Making resolutions as the clock strikes midnight and one year rolls into the next is a time-honored tradition. You might have made your own resolutions for the New Year too, promising to write more in 2022 than you did in 2021. While this is a great jumping off point, you will need more actionable writing goals to make sure you stick to your resolution.
The reality is that sticking to New Year’s resolutions is hard. Some of the most common reasons for failing at resolutions include:
- Unrealistic goals
- Not keeping track of progress
- Forgetting about resolutions altogether
- Making too many resolutions
Worried that your own writing resolutions will fall by the wayside? Here are some actionable steps you can take to better support your writing goals.
Want to finish your book in 2022? Great! Now break it down into smaller steps. Really consider what it will take to help you write “The End” by Dec. 31. A great place to start is by setting small writing goals that you can hit on a daily or weekly basis. Not sure what smaller writing goals look like? You can take any of these smaller goals and change them to fit your needs:
- Write for 20 minutes five days a week
- Write 1,000 words a day
- Write 7,500 words a week
Life can be chaotic at even the best of times, so be sure to commit to a writing goal that fits into your regular routine and schedule. You can also use this time to explore what a writing routine might look like for you.
Consider how your smaller goals fit into your bigger goals. If you set a resolution to finish your book by the end of the year, is writing for 20 minutes 5 days a week going to realistically get you there? Perhaps not, but the good news is you can stairstep each smaller goal into something bigger.
Once you reach one goal, be ready to move on to the next! Whether you plan to write more days a week, write for longer periods of time or write to higher word count goals, stairstepping to larger and larger goals will help you reach your writing resolution for the year.
Finishing your rough draft is a reward in and of itself, but sometimes you need a little help along the way. Don’t be afraid to reward yourself when you consistently hit new goals. Cut or tear up small strips of paper and write down small rewards on them. Then fold the pieces and put them in a bowl or container. When you reach a goal, pull your reward out! Here are a few ideas for rewards:
- Buy a new book
- A trip to your favorite coffee shop
- Go see a movie
- Take out from your favorite restaurant
- Buy something from your Amazon wish list
Writing goals don’t have to be overwhelming. As a writer it can be easy to get ahead of yourself though, especially when you feel like you have a story to tell. Rushing headlong into a new goal is an easy way to burn yourself out, so be sure to set small goals, stairstep when you’re ready and reward yourself along the way.