Wednesday, December 26

Ten Things to Keep in Mind When Writing Your New Year's Resolutions

Hello all! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! This is another of the articles I wrote for the Celtic Hearts newsletter, Call of the Clans. I'm going to break up the points into two a posts so I don't overwhelm you. I hope you enjoy =)

--Think of the big picture. Start with your long term goals first. You don’t need to write them down, but stop and ask yourself, where do I want to be in five years?  We all know the publishing world is unpredictable, and a lot of it is out of our control, but we can still make plans and goals for ourselves. If, in five years, you would like to have an agent and a book deal, then you can certainly work towards that goal.

--Keep it simple. It’s great to have elaborate goals for yourself, but you don’t need to complicate your life further by stressing out over the small things. If your goal is to have two manuscripts written in the next year, then keep it at that. Don’t go into detail on exactly what day they need to be done or exactly how many words they need to be. Although you can have loose deadlines, you don’t want to be bogged down in the details. Life will get in the way.

--Keep it realistic. If you are an unpublished writer and one of your goals is to be on the NYT Bestseller list by October 2013… Well, let’s just say you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Sometimes you need to keep your goals realistic, even if you have daydreams about all of the wonderful things you want to accomplish in the coming year. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should stop dreaming. We’re writers—dream away, my friends, dream away! But keep your goals realistic.

--Challenge yourself. This is probably the trickiest thing for people to do. You want to keep your goals simple and realistic, but you still need to challenge yourself. If your goal is to write a thousand words a day but you’re accustomed to writing upwards of three thousand a day, then you can see where the problem lies. That being said, there is nothing wrong with making a goal you know you can meet. The feelings of success you’ll feel when you meet your goal are always a good thing. However, at the end of the day you didn’t achieve much if you know deep down that you could have done more. Let one goal be simple and easy, but make sure your other goals challenge you.

--Write them down in order of importance. Not every goal you make is going to be of the utmost importance. You will have goals that rank higher than others, so don’t act as if every goal is life or death. Rank them on your list from most important to least important. You want to try and achieve all of them, but if you can’t you need to be able to pick the ones that are most important to you and focus on them.

I hope you guys have a wonderful Boxing Day!!


  1. Great suggestions, Nat. I don't do resolutions and this year's not looking too good for goals either. I think I'll just be happy to make it out the other end unscathed in 2013. ;o)

  2. Beth- Thank you! You don't do goals?! Haha aww, I'm sure 2013 will be a wonderful year for you ;)

  3. Good things to focus on when making up resolutions, Natalie! I gave up resolutions a couple of years ago and now I do a Word of the Year - helps me stay focused and is fluid (as the year tends to bring challenges I can't foresee in January).

    Looking forward to part 2 :)

  4. Janet- Yes, you are right. The year always brings challenges that we don't know about yet. That's part of the reason why I suggest being flexible with your goals, and as I said in the other post, being prepared to fail. =)


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