Brunswick resident Heather D. Martin wants to know what’s on your mind; email her at

It’s a new year! So much potential. So much promise. And, you guys? I have exciting news to share with you. This year is the year. This is it.

This is the year I finally complete my edits on the book I wrote and get it off to the publisher. This is also the year I write well ahead of my deadline, fully train my dog and send birthday cards on time. What’s more, this year I will eat better, get quality sleep, shed 10 pounds and hydrate more.

All this and more made possible thanks to finally cracking the code and finding the holy grail: the perfect planner.

Yes, that’s right. I have done it. I found the yearly planner of my dreams. The planner that will organize my thoughts, structure my days and keep me on track with all of my short-term and long-range goals. Magic on paper.

Yes, yes, I know. I said this about the one I bought last year, too. And the one the year before that. OK, and I said it about the planners I bought in the years before that as well. Yeah, I know. And, yes, I admit that those other ones fell by the wayside, their pages neatly filled with precise, color-coded notes and cute thought bubbles all the way through the middle of February, at which point they started to break apart a bit, becoming random quick notes by April.

I know.


We won’t even mention the super cool, Instagram-worthy “Academic Year” version I bought and was so enamored with – only to abandon it before the first week of school even kicked off. Just look away.

That’s the thing about planners. And resolutions. And new years in general. They can go like that. Starting out big with grand plans and visions that peter out once the newness is gone.

But – and I know this next part is controversial – I think that’s OK. I think it is part of the process.

Change is hard. New habits take time.

There are, if you are interested, a slew of articles and websites out there all devoted to ways to stick to your New Year’s resolutions. Interestingly, they all boil down to pretty much the same few key points: limit the number of goals you set, make your goals reasonable and attainable, keep track of your goals with daily progress notes, and set mini-goals, or milestones, to mark your progress towards the end goal. Oh, and my own personal favorite – reward yourself for achievements.

The other thing is, sometimes progress happens even when you aren’t actively tracking it. My planners might have failed to live up to their potential … or, OK, I might have failed to use them to their potential, but in reality, I accomplished a lot during those very same years. It wasn’t always what I had planned to, but it was what the situation required. The truly important stuff got done.

So, I am going to cut myself some slack and reward myself for having navigated yet another year, as well as all the years that led up to this past one. Good job, me.

Good job to you, too. After all, you’re still here. Maybe not exactly the way you’d intended to be, but you are here. You made it. And really, that’s kind of a big deal.

With all that in mind, I am going to look at my goals once again. Maybe retool them a little for practicality’s sake (Birthday cards? Who do I think I’m kidding?) And, I’ll focus on what really matters for this coming year. I will then commit this list to the crisp, pristine pages of yet another planner. This year’s a winner, I can feel it.

Comments are not available on this story.