Thursday, December 30, 2004


2004 was a success beyond my wildest dreams. On Sunday, I leave to begin a low-residency MFA program in New Hampshire, and later in January I will take the biggest trip of my life thus far. I can attribute these successes largely to the fact that I wrote out a very detailed set of goals at the end of the 2003 year.

So, here's to a prosperous year, as I present (drumroll please) the goals for M. Ayodele Heath, the man, the myth, the legend, for 2005. (If you're reading this, I encourage you to write out your own list and, as I am doing, share it with a friend who will hold you accountable. Also, I realize that this looks like a lot, but by breaking the list into separate categories, the goals don't become so overwhelming.)

1. Attain six (6) publication credits in literary magazines/anthologies (poems or short fiction)

A/P: Each time I get a rejection notice from one (1) magazine, send out
submissions to two (2) more. Cain't nobody hold me down. What, n_gga, what!
2. Launch a website.

A/P: Speak w/ __ul about a timeline.

3. Start a free writing and/or performance workshop for adults by October.
4. Write a full-length play.
5. Give at least 1 free performance per month.
6. Build a relationship with the Georgia Council for the Arts.
7. Develop a scripted/themed 45-minute poetry show/presentation for college/high-school performances.
8. Start a separate wardrobe for performance.
9. Complete the full-length poetry book manuscript!

A/P: Use MFA program as a factory for new material.

10. Complete three (3) new short stories.
11. Enter the next annual Creative Loafing Fiction contest.
12. Apply! Apply! Apply!

A/P: Apply to at least five (5) first-book contests (October).
Apply to at least one (1) grant/award every quarter (4 per year.)

1. Eat more vegetables!

A/P: 3x a week

2. Reach target weight of 168 pounds.

A/P: Eat breakfast every workday (even if it is just a snack/fruit).
3. Do one (1) leg workout per week.
4. Do three (3) cardio workouts per week.
5. Drink more water!

A/P: Keep a water bottle at my desk at work.

1. Sowing (before reaping): See Career #3 and Career #5 and Personal #6
2. Meditate (10 minutes of silence each morning.)
3. More sowing: Once a month, take a platonic friend/associate/co-worker out for a meal or coffee.
4. Attend a church (any church) once every 2 months.

1. Develop a standard pay scale for gigs.
2. Earn $5,000 in writing gigs/awards.

A/P: Use website to promote services w/ goal of obtaining at least one paying gig per month.

3. Pay off my Capital One Mastercard (which has the highest interest).

A/P: Put the card in a Ziploc bag with water and stick it in the freezer, so I can't use it. Pay $_00 on the card per month.

4. Cut down on eating out.

A/P: Only eat out for dinner 2 times a week. Bring lunch to work at least 2 times a week.

1. Call more often!

A/P: Call my baby brother once a month. Call my half-brother once a
month. Call my parents at least once a week.

2. Say NO!

A/P: Say NO!

3. Give more compliments.

A/P: Each day, give at least one compliment to a stranger/casual associate.
A/P: Each day, give at least one compliment to a family member/close friend.

4. Visit parents once a month.

1. Break the routine.
A/P: Each day, do at least 1 thing that I wouldn't normally do. (You'll be surprised at what a difference it can make.)

(e.g., if I normally wouldn't speak to the stranger when I board
the elevator, I would say something; if I normally would not go to lunch with a particular co-worker who rubs me the wrong way, I'd ask them out to lunch, my treat! ; if I take the same exit to get home, I would take the next exit and take the back streets home.)

2. Travel to a Carribean island for a long weekend this summer.
3. Complete a book by James Baldwin.
4. Smash a stereotype: Arrive 10 minutes early (to everything, including in my personal life.)
5. Clean out my closet.

A/P: Get rid of clothes I haven't worn in years.
6. Keep the blog updated.

A/P: Update twice a week.
7. Continue to expose myself to new experiences.

A/P: Achieve the goals on this list.

8. Get the book club involved in volunteering in a community project.

A/P: Find 3 community projects to present to the Book Club for the March meeting.

1. Resume Spanish lessons by my birthday (7/23).
2. Take an acting class (summer or fall).
3. Take voice lessons.
4. Bench press 225 pounds ten (10) times
5. Attend six plays this year (to help toward goal of writing one of my own.)
6. Learn five (5) new recipes.
7. Complete 1st year of MFA Program in Poetry.
8. Become a better swimmer.

1. Get on the game show, Family Feud.
2. Travel to Brazil.
3. Get a sunroof installed in my car.
4. Travel to Japan.
5. Pay off all of my credit card debt.
6. Travel to Cuba.
7. Win a Macarthur Genius Grant.
8. Get on the cover of Poets & Writers Magazine.

1 comment:

MendedPieces said...

Wonderful & inspiring. After reading many of your works including this blog, you may be able to add a television appearance to this list as well.
Keep Writing Ayo!