Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Why Plans Are Much Better Than Resolutions

2013. A whole new year. People around the world are making resolutions. You know how it goes. I'm going to lose twenty pounds. I'll stop drinking. I'll write that novel I've always dreamed of.

How many of these people will make it past the first week, much less the first month, before they give up?

Twenty years ago, I stopped making resolutions. Over the next couple of weeks, friends and acquaintances' jaws dropped when I said, "Nope, no resolutions for me this year. I'm making plans instead."

In 1993, I hit a plateau in my computer career. The next logical step would be to get a master's degree in computer science or an MBA, but the more I looked into it, I realized I'd be bored out of my mind.

So instead of making a resolution to find a more challenging career, I made a plan. I decided a law degree would keep me intellectualy interested. I investigated full-time versus part-time programs. The University of Toledo offered an part-time evening program. I could try it out for a semester or two and decide if this is what I really wanted to do with my life.

I spent the rest of 1993 saving money for tuition and studying for the LSAT, the law school entrance exam. In December, I found out I passed the LSAT and sent my application to UT.

This change in mindset has served me very well over the last twenty years. I've done so many things on my bucket it blows even my mind.

Plans work. Figure out your goal and map out what it takes to get there.

Do I still make plans? Sure do! But with the rapid changes in the publishing industry, I make a six-month plan and a year-long plan.

Here's the six-month plan:
January - Finish and publish Alter Ego's second short story in Series #2. Finish and submit new zombie short story to Mitzi Szereto. Finish and publish Blood Sacrifice. Review and send e-copies of Bloodlines novels to Harris County Publisc Library.

February - Write and publish Alter Ego's fourth novella in Series #1.

March - Start writing Zombie Goddess.

April - Write and publish Alter Ego's third short story in Series #2. Work on Zombie Goddess.

May - If I can afford it, go to Dean Wesley Smith's POD class. If I can't, work on Zombie Goddess.

June - Finish and publish Zombie Goddess.

I'm still working on the yearly plan, but the bulk of it is formatting the Bloodlines series for print and write Alter Ego's first novel.

Like I said, plans work as long as they're realistic and you stick to your plan. It's real easy to say, "Screw the writing. I'd rather go to the beach."

It all comes down to you. How bad do you want your goal?


  1. I don't do resolutions either. But come each equinox and solstice I celebrate by getting one gift, and setting one challenge. It's great fun and I love it.

  2. Ooo, challenges sound like a good idea! Do you put the gift aside until you meet your challenge? Or do you give it to yourself right aay as incentive?

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