On January 1st, 1985, when I was twenty-four, I wrote as one of a stack of New Year’s Resolutions that by the time I was twenty-five, I would have finished a novel.
I have no idea what the other resolutions that year were, and honestly, I have no idea where that one came from or why it stuck. But it stuck. And I finished my first novel, which was awful and never sold even after I revised it ferociously.
But the writing of that first book changed my life, and in the last twenty-five years, was responsible in countless ways for making my life matter to me, for making me a better person, and for bringing me joy and challenges I could have discovered in no other way.
Next October, I’ll be 50. And I’ve realized that by January 1st of 2010, I want to have a resolution to put on the table that will give me twenty-five more years of challenges, that will push me in directions I have not yet gone, that will give me something that’s hard to learn and hard to do well and hard to succeed at. Something I can sink my teeth into, something I can chase with focus and passion.
I have some ideas, some possible directions.
But I want to hear what you think.
If this were you—if one simple New Year’s resolution had changed your life 25 years earlier, and you were looking for something that could give you another quarter century of challenges—what would you pursue?