Set yourself up for success
I’ve never met a New Year’s resolution I couldn’t let slide and then let go. In fact, I truly believe that for myself, and likely many others, the very act of creating such a resolution sets up an inner resistance which inevitably leads to failure.
New Year’s resolutions don’t work
A quick Google search turned up multiple references that cite a measly 8% success rate for January First resolutions. If you’re among that 8%, more power to you. But what about the rest of us — the 92% who fail miserably? How are we to reach our writing goals for 2020?
We need to reframe our commitment
Reframing is a great tool for changing your mindset about just about anything. Basically it involves choosing to look at something from a different perspective.
Instead of deciding that January first is D-Day for your bad habits, let go of that date completely. If you initiate your plan on the first, great. If it happens another day, that’s great too.
Your goals need to be specific
Sit down with pen and paper, or open a file on your computer. Personally this is one of the few things for which I like the old fashioned method.
Think about what you would like to accomplish with your writing this year. Break it down into 3, 6, 9, and 12 month goals
Maybe you want to complete a novel. Maybe you have decided to write 1,000 blog posts. Maybe both. Break your year’s goals into quarterly milestones. Hence, 3, 6, 9, and 12 month goalposts.
Make sure your goals are realistic
Once you’ve set your goals it’s time to find out how realistic they are. It’s crucial to be honest with yourself here.
To reach your 3 month goalposts, what must you accomplish each month? How many days, and how many hours will you work in a month? Remember to be honest, not idealistic.
Compare the time you realistically will spend working to the time required to accomplish your goals. If they match up, great. Make sure you build in extra time for unexpected events that will slow you down
What if your goals aren’t realistic for your time frame
Congratulations! You’ve realized the need to adjust your goals before they flounder and fail.
Sit down again and look hard at what you want to accomplish over the next 12 months. How can you pare it down or otherwise adjust it so that it becomes realistically doable?
Unrealistic goals will fail
We don’t like downsizing our goals. We all want to dream big. There’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t have to give up on your grand design. You do need to be realistic about how long it will take you to achieve it.
Your one year plan may need to become an 18 month plan. As frustrating as that may feel, it is far more likely to result in your reaching the finish line than setting pie in the sky, unreachable goals.
The best New Year’s resolution is no resolution
Plan your route to success. Devote a solid block of time to creating a realistic course of action to get you there. When you cross that finish line you’ll be glad you did.