I don’t know what it is about having a CLEAN calendar, but it gives most people the urge to begin something new.
Proof is well documented, though, that new year’s goals and resolutions rarely last through January. I’m convinced that much of the cause is lack of careful thought beforehand.
Doing Something Different
If your December was nuts and you had little time for quiet reflection before New Year’s Day, then I highly recommend that you take a whole week (or longer) to ponder some questions. Even better, journal answers to the questions below. Pour out everything that comes to mind.
And be honest. No one else needs to see your answers. Write down how you truly feel, not what you think “real writers” should feel.
After you’ve thoroughly answered the questions (maybe after several writing stints), go back through your entries. Underline or highlight your Aha! moments of insight. These insights are what will help you set goals that you can actually meet. (Example: in your journaling, you might discover that you wrote very little for months because it hurts to sit. One of your writing-supportive goals, therefore, might be exercising to eliminate the hip pain or building a treadmill desk, like I did.)
Not all writing goals focus on writing, I’ve found. There are many writing-related and non-writing goals you will find helpful to your writing success this year. For example, your most important writing goal might be setting boundaries with a family member who manages to control most of your time and energy–and keep you from writing.
Ready? Set? Write!
Take plenty of time to journal answers to these questions:
- How did I do on my 2014 goals (if you had any)?
- What habits contributed to successfully completing any of the goals?
- What situations/events/habits got me off track this year?
- What worked for me in the past to get back on track?
- What non-writing goals (in the areas of health, relationships, day job) would support the success of my writing goals?
- What can I do to make the writing more fun (which motivates you to work on your goals)? What makes me eager to get writing on a project?
When you have the answers to these questions, you are well on your way to setting goals that you’ll actually meet this year. If you’re willing, please share a goal (either writing or writing-related) you hope to achieve in 2015.