Word for the Year

Tis the season for resolutions.  In the past I have made them, yet I never seem to stick to them.  Maybe because I’ve never really taken myself them seriously.  Two years ago, a fellow scribe and great cyber friend introduced me to the concept of a word of the year.  Last year I gave it a try, along with taking the NaNoWriMo Big, Fun and Scary Challenge.

I finished the year a lot more satisfied with myself as a person and a lot closer to my goals as a writer, a mother, a wife, a sister and friend. 

My word was No.  It forced me to consciously deliberate every committment I was asked to make.  “Can you…?”  No.  “Can you…?”  No.  “Can you…?”  Yes.  Before it was one yes after another and a tired and cranky, over-extended me.  I have been much more effective this year at my extracurricular projects and a lot less stressed.

That little word freed up time for me to write and be a better person.  I shall forever remain fond of the journey it took me on and hope I never forget the power of just saying NO.  It makes YES so much sweeter.

My 2009 Goals were as follows:

1. Learn to say no! (See, it was so powerful it actaully made my list.)  I am thankful to have allowed it into my vocabulary.
2. Restructure business to maximize income and minimize time. Puts less stress on DH- prolonging lifespan.  Still working hard at balancing my love for my job and my effectiveness in terms of time and finances.  I hate that BIG is not easy. 

1. Visit out of state sibs at least once this year.  I did visit my sister, but failed to travel to my baby brother’s home.  However, both of them, along with my nephews and my little sis came for a visit this summer so I consider it a success.  Josh, I know you won’t.  Hopefully I’ll get to Atlanta in 2010.
2. Submit 2 mss/week. Yikes! With time off for good behavior/crisis, this will total 100.  I learned a lot by failing at this goal, which ended up being deliberate halfway through the year.  For many writer friends, sheer quantity of submissions seems to be the norm.  It’s a numbers game.  I believed that, too, until I started submitting.  Then I realized it was a quality game.  I am much more deliberate and thoughtful about submissions than I have ever been.  I hope the agents and editors thank me for not innundating their mailboxes with inappropriate manuscripts.  Condolences to those I have.
3. Reclaim 17yr old body. AKA bikini ready by summer. 5 lbs. Lots of toning.  Yes, then no, now back to working on it again.  Darn holidays are so hard on the rear end.  Not to mention the extra padding is nice in the winter.

1. Start a website or blog. Uber scary for the technotard.  Success.  One I was petrified to attempt and one I now love with a deep passion.
2. Organize my closets- again. And again. And again.  The again implies an ongoing process that never ends.  I guess that’s what happens when you have four kids, a hubby and a dog.  Not to mention that I’m a serious closet pig.  Out of sight and all that jazz.  Yes.  Yes.  And yes.  Sadly, I will spend the next three weeks doing it yet again!

So there you have it.  My 2009 in a nutshell. 

I am currently deliberating between two new words for the year and am seriously considering the Big, Fun and Scary Challenge.  I would like one writing goal and one personal goal in each category with a word that ties the essence of my year together.  It’s a lot to contemplate in a short time, but I still have a day to figure it out.

Maybe your comments can shake something loose.

If you partake in goal setting, resolutions or words, please share them with the rest of us.  If you don’t, I’d like to hear why not.  I love hearing different perspectives and learning everything I can from each one. 

Please have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve.  I want nothing more than to share another year with you all!

cheers and warm fuzzies~ cat

15 responses to “Word for the Year

  1. I don’t do resolutions, but I really like the idea of the word no – just may have to incorporate that one into my life!

    I’m so impressed with your clear goals and your ability to follow through – very nice 🙂

    Wishing you all the best for the new year, Cat – you deserve all kinds of joy and success!

    • Thanks, Jemi.

      I don’t know if it’s impressive or not. I took an organization test over at Books and Such blog and it said I just appear organized on the outside! Which would explain my closets…

      I encourage anyone to incorporate the word no into their vocabulary. It is so freeing.

      Best wishes for you this year as well. I have a feeling AQ will finish strong with all our talent, perseverence and savvy!

  2. Cat, I usually don’t make resolutions. I guess I’m a funny creature– I live by lists. Lists of things to do today, tomorrow, next week, etc. So tackling an entire year seems daunting at best. But I think I’ve come up with my solution. Instead of making a resolution(s) for the year, I might make smaller ones for each month. Say, one for January would be to finish a final edit on my ms, February (?), March (?)….

    I don’t know if it will work, but it seems a lot more doable than planning for the whole year. I think.

    Oh and I do like the word ‘No’. I will add that to my list, er I mean my monthly resolutions/goals. 🙂

    • TK,

      I like the idea of lists. I think the purpose in setting some sort of goal, resolution, list or whater we do to motivate ourselves is that we become mindful of our dreams, expectations and reality. They are so intertwined that without any one of those components, success is limited.

      No is a good word to add to any vocabulary–especially if we want extra time to reach our writing goals.

      I have no doubt that you will accomplish crossing off many items this year from your lists. My problem with them is that I tend to cheat. I write things down after I finish just so I can cross them off!!! Of course writing any kind of goal is in essence a list.

      Wishing you success one month at a time. Go January!

