It’s a new year, so what else would I write about but New Year’s resolutions?

I know, I know – New Year’s resolutions sound  soooo  boring, but I have found that making them, and checking them monthly and keeping them in mind is very important to moving forward in life and in work.

Putting together a written list—and I do think these should be written down in order to cement them in our minds—takes time and it should take thoughtfulness.  What do we want to achieve this year, health wise, relationship wise, business wise and in our efforts to give back to the universe?

A few of my clients this week presented me with their lists of what they wanted to achieve in their book publishing careers this year, and I am so happy to have these.  It will help me to focus my efforts in helping them.  In fact, I plan to encourage as many of the authors I work with as possible to do the same thing in the coming weeks (a goal should be to have all New Year’s resolutions completed by no later than the middle of January, I think).

And of course, I have done my own set of resolutions in all of the above areas.  I plan to review them very regularly and refine them when necessary (resolutions should be as specific as possible, I find).  Then at the end of the year, I will do an overall evaluation of how  I’ve done in each area, and that will enable me to put together next year’s resolutions that much more easily.

So, what do you think of this whole idea of setting New Year’s Resolutions?  Do you plan to do them for yourself?  I am eager to know your thoughts on the subject.

6 Responses to Resolutions

  1. Whenever the subject of resolutions comes up, I usually tell people I’ve decided to give up moderation. : ) And using emoticons. : (

  2. EDWARD says:

    The late Stephen Covey was was a tireless advocate of writing to-do lists on paper, and (more importantly) actually doing what you planned to do. Far from being boring, it is this essential difference which separates life’s winners from the losers. Although winners have bad days and losers have good ones, the winners always “pick themselves up and get back in the race”. Losers are always absorbed by their own negativity and self-pity. Losers always call it quits too soon. As far as Resolutions go, Covey thought the week was the ideal unit of time to plan around, not the year.
    If we think in terms of what can be accomplished in a week rather than in a year, words such as “resolution” start to sound a touch pompous. Rather than say “I’m going to drop 50 pounds by next New Year’s Day” and keep my fingers crossed, it’s more effective to say, “I’m dropping fudge brownies from my diet next week”. And then do it. I’m starting to sound preachy, Jane. Aren’t YOU supposed to be preaching to ME?

  3. Joelle says:

    Hmmm…well, I generally have some loose aims – like write a new YA this year – but nothing more specific than that. This year I’ve picked three words to live by for an overall effect, too.

    I wonder about writing/career goals though. I mean, I’m curious how your writers come up with concrete goals. I feel like publishing is so completely out of my control that it’s impossible to set specific goals. Even the writing goals are hard to set because just when you think, “Oh, I have a chunk of time and I’ll write a first draft.” something out of my control comes up to change it.

    If you can share generally how other writers do this, I’d love to hear it. And I’d be willing to try it.

    • Kevin A. Lewis says:

      I have to agree with Joelle’s thought that there isn’t much point in making resolutions about an industry where even the law of gravity seems debatable at times. So, unless you live in the Tribeca and have the connections to game the power-lunch crowd, I can only say that writing has slightly better odds than powerball and is a lot cheaper than Vegas. My last project that I paid any noticeable taxes on was an impulse submission to a kid’s magazine I had absolutely no interest in which happened to land in the hands of an editor who was so bored she was ready to shoot herself. It’s a business that succeeds largely inspite of itself, not because. Resolutions!? As the redoubtable Jerry Seinfeld once observed, “Good luck with ALL THAT…”

    • Jane says:

      My advice is to set goals of how many words per day you will write and then no matter what, do it.

      When you are done, or close to it, you should decide how you want to publish — by finding an agent and a traditional publisher or by self publishing to begin.

      Then you need to set those goals and proceed.

      Hope this helps.

      • Joelle says:

        Yeah, Jane, those all make sense. I do write regularly with word count goals and that’s not much of an issue for me. And I am one of Michael’s writers, so I’m lucky there. Great agent, best agency, in fabulous hands, all that! I just find trying to shape a career difficult via setting goals. I was hoping for the golden key answer! Somehow, I think publishing is too fluid for that. Happy New Year!

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