So this is the time when people usually make resolutions, right?
I don’t know how I feel about resolutions. It’s like a Lenten fast for six Lents in a row - people are especially eager to see whether or not you make it. To the man on the street, any resolution is less than a genuine goal. It’s done on a whim, and more often than not it has no real reason or sensible planning behind it.
So I’ve taken to making goals instead. Attainable and solid things - things, not just one passing unimportant ‘thing’ - that I want to get at least rolling down the 2012 hill instead of staying stagnant.
Now, there are things that won’t be here that some people will wish were here - “what about going back to school, Brandon?”; “don’t you want to get a job, Brandon?”. These are on the priority list - they’re kind of obligatory, I’d argue. They’re not here because they’re not accomplishments. Everyone wants you to do those things. Whether I do or I don’t, I’m not a failure. These things below are what I personally need to gauge whether I made any progress this year.
- Finish a past written work in progress. I’ve done two NaNoWriMos (within recent times) and have two unfinished works as a result. I want to see at least one of them finished, in particular last year’s WIP because I keep needing over and over to use it as a medium to ask myself really responsible questions about myself and where I’m going in terms of the people I know;
- Launch a new writing blog. I have a blog set up, not yet ready for release, where I’m going to publish some of my other stories as weekly/bi-weekly serials. Now, mind you, I have about nine ideas lined up, and I’ll be damned if I can do at least half, finishing a past WriMo story, and my next goal (getting to it), so you may only see one or two here. This is not a team effort. I will be here all by myself, but there will be moments where I make it as interactive as possible. More when that launches!;
- Enter NaNoWriMo and (try really hard to) win. I know, I’ve said the same thing two years in a row and failed. That coupled with other time-specific goals may get in the way a lot in the new year, but I know I can do it because I’ve since doubled my ‘word count endurance’ (i.e. the amount of words I put down on paper until I quit) from 2010. I need to show myself that I can finish it. I know I can in my heart - I just need to show my head the evidence.
- Learn at least one ‘mental skill’. I once had a conversation with a magician friend of mine about how to break the art of magic down into its core psychological component - deception, misdirection, being in control of a situation and taking charge of the result - and he recommended reading the works of British magician Derren Brown, who writes a lot not only about his process, but other peculiar tricks he’s mastered, how he got into magic, and how it translates into his views on science and religion. The first thing I opened was Tricks of the Mind, and it opened a can of worms. The two middle chapters are dedicated to memory improvement and the art of hypnosis respectively; the one right after involves cold reading and liespotting. Starting with memory, I’m going to work toward learning all, not only for the cool factor, but because of the possible self improvement benefits - both are fundamentally mental talents. If I can learn to channel my memory perfectly, then I stand to gain a great deal in places where memory is necessary or at least an asset. I want to learn hypnosis not only so I can understand how suggestibility works but, hopefully, find cool and useful ways to use it. And obviously there are good reasons to be at least vaguely more accurate at telling when someone is lying to you.
- Learn to solve a Rubik’s Cube. I just really want to know how - I think people who can are awesome. Obviously, memory has to be down pat before I can even try. To be fair to myself, I’m not looking to master solving the cube in less than five minutes. I just want to know I can look at it, sit down, and crack the whole thing without feeling mentally frustrated.
- Create - and read - an essential personal booklist. There are books I plan to finish for self-improvement purposes, and for the time being Tricks of the Mind is the first one of those. A host of others, like The Art of War, The Book of The Five Rings, Tao Te Ching, ReWork and Social Intelligence are also there. Some I’ve finished, some I haven’t started, but for 2012 the mission is to truly dedicate myself to reading and comprehending it all.
- Physically make something. I write - language is my clay, and even if I can’t make elaborate vases and sculptures, I’m a damn good potter and I’m proud of the messages I put in those pots. But I want to try my hand, quite literally, at actually making something. Aniki used to make jewelry with our sister, and I recently found out that a really good bead shop opened on the road leading to my old high school because Aniki works there temporarily now. I plan on starting with a few simple pieces - earrings and bracelets, if the quality of their stock allows - and then I’m going to start going backward, as it were, finding things to make more or less totally from scratch, and being accountable for the outcome.
- Host something. Just for the sake of making another space, if only briefly, for poets to perform, I want to host a show - not an open mic or something like that, but an actual production of some kind this year. I want to do it with a team of like-minded capable performers, I want it to be financially worthy, and I want to put whatever money it does get into something other than myself/ourselves that deserves the money. Hopefully that process will lead me to two of my long-term general goals, directing a self-written play and creating my own web series, but whether those things happen this year by providence or by chance has yet to be discerned, so baby steps.
- Unfuck my habitat. My room is probably in such a mess I have insects paying rent. I want it not only to be a bit more presentable for my sake, but I want to be able to salvage something akin to a workspace out of it without having to spend (much) money. Surely that means at some point a makeshift bookshelf and a real table will be in the cards, but let’s see if I can prolong that as much as possible (without having to resort to typing on a rusty ironing board like I used to when I started blogging).
- Unfuck my style. Now, this is not to say I am totally style-less; however, I just haven’t really figured out what I prefer to look like. Wearing clothes and being hygienic is but the bare minimum, the obligatory social norm - this year’s aim is to accomplish a style of some sort and stick to it. How does my hair look best? Shave the whole beard and mustache off, or find what works? Why the hell do I always go out in a plain-coloured t-shirt and jeans, goddammit??
- Have fun more meaningfully. Hanging around in UWI is not socializing - it’s loitering. Instead, why don’t I do things - go to the movies? Throw a party (somewhat)? Bring chips and drinks to someone’s house just so we can watch the latest episode of Castle? Simplicity and vagabondage work wonders when you’re in a certain frame of mind, but I’m trying to build a better frame of mind, and that involves being majorly active - not passive.
Most likely this isn’t the whole list - as we go deeper down the rabbit hole that is the new year, this only has the potential to get larger. If so, expect a lot of wired-in posts with the Mission 2012 tag. But this is the mission, and I’ll be damned if I fail. So wish me luck.