March has arrived. That means two months have come and gone since you set your writing resolutions for the new year. If you haven’t made progress on them by now, it’s highly likely you won’t. Another year will pass with your writing goals and potential unmet. If that’s not how you want this year to unfold (and I know you don’t), it’s time to figure out what to do when you don’t stick to your writing resolutions.
Here are six ways to become someone who follows through on resolutions.
1. Stop making resolutions.
Intentions activate a part of your brain that helps you take action. Like goals, they are tied to your purpose, passion, and “Big Why,” which makes them easier to achieve. Most resolutions, on the other hand, or often thing you feel you should or must do. You aren’t committed to them.
There’s a big difference between “I intend to write for an hour daily because I want to transform the lives of my readers and have a story I feel compelled to tell” and “I resolve to write daily.” Resolutions often feel like shoulds or musts. You resolve to do something; you don’t want to do it.
2. Create specific goals.
Instead of “I will finish my book this year” as your resolution, make this your overriding goal— for example, “I will finish my 50,000-word self-help book about walking a labyrinth by December 31.”
You can break your goals into small tasks or to-do items. That makes them easier to achieve as well. Think of these like mini-goals to help you accomplish this goal, such as:
- Write 750 words daily.
- Research one new labyrinth location weekly.
Now you have actionable items that move you toward the realization of your goal and intention.
3. Get an accountability buddy.
It’s hard to do things alone. It’s easier with a buddy. And there’s no embarrassment in asking for help. Here’s the truth:
A colleague of mine told his millions of fans and followers that he would produce a daily inspirational newsletter. Now he has to follow through. His readers are his accountability buddies.
When I blog a book, my readers become my accountability partners. They wait for my next installment. And they write to me to ask when I’ll publish the next post if I stop before I finish blogging the book.
I offer an “inspired results group” for women writers. The women in this group enjoy a bi-weekly check in with the other group members and me, during which they must report on both their accomplishments and their new intentions. You’d be amazed at how much the members of this group achieve because they know they must tell the group members if they did what they said they were going to do (or not) between sessions.
You can get a friend to serve as your accountability buddy. Or you might want to hire a coach. Many people hire coaches and trainers to keep them on track; they report on their progress to these individuals on a regular basis. For example, you might have a personal trainer if you are trying to get in shape or a book or author coach if you are trying to get into the habit of writing.
4. Start today.
If you truly want to write or complete a particular writing project this year, you have to start—not tomorrow or in a week. Start now.
Decide right this moment to do whatever it takes to fulfill your intention and achieve your goals. No ifs, ands or buts. Just decide to do it.
Then, get out your calendar, and schedule time to write. Make that time sacred. Don’t let anything get in the way of your writing (unless someone is bleeding or dying).
When you sit down to write, that’s all you do. You don’t research or check email. You churn out pages of your manuscript.
5. Make writing a priority.
If time is an issue—you think your schedule is just too full, answer this question: Is writing a priority for me? If you said, “Yes,” you can—and should want to—find even 15 minutes per day to work on your writing project.
If you can’t do this, you don’t want to start or complete your current work in progress. Be honest. You aren’t committed nor have you committed. And that’s why you haven’t made any progress to date.
If you wanted to make changes, you would have done so by now.
It’s time, therefore, to re-evaluate what you say you want to do or write. Choose a project that “floats your boat”—that gets you excited and inspired. Then you’ll be willing to commit to the time and effort necessary to fulfill your intention and achieve your goal.
You’ve still got ten months before the New Year rolls around again. What do you commit to doing so you achieve your writing potential and purpose this year? Tell me in comment below.
Photo courtesy of alexey_boldin|Fotolia.com.