I am uploading this at the end of January, because that is typically when most people have fallen behind on their resolutions. If you’re like me, your pledges have ranged from writing every day to reading a certain number of books a month to losing weight by a set date. And if you’re like me, you’ve found yourself breaking these promises at least once this month.
I’m here to say that’s okay. You can break your resolutions. In fact you should expect to, because most resolutions are numbers or goal based. When you look at them as a zero-sum game, a failure if you don’t hit things exactly right, it becomes very difficult to keep up.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make goals. You should always strive to improve yourself, but it’s easier to do so when you look at goals as a long term lifestyle change instead of a set number you’re trying to reach.
That’s why it’s easier to lose weight if your goal is to improve your fitness levels or clean up your eating habits instead of solely aiming to lose forty pounds by summer.
So this year, my goals are not something that can be easily checked off on a to do list but instead challenges to the routine of my daily life.
Instead of aiming to write everyday, I plan to write outside my comfort zone. Pretty much all I know about writing I taught myself. I’ve spent so much time just trying to prove to myself that I’m talented enough to justify prioritizing writing that I haven’t taken as many risks as I should or could have.
To push myself I’m going to try a lot of fresh starts. I’m going to try to give every idea a fair chance, before I can second guess myself out of ever starting. It’s kind of hard to grow if you pin all your hopes on one project and I want to allow myself variety.
I’m even going to try screenwriting! Instead of a certain number of words or pages, I’m aiming for a change that will make all my future words better. And it’s okay if I mess up or fail completely at something new, because making mistakes is how you learn.
Pushing myself is my general theme for the year. In writing and in life. I want to take risks. I want to be honest. I want to be a better person. I want to hold myself to higher standards.
I’m standing up for myself. Defining boundaries. You know? It’s exciting to try new things and you shouldn’t have save all your life changes for the beginning of the year.
I’ve always been really hard on myself about setbacks. I really don’t like the idea of not completing something I’ve set up to do, even if it’s only a minor delay. I don’t know why. Really, if you look at it, I should be well accustomed to not always having the privilege of following a straight path to the finish line.
That’s not so uncommon, I don’t think. Even if things usually go your way, there will still be some sort of delay sometimes. Life itself can feel like a delay.
So no excuses. It’s okay if you screwed up your diet or missed your target word count or fell behind on your TBR. Screwing up doesn’t mean you can’t try again. Think about why you made the resolution you may have failed and take your next step forward based on that. It doesn’t have to be an clear cut goal, but it’s a step in the right direction.
It’s much easier to start something than to stick with it. If you can figure out what you need to commit, you stand a much better chance at success. So what are you hoping to get out of your goals this year? What exactly to you plan to do to?
Are you trying to reach a number or are you trying to start a new habit? Let me know in the comments. And if you’d like to make sure I follow through on the promises I’ve made here you can find me @LilyMeade on pretty much all social networks.