But does it have to be that way?
Even if you didn't make a New Year's resolution, this is a good time to re-assess goals and find the right momentum to keep writing. Here are five tips to keep you on track:
1. CHECK YOUR GOALS
As it's nearly the end of the month, it's a good time to check in with the goals you made four weeks ago. The number one reason people fail to meet goals is that they have set multiple goals that are too ambitious and vague. It's overwhelming.
Finally, check in with your long term goals every month (or every few months) to reassess. Not only will it stoke your ambition, but it will help you to stay focused.
2. RITUALS AND HABITS
Maybe you feel that you need to form better writing habits to reach your goals. Many authors write every day. Some write a thousand words a day. Some write even more. But how did they acquire that habit in the first place? Sheer willpower?
But that's not the only option. There's a mix of science and mysticism in the act of forming habits. On average, it takes a person sixty-six days to form a new habit. If your goal is to write every day, trying to keep your momentum going for that long (or longer!) is challenging. Fortunately, you can use rituals to help you achieve this goal. Rituals are activities that we do mindfully. They set our intention and signal our brain and soul that the work we are about to do is important. By performing a ritual before you start writing, you will soon find that your creativity awakens more easily.
If you find that you have only a few minutes of writing time, do your ritual anyway and write something - even if it's fifty words or a rhyme on a napkin. Keep training your brain to be creative after your ritual. After sixty-six days, you won't feel right if you don't follow your ritual. Which means... you won't feel right if you aren't writing! It's now a habit!
3. SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
Success builds momentum. If you go to the gym for three days a week for a month, you are proud of that accomplishment and want to keep going. However, it's helpful to have a visual record of your accomplishment so you can point at it and say, "See? I did it!!!"
Popular forms of tracking your accomplishments include daily planners, calendars and stickers, or logging in word counts on a spreadsheet or Twitter. A few years ago, I found a method that works very well for me. I LOVE to-do lists. I'm the kind of person who will complete a task and if it isn't on my list, I'll write down just to check it off. But...when I tracked my work with just a to-do list, it didn't keep me motivated. It felt like my work was just another grocery list.
Then I saw someone's custom made planner and I fell in love. In a notebook, I give myself a to-do list, then leave the rest to explain what I did. One of my New Year's resolutions is to read three blogs on writing every week day. But on a simple to-do list, I'd just cross off the fact that I'd read them. Now, I have a log of what I read. I can jot down thoughts about what I've read or written that day and ideas for my next writing session. Sometimes, I even write down vocabulary words. I can, because I'm not restricted by space. If you haven't found a method of tracking your successes yet, I encourage you to give this one a try.
4. PEER PRESSURE
|Our Writing Team|
This is a great way to make sure you keep returning to your writing desk; when your friends are expecting you to write, it's hard to let them down.
5. FORGIVENESS AND DEDICATION