Why New Year’s Resolutions Won’t Make You a Success

Why New Year's Resolutions Won't Make You a Success via KLWightman.com
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I’ve written about new year’s resolutions on my blog for years. I enjoy writing about setting goals and ways to reach your new year’s resolutions more than I should.

It’s also what my readers (that’s you!) want to read. My blog traffic increases around this time of year with greater interest in my blog posts about new year’s resolutions.

After January 15? Not so much.

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The Real Reason Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

The Real Reason Why New Years Resolutions Fail
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I’ve been a big fan of writing New Year’s resolutions for many years. Every late December, I dedicate a blog post to the annual ritual of our society. And I have so many now that I could create an eBook about creating and sticking to New Year’s resolutions.

So, if you’re 100% committed to the New Year’s resolution challenge, start here.

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Is the Pressure of Leap Year Too Much?

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Pressure of Leap Day & Leap Year 2016

Every four years, the calendar gods give us a blessing in February: One more day.

(And a curse every four years in November, but we won’t talk politics on this blog.)

A warm feeling swells up inside me when I hear that I have one more day to write, to brainstorm ideas, to create something new.

It's Leap Day during Leap Year 2016!

Credit: ericcannedy.com

Think of the possibilities! Oh, what I can accomplish with just one more day!

Then it hits me. Leap Day this year doesn’t fall on a Friday, a Saturday or a Sunday. This year, Leap Day happens to be today, on a Monday.

If you’re an average nine-to-fiver like me, you work on Monday. And if you’re like me, your Mondays are routine.

Here’s how my Mondays roll:

  • Mornings: I run before sunrise and check my work email so that I can come in with a game plan.
  • Days: I work like a boss.
  • Nights: I hit up my chores list and clock off at least half of my to-dos.

Yes, I live a thrilling life on Monday…

Perhaps what’s weird about me is that I actually like Mondays. After two days of some serious R&R, I come in refreshed and ready to hit the ground running. I love seeing how much I can get done in one day. How I approach Monday can seriously impact how I view the rest of the week.

I love Mondays so much that I even wrote a short story about a misunderstood Monday in personified form. Ask me to publish it.

I love Mondays

I don’t spend Mondays getting stuff done in my writing. I spend my Mondays getting stuff done so that I can focus on my writing during other days of the week.

But Leap Day presents a pressure to do something spontaneous and out of the ordinary. It’s a day once every four years that calls me out for being stuck in my ways.

It’s not that I have bad habits. In fact, it’s taken me years to refine a pattern that really works for my productivity, from deciding what needs to get done on specific days of the week to committing to an early bedtime.

30 Rock Liz Lemon Meme

Credit: kappit.com

And my older sister cynically judges me for this.

So why do I feel the pressure to change my ways because of Leap Day? Why does Leap Year try to defy the way I live my life?

It’s because I think of Leap Day like a wish. A genie has popped out of a lamp and has granted me one day to make my wildest dreams come true.

Aladdin Genie Meme

Credit: 90S90S90S.COM

Yet that’s not what Leap Day is. It’s a day. I can’t let another ordinary day added to the calendar to balance out some math control me—or at least my mood at the end of February.

Leap Day is just a day. So here’s what I’m going to do with my extra day: I’m going to live it like every other Monday.

Here’s the (plot) twist. On this Monday, I’m going to be more conscious about the things I’m getting done so that I can write. I’m going to think more about what I want to write while I’m folding laundry and cleaning the kitchen. I’m going to ramp up the excitement for life that I feel on Monday so that I still feel the same enthusiasm on the days I sit down to do my creative writing.

My life might not change on Leap Day, but my attitude sure will.

What do you plan to do on Leap Day? Share it below.

Why January is the Worst Month for Writing New Year’s Resolutions

Why January is the Worst Month for Writing New Year's Resolutions via KLWightman.com
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I’m not a hater of writing new year’s resolutions. In fact, I’ve blogged about how to create and keep resolutions herehere, herehere, and also here.

But there’s one thing we all get wrong when it comes to writing new year’s resolutions: When we decide to write them.

Of course we write new year’s resolutions on New Year’s Eve. It’s as traditional as staying up past midnight, watching the ball drop and popping a bottle of champagne.

But just because everyone does it on Dec 31 or during the first week of January doesn’t mean it’s the best time to do it.

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Less Commitment, More Writing

Want to write more? Commit to less.
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Want to write more? Commit to less.

Credit: linenandsilk-weddings.com

I’ve talked about this once before. Okay, twice.

But this time it’s important.

Why? Because it’s a big reason why you’re not writing.

And it come down to your mindset.

The thought of writing intimidates you. It’s a big reason why you don’t write. You expect big things to come out of your writing sessions. When you fall short as a writer, you want to give up writing altogether.

And your writer’s block is born.

Why are you committing to write so many pages? That’s too much commitment. You need to slow things down.

Let me give you an example.

I’m a runner. I love to run long distances so much that I’ve been doing it for over a decade.

But I don’t love it everyday.

Some days it’s a mental struggle to get my butt out the door. I think about how hard it is to run up those hills, face those cold winds and stay motivated during the long distance.

But I still go out and run.

My secret? I don’t commit to running.

It’s too much pressure to commit to all those miles. So I commit to something much smaller. I commit to putting my running clothes on.

That’s it.

Once my running clothes are on, I might as well put my running shoes on. After those are tied, I’ll see if my iPod (yes, I still use mine) has a good shuffle playlist on deck. Now that I’m all equipped, it seems silly not to run.

When I take away the pressure of going for a long run, I am more likely to go out for that run. I’ll even create more goals to run faster or longer while I’m running.

All because I commit to less.

It doesn’t always go this way. There are days when putting on the running clothes is as far as I get. Good thing my running clothes are cute and color-coordinated.

But nine times out of 10, I run.

It’s the same with your writing. You’re putting too much pressure on how much you write and the quality of writing you produce. No wonder why you’re not writing.

You’ll produce those pages and that quality if you eliminate the urgency to create it.

Don’t commit to writing ten pages. Commit to sitting in your writing workspace for five minutes.

Nothing more.

Let’s be honest. Once you sit in your writing workspace, you’ll probably pick up your pen or open your laptop and write. And once you start writing, you’ll create more goals to write more pages or for more minutes.

Writing becomes a choice, not an obligation.

It’s hard not to think about the big picture. You want to publish that novel. But thinking of the end result now when you’re only pages into the project is overwhelming.

Committing to less doesn’t mean you’re not committed. It means that you know how to cope so that you can reach your goal.

Because if you’re writing, you’re committed.