  3. Looks like you had a successful year…good for you!! I have two goals in mind at the moment, one is too stop swearing..I do not have a usually have a potty mouth but once in a while something slips out. Not such a big deal till now when my little one started repeating with great clarity everything me and dada say. So along with such wonderful words as cocoa, baby, ball, cheese, angel and beow for meow lies the s— word as one of her top ten first words!! Luckily for us it was only once but boy was that a surprise!! lol

    And two is start a blog…which you are right is terrifying! I see a lot of people making the change to wordpress is there a reason it is better than blogger. Blogger seems easier to me. Any suggestions?


  4. I’m doing a word too–Nourish. And I blogged about it today!


    I am really good at “no”. I started working on that one in my early twenties, and it took the better part of a decade to get good at it. So worth the effort though! It frees you up so much, and it also means that when you do say yes you a) know you mean it and b) have more energy to give, so your yes is worth more. Bravo to you for incorporating “no” in to your life!

    I find goals for the whole year daunting as well–I really like TK’s idea of setting monthly goals. I might steal that one.

    As for swearing less . . . that is a lost cause. I swear like a sailor. I think I might explode if I didn’t–swearing is how I let off steam.

    • Michelle, LOL!

      Does swearing nourish your soul?!?!?

      Great minds must think alike if we both posted on the same day. I also like the idea of TK’s lists. Bite size accomplishments rather than really scary big committments that are sure fire failures.

      I’m glad you have mastered the word no. I wish you would have given me that tip years ago!

  5. Mastering the word “No” is a big step toward accomplishing the rest of our goals. I backslide on this one from time to time, but have been saying it a lot more lately.

    I’m going to sit down this afternoon and put my goals for 2010 down on paper. One of them will be to clean up my office so I can find stuff.

    • Patricia,

      I think it’s easy to backslide sometimes. I find myself wanting to please other people and I forget that in the long run, too much benefits no one. It sounds like you are well on your way to mastering it. Maybe I can learn from you and get a book or two out on the shelves!

      Hope you get your desk clean!

  6. I’m so proud of you! That you used “No”!!!

    I also like to live by lists, and so having yearly goals is not too daunting for me. I think I may also do monthly goals. I already have a day-to-day to-do list that I find helps me get stuff done.

    I’ll post about my yearly goals and January 2010 goals in the next day or so.

    My word for 2010 – Joy.
    We are adopting two puppies and will get them in February and while it will be a lot of work, I’m looking forward to the Joy they will bring into our lives.

    And Joy that I’ll get the revisions of DD off to the agent, and then begin revising the next ms.

    Have a blessed and prosperous New Year!

    • Thanks, Steph.

      I love your word. One can’t even say the word without feeling a lightening of the heart. I hope your puppies fill your house with much love, excitement and devotion. They are so precious.

      As an overacheiver, your lists are always impressive and the fact that you accomplish them is even more inspirational. You have more energy, motivation and sitck-to-itability than anyone I have ever met.

      Best wishes and a wonderful New Year!

  7. Congrats to you, sounds like you had a good year. 17yr old body again….that would be nice. ^_^

    I think I’d like to swear more in the coming year….

    • Barbara,

      Your goal makes me laugh!

      I live with a health nut who counts calories and works out daily. It makes it a little harder to sit on my butt and just watch him…. Also, I have four healthy, active kids to chase after. All that said, I have found the years have “rearranged” my weight in a less than flattering distribution pattern!

      Happy New Year!

  8. Happy New Year! I’m a little late to the party, but we just got back home where I spent a week in L.A. without my computer. I thought it might be ‘good’ for me, since I’m so obsessed with it, but can’t think for the life of me what good it did me. I jotted down notes on the back of my flight itinerary and scratch paper and now I must decipher them and put them on my laptop. Ahh. So much for the life of a writer junkie.

    Cat: I love your goals list and think you did a tremendous job in 2009. I love your blog and how you interact with everyone. Just being here is teaching me how to develop mine better.

    As for goals, I hadn’t made any consciously, but they’re always in the back of my mind. However, I believe that it gives them more strength if I write them out.

    So here’s what’s floating around in my mind.

    I’ve revived my old WordPress blog. I thought I wanted Blogspot so I could add all those cool widget-y things, but it doesn’t have a lot of features that I like with WordPress. I just posted one today! So one of my writing goals includes my online writing journal which I hope others will want to come visit and chat with me.

    My 2nd writing goal is to dedicate some time every day on my new book which has real people in it this time. No cats!
    How hard that be? My attention span makes me think I may have ADHD of the mind. It takes so much fortitude to be a disciplined writer.

    My 3rd goal is to finish taking the Create a Character clinic by Holly Lisle, which I thoroughly enjoy. It’s perfect timing since I’m in the development stages of my new story.

    Lastly, I want to discover a way to burn tons of calories while writing. Darn, maybe I’ll start swearing more too. ^_^

    p.s. Cat, can you change your link to my blog to my WordPress one? I’m hoping it will link from my name or icon here. If not, it’s http://deadcatssociety.wordpress.com/

    • Rahma,

      Sounds like you had an enjoyable holiday season. I hope you enjoy reaching your goals as much as you did your trip. I love the blog goal, as I think it is a valuable way to connect to others–readers and writers, as well as community and family. The support is unaparalleled.

      I’m with you on the writing every day goal. It is very rewarding to see how quickly your brain incorporates this time and responds with greater creativity.

      I have not heard about the Creat a Character clinic and will have to check that out. I think good characters are one of the most important things a writer can put into their stories. Without them, stories can be so flat.

      Consider you link changed!


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