’. I’ll ignore that and fill it with plans and daily comments. Like ‘Screw Thursdays’. Actually, Thursdays are the days I work at the local PD and they’re always entertaining. But not always fun.

    My plans for the year are to actually play the harp. Consider learning German (again). Actually lose weight and exercise more, because then I’ll feel better. Get those 3 finished books that are supposed to get self published actually published. And the carrot in front of the donkey…start the new mystery series I’ve been dreaming about.

    How long did you say 2016 would be?

  10. I don’t do resolutions, but I do set goals every year. My writing goal is to finish the other two books in my Touched by a Demon trilogy. The second one is about halfway through the first draft. It would be drafted, but I hit a dead zone because I don’t know enough about art. Bob McKee says the cure for writer’s block is a trip to the library and in this case he was right, except it was several trips to Amazon and friends’ bookshelves. Once I manage to wade through all of them, I should be ready to go. I hope.

    The third book is going to be three parallel second-chance-at-love stories, about Lilith reuiniting with Samael to prevent two humans from getting back together. The third pair are angels, but they’re both guys, so that one’s a bromance. And I’m setting it in Minneapolis-St. Paul because the idea of Lilith and Samael being assigned to the Twin Cities in January totally cracks me up. Seriously, can you imagine those stillettos on ice?

  11. Turns out in the time I’ve been away from blogging much has changed, so my plan to take up blogging again starts with the plan to learn the new protocol. Then I’ll be all set (plumps down in computer chair to settle skirts). I plan to paint living room and bedroom cool colors. Well, select the colors and direct the painting. I plan to deal with clothes closets and cupboards. Observing a 96-year-old MIL’s house full of stuff held onto for decades helps in formulating a plan to Clean Out Now. I plan to be that person out in the rain planting and clipping back. It will be in the rain because, you know, El Nino, and planting goes more smoothly in a nice steady downpour. Plus, once dried off, I plan to sit in my chair watching the rain and reading all the books I’ve saved for just such a patch of days. Then they’ll be donated and the shelves dusted and I’ll vote for Bernie.

  12. Well, I won’t be voting for Bernie because I like receiving a paycheck as I work for a University and if the students don’t have to pay tuition, I don’t expect I’ll get paid. Bonus, it would motivate me to find a different job, ideally one where I can work from home. This leads to my work plan – I want to spend time figuring out what I’d like to do for the remaining part of my working life. I have books to walk me through the thought process, just takes time and motivation. Problem is I’m comfortable as my job mostly doesn’t suck, so I tend to go with entertaining over educational.

    That leads to the next plans, I’m planning on learning some new website platforms and getting better at the ones I do know. I’m planning on getting my PMI certificate as it would look good on the resume if Bernie gets elected. Of course, figuring out what I want to do would make more sense before doing anything in this paragraph.

    I am planning a vacation to a warm, tropical place in late winter. Sunshine is so wanted by then!

    I’m going to continue quilting. Have a retreat planned in February.

    I’m going to ALA’s annual conference in June/July despite it being in Florida.

    I know exercise & food plans were prohibited but I’m planning on continuing “running” (it’s at 5 mph so really jogging slowly) with a target of 3 times or more a week. I’m planning on adding strength training with an ideal of 3 days a week, but at least once would be nice. If that’s all going on then the final addition would be yoga/stretching added once a week.

    I’m also going to learn how to shoot and do it well and safely. I’ve tried it recently and was surprised that it was enjoyable. I have no intention of killing though, despite living in a land of hunters. Unless it was a snake, they scare shit out of me. But really, I hope to never see one.

    1. I shared this post with my husband and my shooting goal. His response was “I have a gun and it doesn’t fit in my vagina nor my vulva.” Why yes, I do periodically share posts from Argh with him. One of the best from 2015.

