New Year, New Rules

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Everyone knows the truth: New Year’s Resolutions are made and broken within the first two weeks of the new year. Sad, but true.

You promise to lose ten pounds, get on a schedule, start a savings account. And then you never stick to the plan…

newyearsresolutionsI’m here to tell you why. Because you made a promise. You know that old saying, ‘promises are meant to be broken.’ Well, that tends to be true. Promises are always being broken, whether big or small, they get broken no matter how hard you try.  But that’s okay…broken promises have a way of showing you the path you need to be on.

But back to resolutions.

Resolutions are promises to yourself. Promises tend to get broken. Hence why they often fail. So if you want to break that trend, don’t make a New Year’s Resolution.  That’s right, I said don’t do it.

Don’t promise to lose weight. Don’t promise to save money for anything. If you want to get something done just freaking do it. Don’t promise to do it. Don’t make it a resolution.

Get a piece of paper, write down what you want to do and the steps to do it. And then follow the steps. Start out small. You want to lose ten pounds in a month? Spend twenty-one days turning an exercise routine, such as running/jogging a half mile a day. Once you can handle that little bit, up it to one mile, then one and half miles, etc, etc. After twenty one days, you have a habit. And without realizing it..you’ve lost ten pounds.

It’s easier to focus on something else than what you really want. See, for me, my goal is to write one whole first draft at least once a year. But I don’t focus on that. I break it down into smaller goals, such as five chapters a month, or ten thousand words a week. I know what my final goal is, the most important one. But I need to break it all down into smaller goals, more attainable goals.

It’s called putting things into perspective. Writing a whole book in a year seems like such a small thing, but once you try to do it, it gets bigger and bigger until eventually you give up.

But writing that thousand words a week isn’t so bad. Up until that last sentence, that is 1,665 words. If I write 1,600 words a day I can have my 10,000 words in six days and have one whole day off.

See how that works? 1600 words a day for six days equals 10,000 words. Five weeks of this and I have 50,000 words (considered the minimal length for a novel). In three months I could have an entire novel completely written. Done. My goal is accomplished. Then I make a new goal, to edit that whole first novel, then to revise it, then to edit again, and again, and again.

But I don’t look at it that way. I see my daily goal. It rarely takes longer than an hour to write those 1600 words. If I don’t focus on the big picture, it’s easier to get things done.

The big picture is still there, I still see it. But I don’t focus on igoalst. I look at the wave in bottom left hand corner. The next day, I move a few millimeters to the right and focus on the next wave. Until I can look at the whole thing.

I’m not going to ask what your New Year’s resolutions are. I want to know your goals, the big ones. And then I want to know how you accomplish those goals.

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