A letter to myself about my goals for 2022
It’s been a while. Five years, to be exact.
That’s the last time I wrote a Dear Me entry. To be fair, a big part of the reason is because I took over Writing.com’s official contests in 2015 and I haven’t even been eligible to submit an entry for the past seven years. That may sound shallow, but it's true. I respond well to incentives! I wrote an unofficial Dear Me letter for my blog in 2017, and it feels well past time to give it another shot.
In that 2017 letter, I outlined the following goals:
(1) Get my screenwriting business advice website off the ground;
(2) write one pilot and one feature screenplay;
(3) outline and start working on my novel series;
(4) blog regularly; and
(5) be more active on Writing.Com.
I did get my screenwriting business advice website off the ground, but subsequently abandoned it. Turns out, that was a side-hustle I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about. I didn’t end up writing a pilot, nor did I write a feature screenplay. I definitely outlined and started working on a novel series, but never finished it and that was now about a dozen different novel ideas ago. I wrote twelve blog entries for the entirety of the 2017 calendar year, which doesn’t really meet the definition of “regularly,” and my goal of averaging one review per day and entering one contest per month here on WDC? Well, um ... see, the thing is ...
Looking back at my prior Dear Me letters, a pattern emerged: lofty goals, limited follow-through. As I sit down to write this letter in 2022, I’m struggling to find a new approach. Not in the gimmicky, “can I come up with a clever style of letter that will stand out to the judges” kind of way I used to write these letters, but in a way that affords a greater opportunity for success. Then again, success probably requires a change in execution more than design.
Writing one book and one script is a completely reasonable goal this year. I’d like to think I can accomplish more than that, but my writing skills have atrophied. I have a lot of rust to shake off, and I don’t want to set the bar so artificially high that I buckle under the weight of unmet expectations. So my goal will therefore be one new piece of writing in each of my primary areas of interest over the next twelve months. More if I can, but at least that much.
Being more active on Writing.com is another goal I’m going to import from my 2017 letter. I’m not going to be prescriptive about this (which I know flies in the face of best practices for goal-setting), but I honestly don’t know what “more active” means at this point. Technically, anything would be more active than my current level of participation, but I don’t know if I want to get back into reviewing, or enter contests, or blog. I may want to start a new group or just be more social. It’s something that I’m going to have to figure out this year, and the only way to do that is to try a bunch of things and see what sticks. If I say I want to do a hundred reviews in 2022 but get bored after the first ten, I don’t want that hanging over my head for the rest of the year.
The final goal I’m going to set for myself this year is to get physically healthy again. Another nebulous goal to be sure, again because I don’t specifically know what that looks like yet. Exercise of some kind, sure. Healthier diet, yeah (unfortunately). The bottom line is that I just don’t feel good about myself physically and I need to do something about it. I’m not looking for six-pack abs by beach season, or 10% BMI by the next high school reunion, but I’d like to have more energy and not feel like a lazy blob all the time. It’s not easy to find workout time with the demands of a desk job and young children, but I need to find some way to improve my physical well-being.
That’s it. Those are my three goals for the year:
(1) Write one novel and one script;
(2) be more active on Writing.com; and
(3) improve physical health.
Hopefully this lack of complication will help me achieve better outcomes than I have with my previous Dear Me attempts. Something needs to change. I’ve been in a pandemic-related, pseudo-hibernation state for the past two years, subsumed by parenting and professional responsibilities. I’ve forgotten who I used to be.
I used to be someone who had energy left at the end of the day. Who wrote all kinds of things for pleasure. Who enjoyed new experiences and didn't spend all his time saying, "One day I'll get back to that thing I used to do." If I’m going to remember who I used to be, I have to start somewhere. This year, I will start with these three goals.