The One Where We Talk About Goals for the New Year

Apologies for the 24 hour delay, friends. I spent all of yesterday battling through a return to work that included responding to (roughly!) 23 work emails and (definitely less than!) 4 phone calls, and then made it a priority to attend the redesign party for Boston Magazine. After TK years (eight? thirty?), BoMag totally redesigned itself, and threw a party celebrating that fact, which included samplings of foods from a ton of ridiculously upscale restaurants around Boston — including a butter soup from No. 9 Park, which satisfied my caloric needs for 2009. Pathetically, that’s my excuse.

But enough about my eating habits. January — an underrated candidate for worst weather’d month of the year in Boston — is the time when people sit inside and reflect about how they’re going to do things differently outside. I have 19 goals for the newest year. Three(ish) involve writing:

1. Finish the d*$% book. We don’t need to talk about this. This needs to happen. This needs to happen soon. This needs to happen so my life can progress and not resemble a particularly extensive writing version of Groundhog Day. I think Thomas the Tank Engine said it best when he said, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can… buuuttt my engine is kind of tired due to my other jobs, and I definitely don’t dig getting up early, especially when I’m wearing these cashmere socks.”

2. Put a story in a prominent national magazine. WD aside, I have pretty much remained a regional magazine writer for the last five years, content to sit on the beanbag chair of comfort, zoning out with the blinds shut and my iHome (Christmas present!) set to that catchy version of “Devil Town” from the third season of Friday Night Lights. No more. All I ask this year is one story — one solid story in a national mag. That’s all. Just some sort of forward tilt there. Frankly, I don’t understand why it hasn’t happened yet, especially with all the Sweet Query Letters I’ve showcased on this blog.

3. Get my a$$ promoted. See how I put those dollar signs in place of the s’s? That’s because promotions mean mo’ money (also, we’re vaguely admonished for swearing) and it means you’re doing something right. I guess. I wouldn’t actually know, seeing how this is my first full year of gainful and traditional(ish) employment, but I think that’s the gist of that Rich Dad, Poor Dad book.

That’s it. Three simple, yet powerful goals for the year that I will celebrate my tenth reunion with my high school class — the first actual reunion where people sort of look different, have real jobs, and aren’t even embarrassed that they no longer remember which superlative you won.

Anyway, this is not all about me. It’s 78% about me. The other 22% needs to be filled with your own writing, personal, work, or pop culture goals for the 20th anniversary of the first time I heard a New Kids on the Block song. Donny D’s on the back up, indeed.

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You spoil me.

I was living in,
a Devil Town

Glen Hansard

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22 thoughts on “The One Where We Talk About Goals for the New Year

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  2. Heather

    While you’re finishing that book and working on your career enhancement, I’ll still be recovering from Marky Mark running around in his tighty whities. Seriously, my list? Only one item.

    Getting two hours of devoted writing time…or a short story published…any kind of creditionals.

    Okay, that may be two or three depending on a person’s math skills. Mine were never that good. Good luck, everyone!

    HJ…mother of two, sucks at math.

  3. Genevieve

    I would like to add an amendment to my list that just popped into my head last night. I want to not worry about finishing the book. I want to enjoy writing it. I constantly think, "I gotta finish the book, I gotta finish the book" while I’m writing, so sometimes I speed through scenes without making them better. I just want to get to the finish line. My New Year’s resolution is to take one day at a time, and I think I should apply that to my writing too. Just one scene at a time. That, my dears, is going to take a complete rehauling of my brain, but I think it will be worth it. Right now I pile so much pressure on myself that I smother. That’s not how a creative outlet is suppose to go. You know. Unless you’re in hell.

    Christine – a brilliant list.

  4. Genevieve

    1)Definitely, I resolve to start reading this blog again earlier in the week. I like reading all of the comments as well and it’s easier to read them a few at a time instead of all at once.

    2)make sure that Tom writes super long comments. I don’t know how I will accomplish this. Perhaps by writing subliminal comments that only catch his eye for a second with lines that read, "Don’t delete that," and "you need a couple of more paragraphs."

    3)Finish. My. Darn. Book! The first draft has been finished for a while now. I would like to, as Kevin said, get on with my life.

    4) read about Angie’s love life in Spain

    Good luck to you, Kevin. They sound like attainable goals, fer sure.

  5. Hollee J. Chadwick

    First of all, thank God you are back to posting again – am addicted to this blog.
    I went into exhaustive detail about my resolutions on my own blog so I won’t do so here, except to say that finally writing a novel (after 30 years as a published everywhere else on the planet writer and editor)is on my list.
    This is the first year I resolved to do this in a public way, so it forces me to do so to save face, I suppose, or, to put it bluntly and in keeping with the theme of swearing, but not: s*** or get off the pot.
    Here’s to all of us (insert raised champagne flute here).

  6. Stephanie Allen

    My 2009 Goals:
    sleep more (the beauty is fading)
    read more (the memory is fading)
    write more (where the hell did I put my pen?)
    live bigger (screw losing those last five pounds…they’ll fade in the fun)
    either watch less tv or watch better tv (Desperate Housewives counts, right?)
    continue to read this blog…seriously, did anyone see where I put my pen?