  13. I would sure love to get some house things done, but the priorities keep changing. I would settle for new gutters, the deck finished and some cool backup batteries (for power outages). Probably new dishwasher is going to take over as top item on list, so the plan is already changing. It would be lovely to find out what needs to happen to my water softener/plumbing/filtration so I go back to NOT having mineral deposits, but this may take a miracle, so if anyone knows who the patron saint of plumbing is……..
    And, as I already said on Refab- I also want to ENJOY the process, the results, and just the fact that I am prosperous enough to have a house that then needs things done to it. Ok, new plan – work on joy and see if gutters manifest!

  14. My plans include remodeling the house to make it handicapped accessible and welcoming two new grandchildren. I am much more excited about the grandchildren.

  15. I plan to finish Three Proposals. I’ve only been working on the damn thing since McDaniel. I’d also like to see where the first chapter of this contemporary skiing romance that I started last weekend ends up. It’s kinda nice not having to worry about anachronisms and being able to compare men to James Bond and Indiana Jones. Plus she can swear!

    I plan to ratchet down the amount of time I spend volunteering at my kids’ school. While it’s good work and valuable and all that, it’s been overtaking my life. I need some balance.

    I plan to get my boys to learn how to do their own laundry. They’re almost 8 and 7. I think that’s old enough. Especially if I get those laundry detergent paks instead of the liquid kind.

    And I plan to finish Three Proposals. Wait, did I already mention that?

  16. Ahem.

    I bought a learn to code bundle on sale. Aspirational purchasing y’all. So I *have* to learn to code. Otherwise it would be another wasted purchase.

    I am improving my health. Yesterday I managed to NOT eat the chocolate I said I wouldn’t. My plan is to go high quality and eat less so a slab lasts longer and I’m not gorging on sugar.

    I did a mind-map of what it would take to decrease my cholesterol levels and increase my physical endurance. It starts with little steps. I downloaded Wanderlust 108’s 28 day challenge. And starting today. Leetle steps so this might become a 56 day challenge.

    Did an analysis of my spending based on a very cool app that links to all my cards and accounts. I do not need new clothes or books for a year! Truly.

    Go out more- once I set a goal to say yes to everything I was invited to. That was my best emotional growth year ever. Must do again.

  17. I plan to make better plans regarding time management. Actually, I make pretty good time-management plans, but they are often derailed by ‘nuggles on the couch with my youngest (IE he watches Paw Patrol 15 million times in a row while snuggling on my lap, while I read the last crap/great book that I downloaded via Bookbub (it can so easily go either way; not everyone who gives a 5-star rating is older than 20 and passed grade eight, apparently). Right now it’s a great book–and it’s a real book–Personal by Lee Child).

    I plan to get healthier by eating better and doing some exercise above and beyond the weekly laundry treks up and down the stairs, etc. I also plan to use My Fitness Pal more often in the process because it keeps me honest. Sort of. I mean really, who is going to know that I didn’t log that (handful of) chocolate covered almonds.
    Actually, it really makes me aware of just exactly how many calories are in a bowl of cereal. More than you’d think!

    I plan to blog more. As in, more than I have in the last . . . huh. I should probably look in to how long it’s been. Long enough to not remember, at any rate.
    I plan to write more, in general.

    I plan to paint my house this spring/summer. Because if I have to spend one more winter in this light-sucking mushroom colour (yeah, let’s take a house that gets very little direct sunlight in the winter (and summer, actually) and paint it Taupe. Because Taupe is neutral, and neutral sells, and this is the Neutral that you don’t have to think about), I’ll just want to paint it that much more next year.

    I plan to get more sleep. Oh, wait, that’s a resolution that will not happen. I can hope, though. I can hope.

