December 2012: It’s that time ‘o year again — New Year’s resolution time. I know many of us have made resolutions we didn’t follow through with; I’m certain I’m not alone. Last year, I made a very public resolution posted on my blog. Not only did I make one, but I outlined the milestones I would reach throughout 2012. My resolution was to finish my book. It’s not finished, and here’s why I didn’t finish it:
I wasn’t specific enough
Oh sure, I had a timetable, but I didn’t have activities, which coincided with the plan. I needed to outline not only when, but how.
The takeaway — plan the activities needed to hit the goal.
I didn’t put enough time, effort, and thought into my resolution
It looked good on paper, but was I truly prepared for this commitment? Had I thought out what was needed to accomplish this goal? Obviously not.
The takeaway — plan time to plan. Your resolution should not be a last minute New Year’s Eve attempt, but a well thought out plan.
I took on too much at once
Rather than break it into doable smaller tasks, I attempted to take it on as a whole. Even after my friend and editor, Allison Carter, divided it into five sections, I continued to think of it as one, which became daunting.
The takeaway — if it’s a large year-long goal, break it into digestible bits.
I tried too hard to make it perfect
A recent tweet in my timeline hit home, “90% perfect and published is better than 100% and not.” I should have listened.
The takeaway — forget perfection, think progress. Don’t let perfection stop you.
The bottom line is, I focused on the outcome rather than how to get there. And by looking at it as a whole, I made the task more difficult than it was, to the point of perfection paralysis. Hopefully, if you’re serious about your New Year’s resolution, you may avoid some of the pitfalls I fell into.
About that resolution
Now, about my 2013 resolution… there’s this book I need to finish – wait, I think I need a better plan this year. What do you think? If you’d like to go public and share your New Year’s resolutions, feel free to post them in the comments.
Postscript 12/29/2022: The book wasn’t published until 2015, 2 years later than my goal. I learned much from the experience and my next book was written and published in 2016, 8 months from start to finish. If you have a book in the works, and want to chat let me know.
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