Another New Year – Another chance to NOT Break a Resolution

I’ve joined the multitudes that don’t actually make New Year’s Resolutions. Most of the time, I break them. Statistically, most resolutions are broken by February 1st.

In the past five years, I’ve set goals for myself in several broad areas: physical, spiritual, emotional and relational. I wish I could say I had met all my goals. Most years I meet as many as I don’t meet. Last year, I met all but one goal.

Since I’ve embarked on the journey toward fulfilling my life-long dream of becoming a published author, I’ve mixed up my categories for the coming year. My categories are: hobbies, physical, spiritual, writing and other.

My Goal sheet
My Goal sheet

I made a handy-dandy chart and have my goals for the first two months already filled in. Why didn’t I complete the whole year?

I want to be realistic. I’m not setting myself up for failure, but I might need to keep a goal for several months before actualizing the desired result.

For example, you’ll notice that my physical goal for January and February is to lose five pounds. I intend to lose five or more pounds each month. I didn’t fill in the goal for March because if I haven’t achieved my goal weight (or more specifically the correct fit of my clothes), I might repeat the weight loss goal for another month.

Since I already have stated word count goals for my writing, I wanted to use project goals in that category. The reason I didn’t put a goal for March is because I’m not sure if I will actually be finished revising the first book of my series in a month. Since this is my initial revision phase, I’m not certain how long the process will take.

Of course, it’s obvious I expect the book to be ready for other eyes by March. My goal in the “other” classification for that month is to get the first book in the trilogy out to beta readers.

Most of my publishing goals and deadlines have been entered in the “other” category. Writing and publishing are separate aspects of my new career. If I’m going to be a professional writer, I need to always write (or rewrite) and not sit on my hands once I begin the quest for an agent or publisher.

What do you think about using goals to motivate you at the start of a new year? Do you still make resolutions? Is setting goals the same as making a resolution?

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