I don’t think I know anyone who wasn’t happy to see the end of 2020. It was a tough year on so many levels. I’m sure 2021 is sure to be challenging as well, but a new year always brings hope. On a personal level, we each have an opportunity to set individual goals. New Year’s Resolutions aren’t the only time we can set new goals. We can take the opportunity to set goals and begin to work toward them anytime we want.
I began working on some new goals beginning in October and really put those plans in place in December. Since October, I’ve lost 30 pounds and given up caffeine. I still have a lot further to go in terms of my weight loss goals, and I have other goals to accomplish, particularly in regards to my writing. In order to make time for my health goals and for writing, there are things I’ve had to cut back on and eliminate from my life. I’ve had to make some choices, but I know it will be worth it.
In terms of setting goals, there are certain things I’ve learned that I wish I would have learned long ago:
- A goal isn’t a goal unless you have a plan. You can wish to lose 50 pounds in 2021, or write a novel, but unless you put a specific plan in place, your wish is just that – a wish.
- Your goal needs to be realistic. If you plan to work a full-time job, write seven novels, lead a cub scout den, raise five kids, lose 100 pounds, and start a new business in 2021, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure. Something’s gotta give and it’ll probably be your sanity. You can only do so much in a 24 hour period of time. Writing a novel takes time – well, if you want it to be good. And, unless you want your children to go feral and your boss to fire you, you probably need to put some effort into child-rearing and your outside job. Be realistic about your goals. Maybe just one novel this year?
- Your plan should be specific. In order to write your novel, how many hours a day do you plan to dedicate to writing? Are you able to write every day, or are there certain days of the week that you have other obligations?
Whatever your goals, it’s important to put a plan in place in order to achieve them. Hold yourself accountable in some way. Write down your goals. Journal. Keep records on a calendar or a spreadsheet. Enlist help by sharing your goals with a spouse or friend.
What are your goals or resolutions for the New Year? Or, if you’re like me, what are your ongoing projects or works-in-progress?