January 9, 2012

Anti-New Year’s Resolutions

Every year most people I know make New Year’s Resolutions with the very best of intentions.  Some people resolve to lose weight, quit smoking, handle their money better, take better care of their health, etc.  I have to admit I’ve resolved to do all of these except quit smoking (I’m not a smoker) at least once in the last 10 years or so.

We all start out doing well, but then something happens to throw us off track and those well intended resolutions become a thing of the past, something to be forgotten about and never mentioned again, well until the next new year.  I read somewhere that a study was done and 78% of all New Year’s Resolutions fail.  I don’t know if that’s supposed to offer comfort for those of us who fall off the resolution wagon or if it’s supposed to shame us into getting back on.

I didn’t keep a single resolution I made in January 2011 so I decided to take a different approach this year.  Instead of setting myself up for failure once again, this year I’m resolving to keep doing the things that are working for me.

  1. Setting monthly goals – By setting a monthly writing goal, I don’t feel so overwhelmed. Instead of saying I want to write two complete manuscripts this year, I say I want to write x amount of pages this month.  It seems to help me stay on track if I have a bad day or two where the words aren’t flowing.

  1. Exercise 4 days a week – I’m not one of those people who love to exercise.  In fact, I hate doing it, but I have really bad knees (4 knee surgeries in 4 years) and exercise helps keep them limber.  By exercising only 4 days out of the week, it gives me an out if I don’t feel like doing it on a particular day.

  1. Take time for me – Okay I didn’t do so well with this one after Impetuous was released at the end of August because I spent a great deal of my free time trying to promote my book.  I plan on getting back on track with this after January.

  1. Take a day off from anything writing related once a week – I usually don’t even turn the computer on on Sundays.  It’s a day for me to spend time with family, do things I haven’t gotten to during the week, or on occasion, spend a lazy day on the sofa with a good book.

  1. Stay organized – I’m one of those people who has a place for everything and everything is in its place.  For example, if you come to my desk at work and borrow my stapler and set it down someplace other than where you took it from, as soon as you walk away from my desk, I’m moving the stapler back to its spot where it belongs.  This helps me stay organized both in my writing and every day life.  I like knowing where everything is so that if I need something I don’t have to spend hours searching through stacks of notes or paper looking for that one piece of vital research to move my story forward.
How about you?  Do you have any Anti-New Year’s Resolutions?
Katherine Grey writes historical romances set in London, England during the Regency period.

Her debut novel, Impetuous is available from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble

Her novella, The Muse, involving a secondary character from Impetuous will be released later this year.

Katherine loves hearing from readers and other writers.  You can find her at her blog - http://katherinegrey.blogspot.com or
on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Katherine-Grey/265375626827267?sk=wall


Valentines Flowers said...

The clue for me is in the title "New Years Resolution" it makes it sound like something to do for January..maybe we should rename it "whole years resolution" and see if that makes any difference to people sticking to them.
I also set myself weekly goals and it really helps me keep my life organised.
What a great post..thank you.

Katherine said...

Hi Valentine, I like the idea of using the term "Whole Year's Resolutions." Maybe it would help us keep them instead of getting discouraged so quickly. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Hi, Katherine. Thanks for being my guest today. A great list of to live by, resolutions or not!

Nancy Jardine said...

Great post. I'll go with the exercise bit, and I love the time off bit you are doing on Sunday, but I'm beginning to wonder who is me??? This time last year I had never answered a single blog(didn't know how to), didn't have one or visit websites, didn't do so much facebooking or bookreading etc But then, again, I'd never been an author of one published book either! I believe any old style resolutions I used to make are completely irrelevant to the lifestyle I'm now leading as an author! Definitely different goals to set.

Susan Macatee said...

I don't make New Year's resolutions, but I do set writing goals for the years, so I know where I'm headed. Otherwise, I'd just founder around and wouldn't get anything done. I do set monthly goals as well.

I also don't do anything writing related on Sundays and often don't turn on the computer. And I work out five days a week, but no workouts on weekends. I might take the dog for a walk, if no one else is willing, though.

And I am very organized. So much so, that if somethings out of place, it bothers me enough to move it back. lol

The good thing is, unlike my husband, I can always find what I'm looking for.

Celia Yeary said...

Katherine--that's me with the stapler. I, too, must have everything in place, and it's a good thing I live with a man who is the same way. We're always together, but we do not cross into each other's territories--he doesn't mess with my desk, and I don't mess with his. Or anything..my closet, his closet, his side of the bathroom cabinet, my side.
It is a wonderful thing to take off one day and stay away from the computer. I do this on a random basis, but it's the same thing. Very good idea for all of us.
I enjoyed your post--

Katherine said...

Hi Nancy,

I was just like you before my book came out. I would only check my email once a week, if that, rarely read a blog, certainly didn't have one, and had no idea what to do with Facebook. I read a lot though. Now, I'm lucky if I manage to read a book a month, spend a lot of time blogging, reading them, and learning to navigate Facebook which my nephew had to set up for me. LOL. Once my book came out and I realized how time consuming promotion can be, I tried to set guidelines which became the basis of my Anti-New Year's Resolutions.

Katherine said...

Hi Susan,
We seem to be on the same wavelength in terms of exercise, having Sundays off, and being organized. My family teases me that I can tell if the coffee table book is an inch out of place, which may be true, but I'll never admit to it. :o)

Katherine said...

Hi Celia,

It's good to know there are so many of us organized people. I'm the only one in my office like that.

I started taking Sundays off from the computer to keep from feeling burned out. After working on a computer all day at work 5 days a week and then coming home and working on it for 2 to 3 hours between writing and promotion in the evenings, then trying to fit in 3 or 4 hours on Saturday, I was getting to the point where I was starting to hate the sight of my laptop.

Thanks for stopping by.

Lynne Marshall said...

I'm better about keeping writing goals than personal resolutions. I like your idea of making monthly goals instead of a year's worth. That seems much less daunting.

I love your book cover, Katherine. Best wishes for great success!

Also - what a beautiful blog this is, Anna.

Katherine said...

Hi Lynne,

I started making monthly goals because whenever I had too much to do, writing always came last if at all. I would rationalize it by saying I still had X amount of months or days before the year was over and then the next thing I'd know, the year was coming to an end I wouldn't have gotten close to meeting the goals I set at the beginning of the year.

Thanks. I love the cover too. The artist did a wonderful job.

Katherine said...

Hi Anna Kathryn,

Thank you for having me today. I had a great time. :o)

marybelle said...

I'm better off not making resolutions, but life changes along the way. These I tend to stick to.


Katherine said...

Hi Marybelle,

I like making life changes instead of resolutions. It's a good way to set goals without the feeling that you might be setting yourself up for failure. Thanks for stopping by. :o)

Cara Bristol said...

I don't set New Year's Resolutions, but I do set goals. The start of the year is always a good time to start, because I can look back and see what I accomplished the previous year and make adjustments.

You don't say what kind of exercise you do. If you walk, I highly recommend getting a pedometer. Being able to track what you do and incrementally increase it is motivating.

Katherine said...

Hi Cara,

I usually work out one of the local gyms doing weight training a couple of days and using the cardio machines a couple of days. Thanks for stopping by. :o)