Friday, January 23, 2015

New Year. New Goals.

It’s a brand spankin’ new 2015. Promises are new and crisp. Dreams are being fleshed out and goals ironed crisp for the new year. It’s so refreshing to look into a new year and only see a blank slate in front of you. The past year is behind you. The future is ahead of you. And it’s a beautiful thing.
So how do you go into 2015 with intention? Intention that is all about hitting those 2015 plans? Here are 4 tips for you.

1: Put some kind of calendar together. If you aren’t a Type A person and the thoughts of putting things in print for your plans for the new year, makes you want to twitch and go clean your toilet, can I help you possibly reconsider this bias? Getting general goals in print and tacking them on a sticky note, to your computer monitor, always keeps something in front of you to aim for. A date and a goal. That’s all I ask. And for my friends who love their schedules and calendars: new day planner is all I 
know you need to hear. ;-)

2:  Allow yourself room for accident forgiveness. And allow yourself room to improve within the goals you have laid out. Try to beat that goal of editing 50,000 words by June 1st, but allow room for life to happen.  When we set goals in the new year, we often get caught up in the fresh newness of it all. Working, working, working every day to make and exceed that goal. But that often leads to burnout and a quick fizzle after a strong start. Work slowly, building up to a strong, maintainable habit.

3: It’s all about that habit, ‘bout that habit, no slacking. Going into a new year we get really, really excited and then eventually fall off the bandwagon about the second month in. A way to make the habit process last, is to work on your goal a little bit each day. Don’t put massive responsibilities on once a week or every couple of days—you’ll become overwhelmed and pretty soon will sucking up dust bunnies to avoid working towards those end goals. If you plan out your day, or your week, in smaller slices, you are better able to achieve success and will see a great return at the end of your working time.

4: Be thrilled with what you did do, not upset about what you didn’t do. By focusing on the entire year ahead of you with this goal, burnout and discouragement is such an easy option—a great out. But don’t let yourself get sucked into that downward spiral. So even if you don’t meet your daily or weekly goal, work to meet it next week and the week after that. It’s a matter of perseverance. This will be a long year ahead of you if you start hot and heavy and fail to keep it up. Start reasonable. Build up. Work slow and steady. It will all come together. I promise.

New goals and new years are like fresh presents—unwrapped and waiting to be used. They are awesome things. Great motivations. It’s all up to you to make them happen and I know you can!

What is one of your goals for the new year? 


kaybee said...

Hi Casey,
Good post and great ways to avoid burnout -- or not starting in the first place.
I approach writing goals the way I approach my diabetes: with balance. When I was diagnosed diabetic I knew I was in it for the long haul, so I worked out a lifestyle rather than a diet. I don't fall "off the wagon" because there is no wagon: if I eat a doughnut I make up for it the next day with a salad or whatever. I plan for splurges, such as two slices of pizza, and eat light the rest of the day or the next day. It's the same with the writing. I set manageable goals that work for me, and I don't freak or obsess if I don't get to something, I just work harder the next day. I was saved through Campus Crusade for Christ in the 80s and our local director had a saying, "Plan your work, work your plan, but don't let your plan work you." Daily goals don't work for me because my day job and family commitments are so crazy, so I make a monthly goal and work at that. And I'm on target for 2015, yay! It's especially important to develop these habits while pre-published, because then the work ethic is there.
Thank you for the post and for all you do for other writers.
Kathy Bailey

Robin E. Mason said...

Casey, we're on the same page!!! I've never been about resolutions, but i did set goals this year, and asked Father for a Word for the year - it's FORWARD, by the way. In order to rein in the smattering and scattering of neverending notes, written on anything, I created a calendar for myself - rather proud of it too!! an excel spreadsheet with a tab for contacts, blog schedule, even one for book sales!! this is one of the biggest boosts to keeping my mind on track to get that habit down, and see the smaller accomplishments, even shift the oopses to another date!! your post s 100% spot on!!!