I, personally, don't know about you, but my 2017 resolutions were to complete my 2016 resolutions that I probably promised I would start in 2015. Each year I set myself unrealistic goals that start motivated and I lose interest in a month. Working in a Gym I recognize the pattern. Ordinarily, in January we have 200 new members, a quarter of them will stop attending within a month, and a half will quit by March.
So how do the other 100 members succeed? Well, for a number of reasons, but the two main ones are: they set realistic goals and they accept help. Realizing they won't meet their goal of losing 10 pounds in a month by visiting the gym once a week, but by listening to the fitness experts to ensure that they utilize their time to get the biggest benefits.
As a writer how do I ensure I meet my goals for 2018? I recognized what my biggest weakness is. I can't seem to stick to a daily writing schedule unless I am participating in NaNoWriMo and I still struggle to meet my targets. Why do I struggle? Well, 1600 words a day on top of having two jobs, and balancing a family life is unrealistic for long periods of time. By December, I am physically and creatively exhausted.
If I was to set myself the target of 1600 words a day all year I would be pulling out my hair or I will give up and feel like a failure. I'm not a failure by not reaching unattainable goals, but I am setting myself up for failure when I set those goals in the first place. Therefore, keeping that in mind while planning my goals for 2018, I decided that my goal is to write a minimum of 200 words a day. It may not seem substantial, but my goal isn't my word count, its consistency, it's creating a comfortable daily writing schedule and 200 words a day means that by 2019 I will have a manuscript of over 70000 words.
To ensure I reach my goal and stick to it, I reached out for help from similar minded people. I joined the 10-minute novelist's write 365 challenge. Which logs not only my word count but time spent editing or beta reading. So in setting my realistic goals and reaching out for help, I am doing my best to set myself up to succeed, not fail due to unrealistic expectations that I have placed on myself every year before.
So when you plan your 2018 resolutions be kind to yourself. More, however, determine what you wish to accomplish in the long term and then break down all the steps into achievable tasks. Please don't spend eight hours a day making your boss's dreams come true and not spend time working on your own.
Let 2018 be the year we actually stick to our goals.