It’s that time of year again, give or take a couple of days. It’s the time when everyone makes the resolution to lose weight…and I’m sure a smattering of other things. I don’t believe in resolutions so much as setting goals. The problem a lot of people have seems to be with the name. You see, they’re the same thing. However, a goal to some may equally be labeled a ‘pipe dream.’ So let’s talk about goals.
Goals are nothing without a plan of attack. For me, I make time to write 1,000 words every day, even if it’s a blog post rather than a few pages in my latest novel. I’m an avid user of to-do lists and if I miss a day of writing I don’t get that satisfying check. On the rare occasion that happens, I let it carry over to the next day, where I’ll double my normal productivity out of guilt. I’ve been following this pattern for about 6 months now and have written and published 2 novels to show for it.
The problem with a lot of people’s goals is that they take a long time to achieve for a person completely dedicated to the task. Someone might go in and give it a half-baked effort for a month or two and then stop. Maybe it’s too hard or you’re not getting the results you want. Any task, if repeated enough times, can get boring. The people who succeed find the bright spots and continue on even if they don’t feel like it, if they aren’t getting the results they want, or if their goal seems unreachable. It can take decades to gain any real following as an author, musician, or other type of artist. During that time, just about everyone will hit a wall at some point. What matters is how you deal with those setbacks.
I have goals for 2015, goals for the next three years, five years, ten years, and so on. I realize that forecasting that far out might seem pointless to some people, but I stand by it. Every year I reevaluate where I am and where I want to be. I don’t make some arbitrary resolution per se, but I do adjust my goals to be somewhere between realistic and optimistic. And so here it is: in 2015 I will publish four novels and the quality of each will meet or exceed the previous novel. I’m already on track to hit that goal, and it’s a good feeling that I know all I need to do is continue on the way I’ve been going.
I want to hear about your resolutions! Post a comment in the space below with your 2015 resolution.