Resolve to Be
My latest release, MIDNIGHT KISS, NEW YEAR WISH (in stores now) returns readers to my fictional town of Riverbend, IN, and focuses on New Year’s Eve, and the possibilities that come with the start of a new year. I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people who makes New Year’s Resolutions (NYR), and keep maybe half of them, LOL. This year’s resolution is to stick to my exercise and diet plan and finally lose those last few pounds that I keep meaning to lose.
I think NYR are all about dreams. Whether your dream is to be an author, to own your own business, to save up enough for that trip to Hawaii…it’s all about the dreams we have for our future and committing ourselves to achieving them. Then, despite all our resolving, we end up breaking those new habits within a few weeks.
It happens to the best of people and the best of intentions. Every year, I vow to go back to writing daily in my diary. It lasts through January 1st and January 2nd…and then I’m done. Time runs shorter as soon as the kids go back to school and my plans are blown before I’ve learned to write 2011 on my checks. This past year, however, I did manage to keep my writing NYR which were all centered around increasing my output. I think that’s pretty good, considering the topsy-turvy years we all had recently.
This year, you can also make and keep your own NYR about whatever dreams you have. IMO, the key is to be realistic. That’s not new advice, certainly (check out any women’s magazine for the same tips). You know that setting goals too high makes them impossible to attain. And yet, we all do that with our NYR (I’m going to lose 50 pounds by February. I’m going to save $100 a day. I’m going to stop drinking coffee cold turkey). When you make the goal nearly impossible to achieve, you often have planned for failure.
So, this year, aim for realistic NYR. Make yourself stretch, but don’t expect yourself to be Rubber Man. Think about making graduated goals, i.e.: “In January, I will write ten more minutes per day.” “In February, I will increase that to twenty minutes per day”…etc.
Make sure you have the tools you need to reach those goals, too. If your goal is to write more, then have a pen and paper ready at all times. Get a pretty journal on clearance (or two or three of them) and get some cool pens so you’re inspired to use them. This makes breaking in your goal fun, which can lead to keeping your NYR.
Don’t forget to reward yourself either. Set a date at the end of the month to take stock, re-evaluate and reward. Maybe you set the bar too high, or maybe too low. If you look at your progress on a monthly basis, you can more easily see where you are falling down or overachieving. Plus, this helps you realize that you have indeed moved forward, thus increasing your desire to keep your NYR.
What if your best intentions fall apart by January 10th? No biggie. Sit down, plan again, and start anew. The first of the year is *symbolic* for NYR. It’s not a date that is set in stone. Your goals and resolutions will undoubtedly shift throughout the year, to meet the challenges of new opportunities.
Many of you know I am a big fan of motivational calendars and sayings. My Page-A-Day motivational calendar is always perched on my desk. Some of the sayings are so great, I keep them and tape them up on my computer. A couple years ago, this was the saying for January 1: “Insist on miracles—you can make them come true.” — Anonymous
I like to think of it more in terms of dreams. Insist on your dreams…because you can make them come true in 2011! One step at a time :-)
Those who comment on the blog are entered in a drawing for a paperback copy of one of the two previous Riverbend books (reader’s choice): either MIRACLE ON CHRISTMAS EVE or MARRY-ME CHRISTMAS. And in 2011, look for another Riverbend Christmas story—a sequel to MIDNIGHT KISS, NEW YEAR WISH!