2020 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

Image result for new year resolutionsWe are 9 days into the New Year, and if you haven’t made your New Year’s Resolutions, it isn’t too late. Here is a list of resolutions for writers.

1.) Start (or Finish) your novel – Have you been kicking around the idea for a novel? Or maybe you have already begun one but haven’t finished it up. This is the year to get motivated and start writing. (For tips on starting a novel, click here. And for tips on dealing with writer’s block, click here.)

2.) Stay on task – Do e-mails and Facebook distract you from working? Or maybe you get caught up in marketing your books? Can you find any reason to procrastinate? Make this the year that you learn to stay on task. Make your resolution specific. Don’t just say you will “procrastinate less.” Resolve to set a timer for 20 minutes and work until the timer stops. Or vow to write for an hour BEFORE you do any marketing or check email.

3.) Find time to write/Write more – Maybe distractions such as Facebook and e-mail aren’t your problem. Perhaps it is the fact that you are working a full-time job, raising a family, doing charity work, volunteering at your kids’ school, taking care of your elderly parents or a host of other responsibilities we all take on as adults. It often becomes hard to find time to dedicate to writing, but most of us can easily carve out 30 minutes to an hour for writing. Get up earlier or dedicate the time after the kids are in bed for writing. Even a few minutes here and there can add up. The more you write, the better you become as a writer.

4.) Set a realistic writing goal – To help you stay on task or find time to write, you may want to set a writing goal. You might set an amount of time you want to write or set a number of words to write per day or week. Check out how to set realistic writing goals and stick with them!

5.) Become a better writer/Read more – You are never too old to learn something new. Even if you have several published books under your belt, there is always something new you can learn. Take the time to read a blog or a book on writing. Heck, just take the time to READ! The more you read, the more different styles and genres you read, the better your own writing will be.

6.) Increase your marketing – Sometimes promoting your novel (and yourself) is hard. Many of us would rather be writing…or heck even editing – than figuring out how to effectively market our book. Now is the time to plan your Facebook page, blog or web page or to set up a marketing campaign. Again, be specific. You want to post twice a week, send out 10 tweets or appear on 4 blogs a month or whatever you think will help your marketing plan.

7.) Improve your social media skills – Social media is a great way to interact with readers and build your audience. This year set your social media goal to join a new platform or increase your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter reach. And don’t be afraid to drop platforms that aren’t working for you. You can use the time you spend on these for other marketing methods.

8.) Take a break – Sometimes you just need to take a break from writing, editing, or marketing. Consider this time to refresh yourself so when you do come back to these tasks, you come back with more creativity and energy. This break could be just a walk around the block, an afternoon at the movies or a weekend getaway. While a break is good, don’t let it go on too long. Remember, writers need to write.

So, whatever your writing resolutions or goals, just make them simple and realistic. And most importantly, write them down and keep them posted above your computer so you follow through! Happy New Year everyone, and may 2020 be an awesome year for you and your writing!

Making changes – my non-resolutions for the start of the New Year

It I that time of year where many people make resolutions to change something in their life. And in a few weeks, those resolutions will probably be forgotten. That is precisely why I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions.

Image result for resolutionsAccording to a quick internet search, about 45% of Americans will make one (or more) resolutions this New Year. The top three resolutions are losing weight, start exercising and stopping smoking. Other popular resolutions include better money management and debt reduction.

My concern about not following through on a resolution is definitely supported by my online search.

Resolution length:

  • Past the first week: 75%
  • Past 2 weeks: 71%
  • Past one month: 64%
  • After 6 months: 46%

In 2013, I posted about New Year’s resolutions. I refused to call it a resolution, but I wanted to lose about 5 lbs or at the very least slow down the weight gain. And if you look back at my other posts, weight gain (and counting calories to lose weight) have been the topic of several posts. Just so you know, the counting calorie thing does work. I did lose 13 pounds in 12 weeks. But the holidays hit and bad habits crept back up.

As for that non-resolution from 2013, I can’t say whether I stuck with it our not. But one of my top non-resolutions for this year is…you guessed it. I would like to lose weight…oh and starting exercising would probably help me get in shape. But the memories of all those times where I start a program or plan and then get off of it as soon as I get busy or sick flash in my head.

So here are some things I would like to do in the upcoming year. And no, I will not call them resolutions as I don’t want them to fail.

Lose Weight

Image result for healthy choicesUgh. This again. Yes, even though I have successfully lost weight in the past, my problem is reverting to my bad habits as soon as I stop watching what I eat. So, I cannot go back to counting calories because as soon as I stop, any weight I loss will probably come back. This means I need to look at ways to change my behavior.

My worst habit is snacking/eating when I am not hungry so that is the behavior I am going to try and change. If I can make some low-calorie or healthier options at the same time that will be a bonus.

Exercising

I have never really enjoyed exercising. But I know I lead a pretty sedentary life. When Jase was in kindergarten, we walked to school every day – pretty much no matter whether it was cold or hot outside. I think we ended up only driving twice that year and it was due to rain. When I needed to go to the school, I walked. Fast forward to now and I find many reasons for us to drive rather than walk. And that lack of walking to the school consistently has taken a toll on my fitness.

It would be impractical of me to think that I am all of a sudden going to love exercising or find the time for a good long work out. Instead, I think I am going to aim for 10 to 15-minute blocks – at least once a day and to start walking to the kids’ schools more often.

Organizing

Image result for organizingFor two years in a row I participated in the 52-week challenge that helps you organize your house by doing one task/area each week. It really did help. But some of the areas need more work. I have already cleaned off ½ my desk and gone through all the clothes in my closet, eliminating those items that don’t fit or I don’t like anymore. But there are a few other areas – my dresser and the other half of my desk – that need some organizing. My goal is to break these projects down into smaller steps and work on them in the evenings while watching TV.

Now whether I can keep up or accomplish anything on these non-resolutions, we will just have to wait and see.

For those of you who made a New Year’s resolution, here are few tips gleaned off the internet to help you achieve them:

  • Make only 1 resolution
  • Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to set your goal (Might be too late for that one.)
  • Don’t attempt previously failed resolutions
  • Don’t base your goal on what everyone else is doing
  • Break your goal into a series of time-based steps
  • Make your plans and progress concrete by writing it down
  • Tell your friends and family what you are aiming for
  • Regularly remind yourself of the benefits
  • Give yourself small rewards for achieving each step
  • Expect small set-backs, and don’t make these a reason to give up altogether

As you can see, I made a few mistakes already by picking three areas instead of one and by picking areas that I have failed in before. I think I will just ignore these tips and stick with my three areas and see how it goes. I’ll plan to do an update at the end of February and let you know if I kept up with any of these.