Monday, December 31, 2012

No New Year's resolutions but I do have letter writing goals

I don't make New Year's Resolutions because I fall flat on my face within a very short time and I dislike setting myself up for failure. Also, although I understand the appeal of the "It's a chance for a fresh start" concept, the reality is that every day, every minute, every second of my life gives the opportunities for fresh starts.

For several years I pondered why I failed with the shiny, sparkly resolutions thing and finally decided knowing why I failed wasn't necessary. What mattered was that I failed so I set out to create a system for myself to make improvements with regular goal setting and evaluation. It took a few years but I eventually succeeded.

I set realistic goals for myself throughout the year then break down the steps needed to succeed into small bits, giving each bit a general time limit. I'm not too hard on myself in regard to the time because life really can, and does, get in the way. I even allow myself to slide on the minor details once in awhile and I don't punish myself for sliding.

I have several goals for the first quarter of the new year. None of them are impractical, impossible, or lofty. In fact, they're very simple goals. However, each one of them requires discipline and I see that as a good thing. They also require regular time outs to take note of where I stand on them and re-evaluate if needed. Again, I see this as a good thing.

My first letter writing goal is to improve my cursive handwriting. This is an ongoing project for me and it's one reason I write letters. I used to have beautiful handwriting but as I got older and busier and using a computer replaced or minimized time using pens, pencils, and paper my skills slipped. It's the old "use it or lose it" thing and now I try to focus on bettering my handwriting. Corresponding with others helps. I also use a practice sheet I found online.

This is very similar to what I learned in elementary school and it comes fairly easily to me, but I get sloppy. I print several sheets a week and when I have a few minutes to spare I work on them. Those of you who've received correspondence from me are probably very surprised that this is akin to what I was taught. I told you I get sloppy! ;-)

My second letter writing goal is to participate in and successfully complete the A Month of Letters Challenge. I send and receive quite a bit of mail but I want to follow the easier-said-than-done-in-my-mind guidelines of the challenge and I'll need a bit of discipline to do so. Sometimes the last thing I want to do after an eight hour shift on my feet is write a letter. This is where sliding a little will come in handy. I just have to keep from sliding into the abyss of not writing!

My third letter writing goal is to improve the quality of my letter content. Writing interesting letters, especially to strangers, isn't that easy for me. I sometimes feel stumped and find myself writing to just fill the page. I don't like that and I don't think the recipients like it, either. I'm capable of so much more and I know it.

Finally, my fourth letter writing goal is to make new friends. This one really needs no explanation, I think. I just enjoy communicating with people from places and lifestyles different than mine.

So there you have my letter writing goals for the first quarter of 2013. Each of the goals is achievable but will take "sticktoitiveness". I'll most likely chart my progress and share my self-evaluations here. I definitely would like feedback on the goals and on the progress I make or don't make.

Have you set letter writing goals for yourself? If so, what are they?

Enjoy your Monday and make it a wonderful last day of 2012!


  1. Happy New Year! Here's to hoping 2013 will be a good year. =D And I'm with you on the goals vs resolutions thing. I always failed at resolutions while goals can be changed according to the ups & downs of life, as it strikes my fancy when I find a project I like better, if I decide it wasn't a good resolution after all or that I bit off more than I could chew, etc.

  2. I hope we all have a lovely 2013, Jan, and thanks for the good wishes for the new year. :)

    And you said that very well about goals vs. resolutions. You hit the nail on the head.

    I hope the rest of your week and weekend are marvelous.