  18. Love the idea of putting all your furniture on wheels – makes it easier to rearrange things, too! Personally, I hate resolutions, as well. I do a New Year’s Effigy most years, with the things I want to leave behind me represented. My plans for 2016 are to do do a different “30 day challenge” each month. I can do anything for 30 days, right? Photo a day one month, write a poem a day another, organize one small part of the house each day…you get the idea. Started a bullet journal to hopefully keep all my crap in one place (instead of 5 different journals with 5 pages filled in each). And my big BIG thing for the year: starting a podcast! It will be a writing prompt/writing practice podcast, an idea that I think is “out there” in terms of podcasting, but I think it’s a brilliant idea. Hopefully others do, too! πŸ™‚

    1. Love the 30 day challenge idea, too – thanks for sharing. Also, I just wanted to say ‘go for it’ with the podcast. I think it’s a great idea and, speaking as someone who started a podcast in 2015, I highly recommend it. Lots of fun and an interesting exercise (I enjoyed learning about the technical/editing side and speaking makes a nice change from typing all the time). Good luck!

  19. I want to republish a book that’s been liberated from my publisher after shenanigans. Finishing a new one or two would be lovely, as well.

    I’m going to do my damnedest to get my oldest out of the nest and on his way to functional independence. This is not a goal that will be reached in 2016, but some substantial advancement down the path would be huge.

    I’m going to woman up and just get the damn surgery. Probably. At least I will give it a lot of mature, rational consideration. Ish.

    Learning to cook would be good. I’m 43. Acquiring life skills before I’m 50 is an excellent goal to shoot for. I may even learn the mysteries of that hot-making fire box where my husband finds magical dinners that contain actual ingredients beyond the seasoning packet that comes with ramen noodles.

  20. I plan to check out the 30 day challenge.

    It has a shimmer of brilliance behind it.

    Thanks Sara.

  21. I plan to stop being a workaholic After being on the lazy-but-enjoying-life type all my life, I suddenly became a workaholic when I got my first teaching job. It has not noticeably improved my career but has noticeably removed a lot of pleasure from my life. So, no more work obsession.
    Plan two, use my sabbatical wisely.

  22. I plan to go back to Tanzania in early spring, having done some quilting to decorate the guest house we are helping to fund to bring with us. I also plan to travel to see my sister in D.C. and bring back the old “mid-century” (1950’s) dining room table that my DD and SIL will refinish and use it in their new-to-them “mid-century” cape. AND I plan to enjoy a week camping with extended family (hopefully including nieces, daughters and assorted POSLQs for at least some of the time) in late June/early July.

    Can’t plan beyond that. Suspect that work will completely take over all aspects of my life at the point. Not a plan. Just a fact.

  23. I plan to keep up my healthy habits of exercise so I stay strong so I can pick shit up. Also good for back pain. I plan to have a job. I plan to put together some voice/piano programs from the American Song Book, and perform them with a friend in the area. And possibly making a recording that I actually like. I plan to build up a voice lesson studio. I plan to rent my house out for the summer to help recover from this financial hit. I plan to enjoy my cat, my friends, and to feed the birds.

  24. I plan to sell this house and finally move. It’s killing me and my writing, because my head is full of fearful stuff and what ifs. I plan to kill the fears and get back on the writing horse, even if I have to turn this place over to the bank and take a walk. It’s still under water and has been since 2008. I plan to find a new place to live and to enjoy the process. I plan to regain the joy of writing. I plan to use the fitbit the kids gave me and record how much I move, it seems I have been kidding myself.

  25. I have plans…
    WRITING –
    1) Finish the Nano-novel first draft, let’s call that YA2 as it is sequel for the book mentioned in 2 below.
    2) Edit/rewrites for YA book due out on April 12, let’s call that YA1
    3) Rewrites/edits for historical fiction currently sitting with agent… let’s call that HistFic 1, as it is first in a series about a female spy.
    4) Rewrites/edit for first draft of HistFic 2 which takes my spy onward into her teens.
    5) Research and idea gathering for HisFic 3 which takes my spy to point of complete personal agency.
    6) Research and idea gathering for YA 3
    7) Rewrites/edits for YA2
    8) Research and structure for a radio/TV series set here on IoM.

