Well. I suppose THIS is really happening, isn’t it?
It’s funny; I have a distinct memory from about a thousand years ago of my family sitting around the dinner table together (because we did that, because we are awesome) talking about some trip my sister was about to take with some church group. Maybe a youth group or something.
(Yes, I am aware that my “distinct memory” is really more of a “vague impression.” If you’ve been part of my Circle O’ Crazy long enough, you are not surprised.)
Anyway, the slogan for the trip was “Break through in ’92!” because that’s what year it was, and apparently whatever group she was traveling with was going to have a breakthrough. Or else they were going to make other people have breakthroughs. Or they were hoping to break through some barriers. Regardless, they were going to BREAK THROUGH IN ’92!
My family and I spent most of dinner (or maybe just the next eight minutes) coming up with slogans for the following years: Break free in ’93! Break down the door in ’94! Come alive in ’95! Pick up sticks in ’96!
As you can see, we kind of abandoned the whole “break” theme in favor of creative license. We also, to my recollection, did not make it past 1996 because WHO COULD FATHOM THAT SUCH A YEAR MIGHT EXIST?
And yet we have not only surpassed 1996, we’ve now found ourselves on the brink of 2014. What should our slogan be? “Don’t be mean in 2014!” “Eat beef that’s lean in 2014!” “Get the canteen in 2014!” “Ring-a-ding-ding in 2014!”
Oh, I could go on all night, people. Never forget: I have a degree in advertising. Slogans are mah BIZ.
(Somewhere–and this has nothing to do with anything, but–I have this recording of myself singing a jingle I actually wrote for Vidalia onions. I would find it and let you hear it, but I still have juuuuust enough dignity to NOT.)
(I know you are disappointed, and I’m a little bit sorry.)
(Will a hedgehog being tickled with a Q-tip help to dull the pain?)
(Of course it will.)
Vidalia Onion ad campaigns aside, I should tell you that there is, in fact, a point to this as-yet-nonsensical blog post, and it is this: 2014 is a brand new year, and if you’ve ever had a goal, now is the time to think about making it happen. And one of the most important parts of making things happen is starting.
So whatever your goal is, take a few minutes tonight to think about how to start. What is the very first step? Do you need to make a list? Draw up a chart? Buy some stickers and a calendar? Do some Googling?
Pick a first step. ONE first step. Something small, not overwhelming, that you can do easily.
And then, tomorrow, actually do that first step. Do it like you mean it. Do it like you’re really going to accomplish this goal of yours.
In other words, begin as you mean to go on.
For me, this means participating in Leigh Bardugo’s #BAYMTGO (Begin As You Mean To Go On) writing sprint initiative. You can find out all the details on her blog, and if you’re not too busy tomorrow, maybe you can join in! I have no idea how many sprints I’ll be able to do, but I’m determined to do at least one.
I’ve also set a goal to write at least 500 words per day. If you’re not sure how many that is, this blog post is currently 568 words, so if this were my manuscript, I would have already accomplished my goal. I’m not saying I’ll write ONLY 500 words per day; I hope to get much more than that most days. But my sticker stars will be worth 500 words each, so as long as I’ve got at least one star for the day, I’ll be happy.
What are your goals for the new year? If you are a writer, what will you be working on? Tell me in the comments!