Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year’s Resolutions: 5 Tips for Creating and Achieving Them

It’s that time again.  Time for us to think about what we want to accomplish over the next year and time for us to make some life-changing decisions.  That is what New Year’s Resolutions are all about, right?  We decide what we want to change and we resolve to make it happen.  

Unfortunately, according to a study by the University of Scranton, 92% of us will fail to achieve our resolutions.  In fact, the older we get the less likely we are to achieve them.  But you shouldn’t give up on creating resolutions.  You should simply modify them a bit.

Here, I’m going to walk you through some tips that will help you to achieve success in the coming year.

1. Don’t set yourself up for failure.  I could say “I resolve to get a multi-book contract this year” but, while confidence and determination are certainly great traits to have, is it possible to achieve that goal in less than a year?  Your answer may be yes, but mine is no.  Know what you are capable of achieving and don’t set goals beyond that or you will be setup for failure.

2. Make your resolutions quantifiable and not vague.  Don’t resolve to lose weight.  Instead, resolve to exercise three times a week or eat at least one healthy meal per day, thereby increasing your odds of achieving success.  Setting a goal to lose weight is great but without a plan to achieve that goal it is doomed to fail.

3. Don’t set a goal you have no control over.  Don’t say “I’m going to win the lottery this year”  or “I’m going to sell my book this year” because you don’t have direct control over those things.  You can, however, resolve to buy one lottery ticket per week or send queries to one literary agent per week. These things you can control.

4. Make your list short.  Don’t resolve to change too much at one time.  Doing so will only overwhelm you and decrease your chances of achieving anything.  Instead, choose up to five goals that you really want to achieve in the coming year and, who knows, you may achieve more in the process.

5. Make yourself accountable.  There is no greater motivator than the fear of public failure.  You are more likely to try your hardest when there are people who will know if you fail.  Chances are, this will work in your favor because you will likely gain some cheerleaders in the process.

So, while you’re busy scribbling down your resolutions for the coming year, keep these tips in mind.  They might just help you achieve success.

Do you have any tips to add?