Anti-New Years Resolution

sparkler-677774_640Since I was a child and first understood what a resolution was, I’ve felt the pressure each year to make them. This has been problematic since then.

I’ve done all the usual resolutions, such as:

“I will lose weight.”
“I will begin an exercise program.”
“I will….”

There are so many who follow this same path. And, so many who fail.

The statistics aren’t great. According to Statistic Brain, only 8% of people who set resolutions actually achieve them. This statistic was from last year.

These are not good odds.

I am never among the 8%. I can’t remember ever having success with a New Year’s Resolution, usually giving up within the first few weeks, if not days. If I made it to February, that was a miracle and I don’t remember ever doing that.

I don’t know when I stopped with the resolutions. Since I struggle with setting goals anyway, I decided not to make myself feel worse.

What I’ve done instead is to reflect on my life around my birthday, which I did last year. I wrote about it here.

This reflection includes looking back over the previous to see how it went and to think about the direction for the upcoming year. This has made more sense to me and I can see just how far I’ve come.

That doesn’t mean I ignore this time of year. The solstice has just passed which means the light is coming back. It is the perfect time for new beginnings.

What I’ve begun to do in the last couple of years is I’ve chosen a word to focus on for the upcoming year. It’s not a goal per se. More like that little thought in the back of your mind that helps to guide you. The words I have chosen have been ones that tend to show up in my relationships and daily life over and over. The word helps to keep me on task.

In my next post, I will talk about how choosing a word for the upcoming year works.

What I will do now is to encourage you to think about how you approach the new year. Will you make some resolutions that for the most part won’t be achieved? Or will you choose a guiding word and see where that takes you?

I believe in setting myself up for success and I hope you do the same.

Success

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How do we measure success?

Making money?

Publishing that book?

Getting that promotion?

All of these are measures of success but are they good ones? I believe that each  of us must decide what success looks like to us.

In the past year I’ve made some changes in my life. I did get a promotion at my day job and discovered another world that I am still learning to navigate. Then I returned to my writing roots and have lit a fire. Finding a balance between the two has been incredibly difficult especially given the measures for success I’ve decided upon.

Success means several things to me:

1.  Being published.

2.  Making a living as a writer.

3.  Making my life work regardless of the path I am on.

I am still working on the how but the plan is in place. Each days writing is one step closer to finding this success.

My definition of success may, and most likely will, change over time. Going with the flow has become my new motto though I struggle with it at times. It has helped as I work toward my goals to achieve my success.

Another thing that has helped is a process called visualization. This is where you see yourself going through the steps toward your ultimate goal. Successful people use it including athletes, entertainers and anyone who wants to reach for something higher.

Believing in myself is just the first step.

How do you define success? Have you envisioned your success?

Opportunities and Updates

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A few years ago, just when ebooks were becoming popular and book stores were closing in droves, people talked about the difficulties of writing and making a living. The opportunities were drying up. Things were changing and it didn’t look good.

Fast forward those few years and, it seems to me that there has been an explosion in opportunities for writers. As long as you are willing to cut your own path that is.

While traditional publishing is still viable (at least I hope so when my book is ready), there are many other options. E-publishing has grown exponentially as well as self-publishing. Each of these paths comes with their own strengths and weaknesses.

The message I have been hearing over and over is that each writer must be prepared to be their own salesperson. Regardless of the chosen path, if you want your words to sell, it is up to you.

There is help for this. Writing blogs and social media are a huge help as well as just getting out there and meeting people face to face. Community has probably never been more important than it is right now. The networking opportunities within different groups both online and off are a goldmine for getting the word out about your work.

It is not longer just about the writing. Competition is fierce and yet, here I am, writing. I’m grateful to be here at this time. It is exciting to see where this world of writing is going. As long as I am willing to work for it, my success depends on me.

How do you see the opportunities for success in writing today?

Update

I am just past the second full week of my dual challenge and I have to say, I am doing well.

The blogging challenge has been eye-opening and fun. I’m pleasantly surprised by the fact that I’ve been able to keep up. Its been fun coming up with different ideas for each day. Note to self: plan a theme next year and think of these things ahead of time. I have discovered it is a bit of pressure if I don’t have an idea and I need to get things done for posting.

Camp NaNoWriMo is still going, though not as strongly as before. This has been a slow week though I am nearly three-quarters of the way to my goal. Between work and my “regular” life, it has been difficult to find the energy to write. I’m still on track to complete the challenge, though I’d hoped that I would have gotten more of my novel done. We’ll see how the end of the month works out.