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There are exactly four things on my 2014 Goals list. I’m not going to share them, (because why would anyone else care about my goals for myself?), but in the process of making it as concise as possible, I went through an interesting exercise. Though ruthless editing is a part of everyday life as a writer, it felt very different to be editing myself, or, at least, my aspirations for myself over the next year.

Some things are just unnecessary.

Some things are just unnecessary.

When editing a story, every single world needs to be there for a reason. If a story can survive the loss of any extra anything, it’s cut. Applying that process to life goals was helpful in a way that I’m hoping will make the entire next year more efficient and clear. Here are a few of my first draft goals that I cut and the reasons I let them go:

  1. Lose ** pounds I’m going to take a deep breath and be honest: I should probably lose ** pounds. OK, only partially honest, since you only know I should lose between 10 and 99 pounds. But I do know the number, I am planning to get there, but my problem isn’t any particular quantity of girth. I wasn’t active enough last year. So the number isn’t on my real list, but “stay active” is. Because the habit is way more important than the number.
  2. Read all the books/Watch all the movies I could stand to have more entertainment in my life, but I do not want the stress of force feeding it to myself.
  3. Take on a new publishing clients No matter what your business is, the adage of “grow or die” isn’t a bad one to live by. And I really could use some diversity in my workload. However, when I think about the process of pursuing new clients, the first thing that comes to mind is all of the time needed for my other goals being sucked into oblivion. If new clients come along, of course I’ll consider myself very lucky and will likely take them on. But I’m not, for one year, going to force myself to go hunting. Unless I have to. Knock on wood. Please don’t leave me, current clients.
  4. Keep our house cleaner To be clear, it is one of my greatest desires to live in a super clean, super tidy house. As long as I don’t have to play a role in keeping it that way.
  5. Drink 6439 ounces of water a day Who has time to count another thing every day?
  6. Make a dent in my student loans HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Like that is ever going to happen.

So…what’s not on your list this year?

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