Welcome to a new year, and a new edition of Pen and Prosper.
It’s such a pleasure to have you join me. A special “shout-out” to my new followers…and a heart-felt “thank you” for those who continue to read and support this Blog.
It’s that intimidating time of year again, folks …
You know: when you carry over last year’s left over dreams and factor in the new year’s infinite possibilities, to diligently devise your resolutions for the next 12 months.
It sounds like a long division math problem from back in school, doesn’t it?
Well, don’t let it stump you. It doesn’t have to boggle the brain. And you’re not being graded here.
For some folks, ushering in a new year is an exciting time to explore new horizons, experiment, and reach new heights. Unfortunately for others, it’s a frustrating endeavor that makes them feel as if they’ve missed the mark. Yet again.
Which category would you likely fall in?
According to statistics, about 45% of the population create New Year’s resolutions. Forbes.com reports that only 8% of people actually achieve them.
Before we address how to have greater success in achieving your resolutions in 2014, it’s crucial to examine previous efforts and heed the “lessons” that even failure imparts.
To loosely quote Dr. Phil, “You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge first.”
So let’s look at a few of the most common reasons I believe people don’t achieve their resolutions. See if any would apply to you and your circumstances.
THE 8 MOST COMMON REASONS FOR NOT MEETING NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
- They’re unrealistically based. How can you win the lottery if you don’t even play? J
- They’re not approached with a specific game plan and practical strategies.
- They feel more like work than fun.
- A lack of proper resources to help carry them out. For example, you want to go back to college, but you don’t have the funds.
- Losing momentum. In other words, you start out with the best of intentions, then you “lose that lovin’ feelin'." For bloggers, it can sometimes be the result of working hard week after week, and not getting a lot of comments or followers to feel a sense of validation or a sense of community.
- Our priorities change. Someone loses a job, or a tragedy strikes, or we suffer a financial set-back.
- We lack time, discipline, or confidence.
- Procrastination. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? Sound familiar?
Now that we’ve tackled the “whys,” let’s apply some principles and practices to help you discover “how” to score more than in the year before.
- Don’t agonize, strategize. It makes no sense to complain about the “battle of the budge” if you refuse to modify your eating habits, or to complain about not getting published, if you’re not researching markets and submitting work regularly. Come up with a viable plan and work it.
- Recognize that Rome wasn’t built over night. Give yourself adequate time to see results.
- Make a list of those goals that are the most important in the next 12 months. 6-12 things would be ideal. Too many and you’ll feel overwhelmed.
- If you notice a goal that keeps repeating itself each year, it should be re-examined and perhaps revised. Possibly even replaced. Hello?
- Establish both short and long term goals to keep you motivated. In other words, a short-term goal might be to subscribe to Writers Digest Magazine, to update your site, to pen a guest post at a popular Blog, or to join Pen and Prosper as a follower. A long-term goal might include writing a poetry book, or winning a contest, or finding an agent.
- Keep a positive momentum going by rewarding yourself for periodic successes. This can be something as simple as treating yourself to a manicure for an article you just sold, or a box of chocolates for a guest post you just landed, or a day of fun for reaching your desired income goal for the month.
- Write down your goals and game plan in a journal or post it in a prominent place in your office. The more visible it is, the more likely you are to review it, remember it, and follow through each week.
- Consider partnering with a goal buddy. This “joint venture” will help to keep you both accountable and supported.
- Have fun. And keep proper perspective. "The only failures are those who fail to try."
- Lather. Rinse. Repeat. :-)
Are you making any resolutions this year? Which has been the most difficult for you to master?