You didn't make any either? Don't worry....
According to a New York Times article, a third of the people that made New Year's Resolutions will break them by February, and by July more than half will have abandoned that hangover-induced list.
I prefer Anytime Resolutions. Better known as Goals.
Want to join me in putting more Happily in your Ever After? It's simple--follow these 3 steps:
- Pick five areas of your life to improve. More than that, you lose focus. Check out this bit on Oprah's website. I structured my goals around the "Absolute YES list" which has made it easier for me to say NO to all the things that don't relate to my goals.
- Use S.M.A.R.T. goals--
- Specific: Don't just put "Lose Weight", but put "Lose Twenty Pounds", or better yet, "Lose 3 Pounds a Month." Studies show the more specific your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them.
- Measurable: Break your goal down into measurable steps. For example, one of my goals is to achieve PAN status with RWA. As my publisher puts out the royalty reports each quarter, I can track how my promotional events are working for me in my efforts to sell my book. Then, I can adjust (or sob over a glass of wine) accordingly.
- Attainable: Pretty obvious, but worth repeating. Make goals that stretch your limits, but are achievable with solid effort.
- Relevant/Resonate: This is where most goals fall flat. Visualizing that goal should give you a tingle of excitement. Six years ago, my goal was to get a publishing contract. I visualized my book-signing party, where I was swanning around in a designer gown, champagne glass in hand, as I greeted my guests on the front lawn of the Pink House (a historic, reportedly haunted Victorian in my hometown, which you can see here) . Well, I did get that contract and champagne (yay!) but no designer gown and Victorian landmark signing party. Maybe when I hit my five-year goal: appearing on the NYTimes Bestseller's List. Someday I'll have that drink on the Pink House lawn!
- Time-Bound: Have an end-time for your goal. This helps you avoid goals like "Exercise More Often," as this is a life-style change, not a goal. A fitness goal would be "Get Fit Enough to Run the Disney Marathon by January."
- Attend kickboxing/bootcamp classes 3 or more times each week to be ready for obstacle race in February, then schedule race for summer/fall.
- Strive for five fruits and veggie servings every day. Track how many on my fit app daily.
- Write for 45 minutes every weekday until Novel #4 is completed, and send to my editor at TWRP (then cross my fingers for contract #4!).
- Attend one writer's conferences this year.
- Read (or listen to) 52 or more books this year (1/week). Then review them on Goodreads!
- Hold two contests for my readers (one in Feb, one in Oct), revise blog/website to include reader enhancement experiences, increase newsletter subscribers to 200.
- Create four webinars (one/quarter) to give back to other writers, and four vlogs (one/quarter) just for my readers to enhance their reading experience with me.
- Write/work on writing related things during the week, and on the weekend before the family is awake. Then, it's technology blackout until Monday morning.
- Focus on the QUALITY of the time spent, vs. the QUANTITY.
- Designate 8 hrs/week to handle leadership responsibilities for the organizations I lead. Stick by the parameters so the organizations don't take over every other goal on this list.
- Cut volunteer hours to 5/week.
5. Say NO--
- Last but not least: Say NO to the people, things and distractions that take away from my goals this year. And after you say NO, don't feel guilty. This is a YES list. Not a NO list.Cherish friends and family in my life that add to my Happily My Ever After. The ones that suck the joy from my life...this is a new year and a new Dylan. I will be purposeful about with whom and how I spend my mental energy.
What are your goals? Feel free to share them on this blog! Because goals are the way to...
Happily my Ever After,