Make It Happen: Think It, Ink It, Do It!
We’re two weeks into 2014 and I have to ask: Did you make any New Year’s resolutions, and if so, how are you doing so far?
In a recent blog post my pal and writing Yoda, the lovely and talented Cathy C. Hall, offered a link to Literautus, a site offering free downloadable calendars for writers. They had me at “free,” and I printed off those suckers, hole punched ‘em, and put them in my binder. But I couldn’t stop there, because these calendars double as monthly/weekly planners with plenty of room for writers to put goals in ink for personal accountability. And, as if that isn’t enough, there are author quotes (*sigh* I so love great quotes!) on the monthly pages, such as:
“You can fix anything but a blank page.” —Nora Roberts
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” —William Wordsworth
These planning calendars got me thinking about goals and resolutions. I wasn’t sure if there was a significant difference between the two, so I looked them up. According to the American Heritage Dictionary:
Resolution: A firm decision to do something.
Goal: The object toward which an endeavor is directed; an end.
The difference between the two is subtle. A resolution may be a firm decision, but implies no action. A goal, on the other hand, requires action, and action is the only way to get things done. And if you need further proof that resolutions aren’t all that, take a look at these statistics offered by Michael Hyatt (Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World) on his website regarding New Year’s resolutions (and while you’re there, have a look around—Mr. Hyatt offers a lot of great advice for goal setting and achievement):
- 25 percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after one week.
- 60 percent of people abandon them within six months. (The average person makes the same New Year’s resolution ten separate times without success.)
- Only 5 percent of those who lose weight on a diet keep it off; 95% regain it. A significant percentage gain back more than they originally lost.
- Even after a heart attack, only 14 percent of patients make any lasting changes around eating or exercise.
While click-click-clicking away at Michael Hyatt’s site, I came across these recommendations for goal setting. I’ve condensed it below, but reading Mr. Hyatt’s blog post (HERE) will be worth your time:
- 1. Keep goals few in number.
- 2. Make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound).
- 3. Write down your goals.
- 4. Review them frequently.
- 5. Share them selectively.
In light of all this, I’ve done away with resolutions. What I have in 2014 are goals accompanied by strategies to keep me going, all inked onto those nifty free calendars from Literautus to keep me honest. I’m doing okay so far, staying accountable to myself. Nothing on my list will be easy to achieve, but then most worthwhile things aren’t.
How about you? Resolutions, goals, strategies? Any and all, or none? What works for you?
See you next week for more of the naked truth!