  7. Kevin Alexander

    Erin– if it wasn’t for my girlfriend’s brother (illegally?!) burning the first 11 episodes onto CDs and giving them to her for C-mas, I, too, would be in the FNL dark…
    But I’m not! And I must further your impatience by admitting that this season — and my feeling is that third seasons are sort of make or break on whether or not a series actually matters (sorry Alias) — is kind of awesome. I will obviously talk about this much more later.

    And come now Tom: your audience demands substantial blog responses… ’tis the problem with creating suck kick a$$ demand!!!

  8. Jen Zeman

    2009 Goals:

    1. Continue to read Kevin’s blog for some side-splitting laughter.
    2. Submit query to agent(s) for my book.
    3. Publish at least 3 nonfiction articles.
    4. Travel to the Out Islands of the Bahamas and never come back!

  9. Erin

    My goal for 2009 is to regress back into adolescence so I can write a knock-out YA novel that will make as much money as Twilight despite the lack of sparkly vampires. Olivia, when I achieve this, I will invite you over to use my money booth.

    And thank you Kevin Alexander for making me even more impatient to see the new season of Friday Night Lights! DirecTV be d*&@#ed!

  10. Tom

    Ah, then you have another goal for this year: be a good blogger. (Might I suggest a lax schedule of one post ever other week?) Blogging is kind of hard, because almost none of us get paid for it, and often we have a pretty tiny reader base, though those folks are awesome.

    Maybe, instead of deleting every blog you start, you could start a main one, then start several sub-blogs, and then every time you get read to delete a sub-blog you could just copy all of the entries into the main blog. A blog of deleted blogs.

    I want to build a car and try to beat a 200+ mile per hour record at Bonneville this year. I have no ca$h, which totally sucks a$$.

  11. Angie

    Kevin, great idea! I don’t know why I didn’t think of it. Now googling writing classes in Spain…

    Tom, I’m a terrible blogger. I’ve started at least 3 blogs, then let them lie fallow forever, or until I deleted them, which ended up happening first.

  12. Paige

    So you’re saying that if some one calls me a crazy a$$ or a crafty a$$ they should offer me money as a part of the name calling gesture?

    Super Cool- hey some one owes me lots of money!

    And no that is not all I got out of your post. duh

  13. Olivia

    Because I’m feeling wordy, and the above comments were much too short, (seriously, Tom, you have a reputation to live up to now) and because I am so psyched that your 2 week hiatus is finally over, I’m about to give you a nice fat & juicy comment here.

    First of all, any soup that has the word "butter" in the descriptor is on the top of my list as one of the best d*** soups ever! Forward the recipe the next time you feel like ditching a basketball game to browse

    Now, about your goals for ’09…

    Yes, you definitely need to finish that book. Your loyal supporters are patiently waiting. C’mon, Kevin, I know you got it in you. Organize. I have to say, though, I feel your pain. I finished the rough draft of my sci-fi novel in November and foolishly gave myself a deadline of 2 months to finish the editing. Humph! That 2 month deadline came and went last week and I’m only as far as chapter 3 in a 31 chapter book! Not to mention, the little reminder thingy on my laptop beeps at me every 5 minutes because all the stuff I was supposed to have done already for, not only that book, but the bazillion other writing projects I felt the need to start all at once, are ALL OVERDUE. It’s like the annoying seat-belt reminder alarm in your car that you keep trying to ignore even though you know it would go away if you just PUT ON YOUR SEAT-BELT.

    Second, putting a story in a national mag. It’s funny cuz that’s one of my writing goals for ’09 as well. Although, I write science fiction & fantasy so, no help for ya there. I have one completed story that already won a WD writing contest (no pub rights, so it’s mine again, whoopee) and another that’s about half-way through the first draft. I’m hoping one of those two will find a nice home somewhere in glossy print over the course of this year.

    Third, I would agree that making more money means you’re doing something right. Dreams of book signings, national magazine cover shots, and a cool superman-style money booth in my living room that blows the cash all around in an arrogant display of wealth…I mean, no, I don’t think about those things at all. That would be self-centered. : ) It would be cool, though, to step into the money booth every time you needed to run out for a cappuchino or some other overpriced drink.

    On a final note (I was going to mention something about the ten-year reunion, but then my brain woke up and I realized that you’re three years younger than me, not the same age like I thought, and I just lost the mojo for it), I just found one minor typo at the end of your speel…

    The correct term is NKOTB. Former NKOTB fan girl here. That is all. Thank you.

    Good luck with those goals, Kevin. Now that you’ve made them semi-public by posting them on your blog, you’re going to have to succeed in reaching them. We’re always watching…

  14. Tom

    I was respoding to this, and it got really, really long, so I erased it. I’m not repeating my comment-y performance from last year.

    Goals good. ’nuff said.

    Angie, if you do go out on two dates per month, you need to blog about that s***. That sounds very entertaining.

  15. Kevin Alexander

    I dig the list, Angie. And the semi-praise for NKOTB… Now if you could only go on 2 dates a month while taking a writing class in Spain…

  16. Angie

    Yay, NKOTB! That was a, uh, memory.

    My goals for the ’09:
    – new job
    – new digs
    – at least 2 dates / month
    – go to Spain
    – publish an article. anywhere will do.
    – take one each: business class, music class, writing class
    – save at least 15% of income
    – work out 3x / week. no excuses


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