As January 2017 comes to a close, I’m thinking about my new year’s resolutions.
For the most part, I’ve kept up with mine fairly well. I ended up dropping one, after much consideration. A short story that I don’t believe I was destined to write left my to-do list, but much has stayed.
How are your resolutions going? Are there some you’ve accomplished or some you’ve had to let go?
It seems like every study says that most people drop their resolutions before February is even a thought. It’s both sad and true. And we writers unfortunately are not exempt from this statistic.
I’ve been working really hard this year to hold onto my new year’s resolutions and goals, for my writing, this blog, and my life and I’ve picked up a few fantastic practices that have helped keep my goals front of mind. These motivate me so much so I figured I would share them with you today so you can keep your goals front and center.
Create a Dream Jar
I know it sounds a little silly, but if writers are anything, we’re daydreamers right? And this practically forces you to daydream every day.
The gist of this is simple, but the takeback is immeasurable. Get a small jar or mug or container of some sort (I am using an old candle holder) and a piece of paper. Hand write (yes, rather than typing!) each of your writing/life/work goals down on this sheet. These can be big, small, something you know you’ll achieve, or a pipe dream. Just write down everything.
Then cut up each dream into strips and fold them, placing them into your jar. Every day take one or two out and visualize yourself achieving that goal. Whether it’s seeing your published book on store shelves, being interviewed by Ellen, or finally writing your novel, sit yourself down and take a few minutes to feel the achievement as if you’ve just accomplished it.
Dedicate Half an Hour Each Day to Development
Whether you’re into podcasts, or blogs, or Youtube, or a good book, spend half an hour every day listening, watching, or reading something that helps you grow. Whether you’re watching a video on how to better structure your daily life, listening to a podcast on how to create a writer’s platform, or reading a good novel from the bestseller list, allow yourself half an hour to devote to learning something. Anything.
Interact With My Goals Multiple Times a Day
If you were to sit down at my computer, you’d probably think I’m a crazy person. I have pieces of paper stuck on all the walls around my desk space. I have my annual strategy to help me keep my timeline for my goals front of mind, I have my 2017 Resolutions list just above my computer in easy eye sight, and I have notebooks and workbooks that I constantly reference all around my desk and in my drawers. I’m literally never more than a quick stretch from my goals!
This may seem like overkill to some of you, but for me, it makes all the difference.
Because I’m seeing and interacting and reading my goals almost every single day, my focus stays clear. And where focus goes, energy flows. Instead of just having my goals rolling around the back of my head, I have them where I can see them, with lists of action steps, deadlines, and plenty of encouragement and dreams surrounding me.
My goals are never far from my thoughts and I am never far from my goals.
Create Plans and Keep Them Near Your Workspace
For every single goal I’ve made for 2017, I have a sheet to help me outline the steps I need to see success with that goal. It includes the goal written out at the top of the sheet, the deadline I want to accomplish the goal by, and underneath the series of every.single.step. Not only can I easily reference it to cross things off the list and see my progress, but I can also see that what may seem like a scary goal, is in fact, not as scary as I would think. Everything seems easier when it’s broken down into steps.
Set Aside Time Every Week To Review Your Goals
Every Monday either when I’m eating breakfast or in the afternoon when I’m sitting down to write, I take a few minutes to refresh myself on my goals and what all I want to accomplish in 2017. I look back at what I’ve already completed and what I should do that week to push my goals forward.
It’s so simple and so practical, but it really helps keep your goals front of mind.
Seeing them, and thinking of them all the time has changed how I go about my days, and has influenced how much time I spend every day making actual progress towards my goals rather than getting distracted.
By keeping them front of mind, I’m more assured that I’ll actually accomplish everything I put my mind to. And I know you can too.