Forgive me, but I'm going to write from the heart here.
Let me begin by saying that I LOVE starting a new year. It's so exciting to have this very symbolic turn of the page or cleaning of the slate. I love looking back on the year that has passed and assessing my challenges, successes, and progress, and then setting my goals and intentions for the new year.
This time around is no different for me, but I see a pattern among my writing groups. I'm seeing a lot more positive attitudes than I did last year, yet there is still too much regret.
"Where did 2019 go?"
"I didn't get as much done as I wanted."
"I didn't write as much as I intended."
"I can't wait for the new year."
Our year is not a race, it's not a competition, it's not a game to see how much you can get done--at least not when it hurts you to fall short of your target.
Every year, month, week, day, and minute we have a choice to start fresh. You can have a new start anytime you need one. Maybe the last hour didn't go well for you, so take a deep breath, recenter, and start fresh. The new hour might have the best news waiting for you, or the most productivity, or a spike in sales.
So let me get super clear here about what I think is going to make the biggest difference for ANYONE in 2020. We all want to keep moving up, right? Keep making things better?
If yes, then that means we have to be different than we were last year (month/week/day/hour).
There was a great post by one of the Sprinters in our free writing group. She had been working through her 2020 Author's Planner when she came across the question: "How would achieving your authorship goals and vision change your life?"
"Answering the question from Audrey’s planner, “how would achieving your authorship goals change your life?” Has been a revealing task. I’ve had goals but they have always been more task-oriented rather than an emotional and actual accountability of what those tasks result or do not result in."
How often do we sit down and put aside the tasks to look at what the outcome would really mean for us? How achieving that outcome would alter our lives and mindsets? Certain achievements can even change the ways in which we think about ourselves.
For example, many people have a goal of replacing their day-job income with royalties from book sales. This is a GREAT objective that I personally love and also strive for. Yet, sometimes, folks get so caught up in the tasks surrounding that objective that they forget their WHY and the reasons behind setting that goal or objective.
To get back to your WHY, look at each of your goals or resolutions.
Are they accomplishment-driven or happiness-driven?
Will achieving them change your life? How?
Will achieving them make you happier? Will it make your life more fulfilled?
If money was no object, would you still do it?
I know that last question is the hardest, especially as an author and/or entrepreneur. A lot of times we have to make a front-end investment of time, energy, focus, and money. I understand and support those front-end investments, and I make them as well.
I'm only asking, with that fourth question, to consider whether your goal stands up to it.
For example, it's not realistic to say that if money was no object you would still grind yourself down to nothing just for the sake of hitting a deadline.
It is realistic to say that the sacrifice of a little sleep or more fun days is worth the outcome and the progress that it gives you in reaching your goals and vision for your ultimate writing life.
For those that have family, nothing should be worth sacrificing your time with them. We don't know how much time we have and I'd rather not learn too late that all the little moments I could have spent with them was spent instead doing little business tasks that didn't fill me with light and fire and love.
The point is this...
One of the best things you can do to help you make 2020 drastically better than 2019 is to set goals that are authentic to the life you really want to live.
You should love the life you're living right now, even if things aren't perfect or the money you want isn't there. Money is just a tool and getting more of it won't change how you feel inside. Yes, it reduces stress and increases your feelings of safety and stability, but in order to be happy with more money later, we must learn to be happy now too.
So, when you consider those 4 crucial questions above, how do your goals evolve or change?
I would love to hear your specific and measurable (but f- "attainable" and "realistic") goals and how they keep you centered on a life that you can love now and once you've achieved them.
If you need help diving a little deeper into creating writing and publishing goals for 2020, I just posted a New Year Planning Workbook on Etsy and I have a 20% off coupon: NEWYEAR20 for that workbook (or anything else in my shop) to help you kick off the new year with a bang.