Monday, December 06, 2010

Checking in on my New Year's Resolutions


At the beginning of the year, I made eight work-related New Year's resolutions. It's been a while since I looked back at them, and since there's less than a month left of 2010 (eeeek!!!), I thought I'd check in and see if there isn't anything I can firm up my resolve about in these final days of the year.

1) Learn how to say "no" more. 
Hmmm. Oh, gosh, I totally forgot about this one, and I don't think I achieved it at all. I find it hard to say no to speaking requests that are based in NY, like the NYPL panel I did last month, or the school visit I did at a High School in Brooklyn a few weeks ago, or the panel on digital publishing that I'm doing tonight at a Middle School! And I've said yes to a bunch of guest blogs and interviews, although I've realized that I've also dropped the ball on a few. I guess that was why I had this resolution, because I found myself saying yes, and then forgetting or not having time to follow through...ugg. Oops...

2) Stop counting on weekend and vacations and holidays to "catch up" on work.
I think I've been better about this than in previous years.

3) Don't stay at the office past 9 pm.

I think I've only broken this one two or three times, on nights before leaving for a trip. But I've never stayed past 10, so that's an achievement.

4) Work towards "Inbox Zero"--I think this is probably too lofty a goal, so to be a little more realistic, I'd like to have under 20 emails in my inbox by the end of each day (Let's call it Inbox Twenty).
For most of the year, I actually achieved this, and it's been amazing. Life changing, even. But just in the past two weeks my workdays have been filled with back-to-back meetings even more than usual, and I've had more after-work engagements than usual as well, and so I've failed to do this at least four days in the past two weeks alone. Darn it. I'm going to try to keep this up, though, because it's such a weight off my shoulders knowing that I don't have hundreds of emails waiting to be dealt with.

5) While at work, work. Less socializing and web surfing. 
Yes, I think I've achieved this, although I've fallen off my "only check Twitter in the morning, at lunch, and after 5"--I've definitely cheated.

6) Acquire at least two picture books, two middle grade, and two young adult projects this year.
This really has been a year of acquiring YA for me. Although I have a few picture book projects in the works/close to acquisition, I haven't actually contracted new picture books this year. But I have acquired more than two MG and YA projects.

7) Read a little before bed at least five times a week. Read at least one published book per month.
I've definitely read more published books this year, averaging at least one per month. I've also read more in bed before falling asleep, although I don't think it's averaged five times a week. Sometimes I conk out right away, or need to veg out watching TV.

8) Tidy my office at least a little bit once a week.
Ummm....this one would be a definite NO. I coworker walked into my office last week and said, "Gee, and I thought my desk was bad." Oh well.

Maybe in January I should resolve to review my resolutions more often. Ha! But overall, I do think I've achieved a better work-life balance than last year. I hope I'm at least headed in the right direction!

Happy December, everyone. How have you done with your resolutions? Have you started to think of new ones for next year yet?

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