January 31, 2013. What did I do this year? What will I do next year? Is it worth making any resolutions when the odds are stacked against me from accomplishing any of them? A study by the University of Hertfordshire found that 88% of people break their New Year’s resolutions. Or to put it another way, only 12% of people keep their resolutions!
I think it’s important to keep striving to learn new things and try to keep growing. One of my favourite quotes is “the only time you can coast is when you are going downhill.” And I think once you stop trying to grow, your decline is inevitable.
Part of growing, though, is making sure that you have “grown”, so review is an important part of the development process. Any good plan will involve periodic assessments of the “plan”. Now, checking only once a year – i.e. on December 31 – is not recommended. Ideally, you build in multiple check points. At the very least, you should check in quarterly.
I did some occasional checking on my goals, but I realized that I didn’t make any “official” resolutions for 2013. The last time I did that was in January 2011. Tomorrow, I will make some resolutions for 2014.
2013 was more of a “building” year for me. I started work on a new play (Out to the Folks) that might actually get a professional production. Fingers crossed! I wrote the first draft in February and I am working on the sixth draft right now. The play was read by professional actors in October, as part of Theatre Aquarius’ “Script Happens” series and will be workshopped at the end of January.
My play Minced was put on by the Burl-Oak Theatre Group and a production company in Montreal is interested in putting it on, as well. I performed in a British Farce called Pools Paradise in the Fall and I’m co-directing a play called The Uninvited, which opens in February. I also took a Directing class with Richard Rose in the summer, which was excellent!
Although, I applied for a few jobs and worked on my job search skills, I remain unemployed. However, I did get into the Independent Television Producer program in the Fall and look forward to running my own business very soon. I put more effort into applying for writing grants and the general business of writing.
It was an interesting year family-wise. Deb and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in October. My daughter, Caileigh, went to Vietnam in the Fall, as part of her International Development program at Waterloo. Caileigh will be there until April and Deb is visiting her right now. My son, Keaton, started at Lakehead University which is in Thunder Bay – about 1,400 kilometers (869 miles) away! Thank goodness for Skype and FaceTime. Tara is still at home and enjoying life in grade 10.
My uncle Tony passed away this Fall after being diagnosed with a form of cancer earlier in the year. That’s four brothers (including my father) passing away within a three year span. My sister and her husband separated at the beginning of the year. My brother got married in the summer, so it wasn’t all bad news on the extended family front.
I usually do a fair amount of reading during the year, but 2013 proved to be the exception. I did a lot of my reading on the train to work, so not going into town regularly impacted the amount I read. This is what I read in 2013:
- Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.
- The Little Book of Talent: 52 tips for improving your skills by Daniel Coyle.
- To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink.
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
- Positivity by Barbara L. Fredrickson.
- You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay.
- Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott.
- Think Big, Act Small by Jason Jennings.
- Decisive by Dan and Chip Heath.
- Paper Towns by John Green.
- The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle
- The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau.
- The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes.
- Contagious by Jonah Berger.