Well, tomorrow, like it or not, a new year is upon us.  This is the day we make all those resolutions that we’ll try hard to keep for about a week before we settle back in to “comfortable.”  I think part of the reason New Year’s resolutions generally fail is because we make so many and we start them all at once, and in doing so, we send our body into shock!  Seriously.

I once read somewhere that the human body can focus on one change at a time well, and anything more than that disturbs something in our brain that causes us to go into “fight or flight syndrome” and makes the task impossible.  Also, I’ve read in several places that it takes twenty-one days to make or break a habit.  So when someone resolves to lose weight, eat more vegetables, exercise daily, stop smoking, stop drinking, go to bed earlier, cut down on television, wake up earlier, read a book every week, blog daily, eliminate their debt, volunteer each Saturday, and go to church every Sunday, and they start all of those on January first, they will likely be done by or before January seventh.

We spend at least the latter half of December mentally preparing for the huge changes we wish to implement on January first, and we get geared up to follow through with each and every one of them.  Then, when we fail at sticking to our resolutions, we feel like we’ve failed our bodies, our minds, and even at life!  We crash hard and may even become more engaged in the bad habits than before we resolved to give them up.

Experts recommend prioritizing your resolution list and tackling only one of those items each month.  That gives you twenty-one days to make or break the new habit, then an extra week to live with the new change in place before shocking your body or brain by adding another one.

However, what I have decided this year is that I want to do something entirely different.  Instead of setting myself up to fail at resolutions of how to entirely overhaul my body, my mind, my income, and my work day, I’m just going to be making small, short-term goals.  For example, I want to lose five pounds before the end of January.  That way, if I have a horrible day and don’t succeed at whatever diet, it won’t mean I am a failure.  It’ll still give me the entire rest of the month to work a wee bit harder and meet my goal.  Then on February first, I’ll set another goal for the next five pounds.

Instead of saying I want to write more in 2015, or I’ll write daily no matter what, I’m going to set a goal to write 45,000 words in January.  If I meet that goal, that would roughly average half the length that my books usually are, meaning I will have completed a 90,000 word manuscript every two months.  That’s less than 1,500 words a day if I write daily, which is less than one chapter.  If I can write more than that, I’ll feel way ahead of the game each month.  I don’t even know if it’s realistic to start working on a new first draft right away while simultaneously editing the old, or if I might prefer to edit the old works completely then start something new.

Instead of saying I want to participate in the Halloween half-marathon in October, I’m going to set my goal to participate in the Zombie Run 5K in October.  That means I only have to start at zero then add a third of a mile to my distance each month until then, and that will be my monthly goal.  If I add more, I’ll feel way ahead of the game, and maybe I just will get to run a half-marathon.

Other than those goals, I want to travel more and make more money.  But I feel that those will happen as they’re meant to, and I’m not going to set any particular goals for them.

So all in all, I want to write a lot, run a lot, get in better shape and be healthier, and work on getting my books published.  And now that I’ve shared this with you, whether you signed up for it or not, you’re all my accountability partners.  Hopefully I don’t embarrass myself by making this public proclamation and not following through.

Time to talk:  What are your goals or resolutions for 2015?  What was the biggest or most difficult resolution you ever made and stuck with?  Do you have any special plans to celebrate tonight?

35 thoughts on “Tomorrow…

  1. I had a similar thought with regards to not setting resolutions but setting small goals instead. I usually make resolutions but don’t keep them. I want to make a lot of changes this year (lose weight, drink less, write more etc) and I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to beat myself up either so I know change will be gradual. I’m off out to a friend’s house tonight for a party so definitely won’t be losing weight or drinking less tonight! Happy New Year to you 🙂

  2. I stopped making resolutions years ago. I’m going with more of a business plan approach these days. I’ll post about it after the New Years hoopla dies down. Too easy to lose the post among the flood of New Years posts.

  3. I’ve never bothered with New Year’s resolutions. Each new day is the first day of the rest of my life, and if I can get through it without any more trouble than normal, I’ll be doing well. Happy New Year!

    • I’m afraid I’m going to be reaching that point in the very near future. This one is my last attempt at a major overhaul. I wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2015, Christine! ❤

  4. I feel like my New Year Resolutions are a continuation of goals I set out to achieve in 2014 but sort of failed because I spent my time and energy on the wrong things. One resolution that will be a challenge is to eat healthier and another resolution I believe I can achieve is to get out more. Happy New Year!

  5. Happy New Year! Your goals sound doable. I agree that it makes more sense to set some goals rather than huge resolutions. I never make New Year’s resolutions. I tend to set goals for myself throughout the year, but I honestly haven’t thought about any yet. We’ve had a lot going on. 🙂
    We celebrated New Year’s Eve with the same friends we’ve celebrated with for close to 40 years–Chinese food and lots of laughs! Hope you had a fun evening, too.

  6. I’ve never really made resolutions. But I’m with you on writing more, eating healthier and the running. We can hold each other accountable 😉 And best wishes to you in publications! Happy New Year, Rachel!

  7. I love your plan! I’m of the mind that one size does not fit all, and while resolutions work for some, each person knows what will work for them. Sounds like you’ve done exactly that. The best to you in 2015! Looking forward to keeping in touch. 🙂

  8. Pingback: The Monthly Report | Rachel Carrera, Novelist

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