For the first time in many years, I am resolution-free. Not sure how it happened, but I haven’t come up with a single thing I’ve got to push myself to accomplish. That is until I read about Donna Cummings’ wish list….
I imagine by now a lot of resolutions have fallen by the wayside. Over the years I have added my fair share to the landfill of broken dreams, and have vowed not to make any more donations if I can help it.
Don’t get me wrong. I completely understand the appeal of New Year’s resolutions. Life has shaken the Etch-a-Sketch and given us a clean screen to write on. We’re excited and fiercely determined to conquer the things that conquered us the previous year. . .
Only we rarely do.
Resolution turns into disillusion. We are left discouraged, convinced that we’re hopelessly flawed. In reality we’re humans with an unshakeable belief that we can improve things, which is why we optimistically declare each January 1st to do just that.
Maybe there’s a better way to make this happen. We’re dreamers, after all, and as writers we’re accustomed to transforming vague ideas into a sparkly, shiny reality.
Instead of resolutions, how about creating a Wish List?
A wish taps into our heart’s desires, what we truly long for, not what we think we should want. It makes us dream of better times even when they seem unattainable. It’s a spark of hope that refuses to be extinguished in the face of a harsh reality. Why else would we wish upon a star, click our heels, or clap our hands to bring an ailing fairy back to life?
A resolution, on the other hand, is a grim-faced, steely determination that things are going to change OR ELSE! No wonder it’s so easy to avoid them after a few half-hearted attempts. “Oh well, maybe next year,” we say, with a mixture of relief and regret.
I firmly believe wishes and regrets are two sides of the same coin. My hero in Lord Misrule says, “Regrets are the worst sort of wishes, because they keep a man mired in the past, reliving choices that can never be changed.”
Maybe a Wish List can get us going in the right direction. Here’s what I suggest:
- Write down everything you’d like to do
Since this is kind of a brainstorming session, let yourself go a little wild. Even as I’m typing things, I know they won’t all get done. (Which is too bad, because I should totally get the chance to pitch Chris Hemsworth on playing one of my heroes in a movie.) But creating a wish list shows very clearly what interests me, and a little pondering leads to why it interests me. Maybe I wish I could go to a writing conference. Why? Because it would be fun to hang out with other authors and readers and be a complete fan-girl about books. Or maybe I want to write four books instead of three. Why? Because I have so many stories and time is going faster than my word count. All of these could be stated as resolutions, of course, but I’m often more motivated to do things when they’re fun, not forced.
- Figure out what makes your heart go pitter-pat
Now it’s time to prioritize, unless you are able to make “become a billionaire” or “find a fairy godmother” materialize first. But I bet several things on your list aren’t as fanciful as you think, now that you’ve written them down. It also wouldn’t surprise me if some of those wishes are actually some resolutions who thought they could sneak in wearing a wish disguise. Don’t be fooled. While you’re reviewing the items on your list, if it makes your heart race, pound, or skip a beat. . .you’re definitely on the right track.
- Outline the next steps
Turning the wishes into concrete actions is more familiar ground, since it feels a bit like plotting, or goal-setting. If I truly wish to go to a conference, I need to determine some logistics. Is it a local one, or something farther away? How much does it cost? When do I have to pay? All of these can be determined and then implemented. Instead of it being a series of resolutions that makes me grind my teeth, it’s a plan designed to make a wish come true.
- Revisit the wish list
It’s possible that what you wished for in January (beach vacation with cool drinks and hot cabana guys) isn’t what you’re wishing for in July. Or maybe it is. It’s more likely you’ve made those first wishes come true and need to add new ones. You’re in charge of this list and it’s up to you to see that it reflects your heartfelt desires, all of them, no matter what they are, or when they show up.
So that’s my suggestion for accomplishing more of what we want to do this year. I’m sure it seems a bit fanciful. Right now you may even be thinking, “What if I don’t accomplish anything on my Wish List?” It’s true. You might not. But ask yourself this: how many of your resolutions get added to your Accomplishments List every December 31st?
Tell me what’s on your Wish List this year. Maybe I’ll need to add them to mine!
Join us on Wednesday for Ines Johnson!
Bio: I have worked as an attorney, winery tasting room manager, and retail business owner, but nothing beats the thrill of writing humorously-ever-after romances.
I reside in New England, although I fantasize about spending the rest of my days in a tropical locale, wearing flip flops year-round, or in Regency London, scandalizing the ton.
Get a head start on your Valentine celebrations with this trio of Regency stories. Here’s what’s included:
Wicked Rogues. Handsome Aristocrats. Destined for love, one and all! Beverley Oakley, Donna Cummings, and Heather Boyd have teamed up to bring you three utterly romantic love stories to warm your heart!
In His Valentine’s Secret, by Beverley Oakley, Lady Athelton’s St Valentine’s Ball should have been a time for love, not vengeance, as the once carefree Lisette plots the demise of the man she once loved. Will she learn the truth in time?
In Truly, My Love, by Donna Cummings, Lord Benedict and Lady Sommerwood stage a faux romance in order to help him evade two besotted young misses at a Valentine party. But can an affair built on falsehoods possibly turn into true love?
In A Husband for Mary, by Heather Boyd, Miss Mary Vine kissed a handsome stranger at the Fenwick Masquerade, never imagining the extraordinary attraction could be for the most disgraceful rake in London. A man she knew far too well…
This is an all-new collection of stand-alone complete works.
- And the winner is…
- It’s Great Advice, But I Can’t Seem to Follow It – Donna Cummings
- Can I Have 15 Minutes of Your Time? Donna Cummings
- Can I Have 15 Minutes of Your Time? Donna Cummings
- Enjoy Your Creativity by Donna Cummings