    READING

    HEALTH
    1) Yoga yoga yoga – must do more yoga. It takes my back pain and goes nyah nyah nyah to that sacroiliac stuff.
    2) Log food on my online diary so I know what the hell I’m eating.

    MONEY
    1) Log what I spend
    2) Pay down debts

    FAMILY
    1) Be kind and generous to them all, but especially Minion No.1

    HOUSE
    1) Dispose, shed, empty, weed, sort, expel. Too much stuff.

    TEACHING/DAYJOB
    1) Get a promotion or a new job.

    That’s it.

  26. 2016 Plans….

    I would like to get back to meditation. It seems to help keep the borderline blood pressure under control and if I stick with it this time maybe start to experience some of the other positive experiences other people comment on.

    I would like to take the dog hiking in the woods this year. She loves being walked (and even in the blizzard of sleet yesterday insisted on it) so I know she would love it.

    Get back to yoga as I always feel better afterwards, and really the only physical activity I felt I had any natural ability.

    Continue to learn to cook more. Recently went vegan (read too much about factoring farming and Thailand slave fishing ships and warehouses so ethical decision and not really about health- and wishing I could un-know what I know hasn’t helped:)

    Watch less TV and find more productive/internally fulfilling ways to spend my time.

    …and for those of you that see that “Bernie” posted… no Bernie Sanders has not secretly joined the world of Argh this “Bernie” is short for Bernardine πŸ™‚

    However despite my mom’s lifelong goal to see a woman as president, I am totally for “Bernie 2016!”

  27. I plan to keep working on eating far more veggies than my default position, and to visit another island. Still debating Isle of Wight vs Isle of Man for this summer’s holiday. And to regularly remind hubby that it’s his turn to pay for a holiday at the Star Castle hotel on the Isles of Scilly.

  28. I’m with you on the plans vs resolutions and the rolling furniture. πŸ™‚

    I got a head start on my new year plans by completely re-organizing most of the main floor in my house. Love how it’s turned out and hubby and son like it much better too.

    But really it’s just a sub-plan to my major plan for the year which is to learn to say “No” more often to outside commitments I don’t need to do and to say “Yes” to me more and the things that bring me joy. Probably that sounds like a small thing but for me it’s still a work in progress.

    And now I’m also liking Sara’s 30-day challenge idea so thinking on that…

  29. I keep two journals, sort of. One is morning pages (a la Julia Cameron, although I don’t do the three pages she insists on, usually just one page) to unload all the whining and garbage in my head, and sometimes to do some brainstorming on a story if it’s on my mind. The other one is more of a list, and it contains my “accomplishments” of the previous day. I define “accomplishments” very loosely, so some days it’s “got out of bed.” But as someone who’s self-employed (and therefore doesn’t have performance reviews or a regular paycheck to measure what I’ve done), I find it useful to be able to look back on the week/month/year, and see that I’ve actually done some good stuff, when it’s easy to think I’ve frittered the time away. And it helps me to realize when my priorities have gone off the rail, i.e., when all the accomplishments of the week are things like housework that I don’t really care about, rather than pages of fiction written/edited, which I DO care about.

    Anyway, I’m planning a LOT for 2016, and it’s scaring me a bit, because it may be unrealistic, given my limited energy reserves. I expect to travel (and I HATE traveling) more than usual and farther than usual for a volunteer Board of Directors position I have. I’m also planning to create a non-fiction book (soliciting essays, editing them, writing my own essays) for the same volunteer position, and single-handedly maintain its social media presence and work on a few other projects for the organization. PLUS, write at least two cozy mysteries.

    I’m hopeful that I’ll also be participating in a clinical trial, which will also involve travel (by car, about a 2-hour drive each way, plus overnight stays) a couple of times a month for the next six months and then monthly for the remainder of the year. On the plus side, if I’m on the real thing (there’s a 50% chance of being on placebo during the first six months, but eventually everyone will be on the real thing), it should help with my fatigue/pain; on the negative side, I may be on placebo for the first six months and the travel will distract me from other things I’ve got planned.

