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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What You Can Do for Your Writing in One Year

Here's a way to keep track of your writing goals this year
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Here's a way to keep track of your writing goals this year

On New Year’s Eve 2012, I didn’t expect that in 2013 I would move across the country to advance my career. It was something I wanted, but I didn’t think I’d have the guts to make it happen if the opportunity came.

But the opportunity did come. And when it did, I threw myself into it 100%.

Was this you in 2012 before 2013 began? Did you doubt that the one thing you wanted would happen yet still worked hard to make it happen?

I forgot about my 2012 perspective until New Year’s Eve 2013. Why do I only give myself one day a year to reflect on what I want to achieve, what I have done to achieve it, and celebrating that achievement?

Am I that busy to pause?

I don’t have an excuse. I can choose to reflect and to make a lot can happen in one year. That’s 12 months, 365 days, 8766 hours of writing time.

So why do we think that time goes by so fast when we can do so much in one year?

Maybe it’s because in one year’s time we haven’t done everything that we wanted to achieve.

Think about your writing in 2013. Did you write as much as you wanted? Did you submit your work often? Were you published? Were all your writing goals achieved?

It’s easy to forget your writing goals not long after January 1. We’re motivated for the first month of the year to stick to our New Year’s resolutions. When February or March hits, we let the everyday tasks take precedence over what we really want to achieve.

So how do we bypass this? How do we stay true to our writing while balancing everything else in our lives?

We make time to reflect.

Schedule an hour appointment with yourself one day each month to think or journal about your writing progress:

What have I done this month for my writing? Am I proud or disappointed?

What were my fears? Are they still fears I hold?

What has happened this month? Is it affecting my writing?

What have I learned about myself as a writer? What have I learned about my writing?

What do I want to achieve with my writing by next month? What are the steps to make that happen?

That’s 12 appointments, 12 New Year’s Eve moments you can have throughout the year to keep you on track with your writing goals and evaluate yourself as a writer.

And that’s something worth celebrating.

New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

Write New Year's resolutions that get the writer in you excited!
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Write New Year's resolutions that get the writer in you excited!

Credit: Greatist.com

It’s that time of year again! Every January you write New Year’s resolutions that excite you but disappoint you in December when your goals are far from complete. Maybe you’d stick to your New Year’s resolutions if they were shaped around an activity you actually enjoy: writing!

These are my writing New Year’s resolutions this year. Will you try these goals with me?

  1. I will make time to write everyday.
  2. I will create an online presence as a writer by blogging, joining an online writing community, or refining my online profile.
  3. I will read more, especially those books I keep putting off.
  4. I will create a personal writing workspace.
  5. I will submit my work to at least 3 publications.
  6. I will attend at least one writing conference.
  7. I will take a writing course to help improve my writing.
  8. I will learn to take criticism with grace.
  9. I will finish writing at least one story.
  10. I will know my publishing options and decide the best route for my novel.

What New Year’s resolutions for writers did I miss? Post your writing New Year’s resolutions below.

5 More Ways to Stop Slacking on Your New Year’s Resolutions

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Did you read last week’s post and you’re still slacking on your New Year’s resolutions?

It’s a good thing I have 5 more tips to get you charging towards the finish line of that lingering goal. Let’s get started.

Keep Yourself in Check

At the end of the day, ask yourself these two questions:

Think of the time and energy you could have had for your writing! If you want to reach your New Year’s resolution, you need to kick bad habits. Reward yourself for writing by checking your email or having a snack. Receiving the reward before writing only feeds your procrastination.

Make It a Meeting

Schedule an appointment with yourself to write. Block out a chunk of time in your calendar and set reminders so that you’re not late. Have a meeting agenda with what you want to accomplish in your writing during the meeting. This isn’t a wish list but a standard worth upholding. That means the meeting doesn’t end until the agenda is completed, even if the meeting runs late.

Pick a Chair

Have you heard the legend of Luciano Pavarotti?

Pavarotti, the terrifically talented singer, was also studying to be a teacher. Surprisingly, he couldn’t decide which career to pursue, so he asked his father for advice. His father placed two chairs side by side in front of him and told his son to sit. Pavarotti gave his father a sideways glance, knowing that he’d fall between the chairs if he sat in both.

“You must pick a chair,” his father said.

And that’s what you must do. Concentrate on the New Year’s resolution you really want to be achieve by 2014. Spread yourself too thin and you’ll fall between the cracks.

Put a Price on It

Money can be a real motivator. Choose someone that supports your writing (or really needs cash) and commit to giving them $5 each day you don’t write or work towards your writing. Enough times of pulling out your wallet and handing over the bill to your friend (or foe) might be the kick you need to get your writing in gear.

Choose to Control Future You

If you have a plan, then your New Year’s resolution is not in your hands. If you decide to make the future now, your plans turn into actions that happen today.

Ask yourself this:

If it’s a goal for me to achieve _______, what would I do today about reaching it?

Those are my 10 ways for you to stop slacking on your New Year’s resolutions. What are your out-of-the-box ways of sticking to your writing goals this year? Share them below.