It's that time of year again where people make promises to themselves which they often fail to keep. The most common resolutions are to lose weight, exercise more and to be an all round better person.
These plans are often achievable, more so when you have an actual plan of how you're going to achieve these goals but most people fail to maintain them, especially if they're just left as fantasies floating around your head.
Various studies have shown that any sort of goal, whether they're new year resolutions or not, are most often successful if they are written down. People who write down their goals have already taken that first step of commitment to ensure these goals come true. It's like they view the piece of paper as a legal binding contract. They have that piece of paper to focus on everyday if they've placed it in a room they visit on a daily basis. They pass their eyes over the written words, consciously or subconsciously, but these goals are always there to remind whoever set them they need to be achieved.
If people just leave their goals in their head they're most likely to push them to the back of their mind, left there to be forgotten.
As a writer I always find myself writing down my goals to separate them from the rest of the stuff that whirls around my mind. Rather than set them out for the whole year I often spread them out into monthly or weekly tasks that need to be completed.
Saying all this is all well and good but few goals are going to come true without a definite plan of action: how are you going to make your goals happen? It's one thing to say I want to write a whole book this year but unless I write a set amount of words everyday this is unlikely to happen. People need to set goals that they can achieve, rather than just having something specific in mind with no definite path of how to get there. And this is where some writers fail. They say they want to sell a 1000 books by the end of they year but how are they going to control that set figure? How are they going to persuade people to buy their book, and sell that amount within that time frame?
Where possible I try to stay away from these goals. I think that having any goal like that is often a bad idea because there's no control factor. What I could say is I would like to sell roughly that amount and plan my marketing strategy to include everything I could to make that happen.
This year I have one very achievable main goal. That is to finish my second book and get it ready to be published. I hope to have it out there by the end of this year but that also depends on the editor I employ and whether that will fit with their schedule.
My other goals are to become involved with various groups in Goodreads and to network more with writers of my genre.
What about you, what are your resolutions and how do you think you're going to achieve them?