Author Life

Breaking up with New Year Resolutions

Life is hard. After one month into the year, the New Year Resolutions have quite a hard time too. We’re back in the normal life; we’re back at work, we’re back in our routine. The bubbles seem very far away and yet, only one month has passed. How are you holding up with it?

I’ve never been a fan of resolutions. To be honest with you, I’d never had any. My morphology is weird enough to avoid me any diet or gym, even though I know I should do some. I do yoga once a week, and I’m ‘waiting’ for a better weather to, eventually, go running outside. I never smoked nor drank alcohol, so no quitting for me.

But this year felt different. 2017 had brought me lots of novelties, and I thought it could be the perfect time to finally do something. But again, why setting up new year resolutions when I know that I won’t follow them. That’s the reason behind my ‘word of the year’.

What’s a word of the year?

It’s a simple word, an English one or any other language’s one, that you’ll use as a purpose for the year. It will help you stay focus on what matters the most to you, and to achieve your goals.

Example: my 2018’s word of the year is ‘Consistency’.

Consistency means that I’d like to work consistently on my writing projects. This includes my work-in-progress (wip) novel, of course, but also this blog. And that’s it; it doesn’t include anything else. So no gym, no quitting, no nothing else. And if I want to add something along the way, I’ll do it. As long as I don’t lose sights on what I had in mind at the beginning of the year.

How is the year going so far?

In January, I posted articles consistently on the blog, every Wednesday morning. So I can say it’s going pretty well considering that I wasn’t posting much the past few months. I hope to keep it that way because I just love blogging.

On the fiction writer’s side, thanks to my friend Céline from the blog Sine Fine Fabulasum, I’m focusing on my novel every week. We’re sitting at a coffee shop’s table together, and we work on our respective projects. That’s pretty cool because my routine of getting up one hour earlier each morning to write my novel has vanished with Winter. I’m guessing it will come back at some point because the sun is getting up earlier each day now.

What I didn’t see coming was that I would start a podcast. But I think I’ve added it successfully to my schedule, for now. We’ll check how it is going in six months.

How can you set up your goals too?

Choosing your goals for the year isn’t a daunting task. Think about what you want to achieve. I’m sure you have a pretty long list, but I’d like you to focus on just one or two main objectives.

Are they SMART?

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. It means that whatever your goal, it has to be simple and clear, trackable, small enough so you don’t feel overwhelmed, realistic, relevant with what you want to do with your life, etc.

Let me give you an example.

I’m currently working on the fourth draft of my novel (after this one I’m done, I promise, haha). I recently learnt that Pitch Wars will start this Summer, and it is a pretty good program for whoever wants to get an agent. Or it is, at least, a nice start. However, to be able to submit my participation, I need my draft to be completed. I’ve completed ten chapters so far that I’m sure are as final as they can be. I’ll probably have to write 40 more chapters to complete the draft, and six months to go.

So here it goes…

Specific: The wip needs 40 more chapters.
Measurable: It’s easily trackable, as each chapter can be set up as a mini task.
Achievable: Yes, it is a realistic goal. It means I’ve to complete around six chapters per month.
Relevant: My main goal is to create a career as a writer, so completing my novel is relevant to that goal.
Time-bound: There’s a deadline, which is the end of July.

Your turn now.

What is your ‘word of the year’?
What are your goals and how can you break them into mini-tasks?
Do you have a deadline?
Do not hesitate to tweet me @vdvestelle

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