    I do love making plans and writing them down, but I have to say I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by it this year. Maybe that’s a good thing: I’m stretching after coasting for too long.

    1. Good luck on the trial. I hope you get the drug and it works without side effects!

      I also like the idea of an accomplishment journal.

      1. Thanks! This is a Phase 3 trial, so there’s already good evidence that it works (at least for most of the people who did the earlier trials) and the side effects are minimal! We’ve been waiting for this trial to start for close to three years now, so even if I don’t get into the trial, it shouldn’t be all that long until the treatment is on the market (assuming these trials bear out what the earlier trials indicated).

  30. I’m going to see if I can get more freelance transcription work. I transcribe the DBSA podcast every week (Dear Bitches, Smart Author, but apparently Apple won’t let them use Bitches in the podcast name if they want it to be available through iTunes, and they do), and it’s my favorite part of my work week. I’d like more work like that, enough so I can quit working for the medical transcription company that doesn’t pay very well. Preferably on a variety of topics for my entertainment while working.

  31. Sara! That’s exactly the idea I had except – double it – I’ve often let the ass-deep in alligators situations stop me from doing things because I was emotionally wrung out.

    The plan is to take 30-day challenges slooowly – every second day or so with a view to improving my self efficacy and resilience. (Psych studies y’all.) The BIG plan is to achieve stuff so that I stop beating myself up about not achieving. (Bad Wolf must be tamed!)

  32. I plan to Thrive in 2016. That’s my word for the year (a group of writer friends does this exercise every year). I also plan to eliminate a bunch of the clutter in my home (I’ll never be a minimalist, but the maximalism I’m currently experiencing is, at this point in my life, too tiring). I plan to truly clean out my closet and stop holding things for when I lose weight, because when I lose weight I’m going to want new stuff. I plan to go to Spain again and walk a different Camino. I plan to continue some of the changes I’ve made over the last couple of months that have made me a more productive writer, and to finish the manuscript I’m currently working on.

  33. Idea: give Courtney a kickass nickname? Like, a new one which a just introduce,character could give her and now very one says, yes, this is really who you are and we are going to call you this.

    1. I was thinking the same thing–a nickname, a middle name she decides to go by, or just changing her name and then doing a find-and-replace when you’re done with the ms. Would that be bad? I’m thinking that would be bad.

  34. I love this post, specially the idea of having plans instead of resolutions. Do you know? I do something like that. Whenever I think I have to [do this or that] I try to say I’m going to [do this or that, that way it looks less of an obligation or duty and more a thing I wanted to do.
    My plans for 2016?
    I guess they are all related to health (go to this doctor or that one, try to walk, at least walk half an hour each day). But I’d also like to help my children a little bit more with their studies.
    It would be great if I introduce a little bit more or tidiness in my home, or if I try to publish some professional papers, but, I know I’m quite lazy about those things, so those are plans that I really don’t take seriously.

  35. Plans. I’m usually pretty good with plans. In 2016 I plan on losing 1 pound. If I lose more, great, if not, that’s okay too. I plan on finishing my course and looking for work – I can’t make any kind of guarantees or even guess on getting a job but I can plan on looking. I also plan on reading more, spending more time with Tall Boy, weeding my garden better, and playing with the dogs. I think I can do that.

  36. I plan to contain work instead of letting it take over my life. I am spending time in the evenings painting or reading or relaxing with my husband. (Not “I will” or “I hope to” but “I am,” dammit.)

    I plan to surprise myself with progress on the fiction writing.

    Also, today I plan to use my birthday present – a sawzall!!

  37. I plan on finding a daily routine that works, with enough flexibility built in that a bad pain day doesn’t derail me for a week. By routine, I mean the ordering and remembering of things/activities, like cooking, writing, walking, meditating, etc.

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