Five Tips for Making New Year’s Goals – Guest Post by Chelsea R. H.

by | 22 December 2017 | Life | 15 comments

Hey friends! As you can see, today I’ve got a wonderful friend (and fellow Australian writer) here to talk about new year’s goals.

I’m one of those people who makes goals and then forgets about them two days later, so I’m eager to read the tips and advice that Chelsea has for us all! 😛

 

~ ♦ ~

 

I’m absolutely delighted to be here today! I’d just like to take a moment to congratulate Jane on her super cool blog and say thanks for letting me come and chatter about making goals and/or resolutions for the New Year.

 

Making Goals for the New Year

 

Can you believe that in a week it’s going to be 2018? Of course, with the advent of the New Year, everyone is going to be making New Year’s Resolutions (which will have inevitably petered out by January 7th).

I’ve never been a resolutions maker, but I am a goal maker. And I’m also a very competitive person, especially when it comes to beating personal bests and improving myself, so I find this an efficient way to get things done.

However, there are probably people who aren’t like me out there, who despair over the thought of making—and more importantly—sticking to their goals throughout an entire 365 days. So, I’ve compiled a list of five things that will, hopefully, help you make and complete your goals in the coming year. I can’t guarantee that every one of them will work for everyone, but, hey, we’re all individuals!

 

1: Make achievable goals

This sounds like it should be a no-brainer, but it really isn’t. So often, the resolutions or goals that people make at New Years are completely unachievable. Let’s take a look at the goals I made for myself at the start of 2017.

  • Write four new novels
  • Read 100 books
  • Write five new short stories
  • Enter four competitions
  • Edit two novels

I must have decided that I had no life. Some crazy writers might be able to complete this goals list, but I couldn’t and I didn’t take that into account when I made them. No ordinary writer can write four new novels (presumably of 50,000+ words), edit two of those novels (and when I say edit, I actually mean scrap the entire first draft and rewrite the entire thing, changing pretty much everything except maybe the occupation of the MC), plus reading 100 books (that’s a lot of books!), entering four competitions and writing a bunch of new short stories! It wasn’t happening! A manageable goals list might look more like this:

  • Write two new novels
  • Read 100 books
  • Write five new short stories
  • Enter two competitions
  • Edit one novel

Even then, some people may not have enough time to do this, but you’ll need to tailor your list to your own life and schedules and whatever else.

 

2: Don’t make them too easy!

On the other hand, you can’t make them too easy, or you won’t be challenging yourself. If you read an average of twenty books a year, don’t set your goal for fifteen books, set it for twenty-five, or thirty, or even fifty! If you write one novel easily a year, challenge yourself to write another one, or to edit the first one. How much you do here is up to you, just make sure its not too easy for you. The aim of making goals is to stretch yourself, strengthen your muscles and try something you’ve never done before!

 

3: Make sure you want to achieve these goals

There’s nothing worse than being made to do something you don’t want to do, especially when it’s yourself making you do it! If you don’t want to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself, you aren’t going to end up doing it. If you make a goal to write a novel in a year, but what you really want to be doing is creating an anthology of poetry, you aren’t going to be putting your very best into your novel. Why not make write a book of poetry as your goal instead? It’s much easier to complete a goal when you actually want to achieve it.

 

4: Break them down into manageable chunks

The thing I find most overwhelming about goals is how big they seem to me. the key to defeating these massive goals is to break them down. Say, your goal is to write an anthology of poetry throughout the year, that’s all very well, but an anthology of poems includes a lot of poems! How on earth are you going get all those poems written between school, and life, and work?

So, break it down. You want an anthology? Okay, start by making a commitment to write one poem per week. That’s doable, isn’t it? Just one poem each week and by the end of the year, you’ll have fifty-two poems! That’s a lot of poems too. 😀

Similarly, if you want to write a 100,000-word novel (that’s about the average length of a YA novel), in one year, all you need to do is write 273 words a day. That’s not a lot of words and committing to writing 273 words before breakfast, or after dinner, every day seems a lot less daunting than committing to writing 100k in a year.

 

5: And finally! Ask God to help you choose and stick with your goals

This is the most important point of all! It says in Psalm 127:1 that “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builder labours in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” That advice doesn’t just apply to houses and cities, it also relates to goals. Unless God is behind your poetry anthology venture or novel-in-a-year, it’s frankly not going to happen.

As you begin to consider next year’s goals and resolutions, pray over them, ask God what He wants to use you in. When you’ve prayerfully decided which goals God wants you to pursue, ask Him—and continue to ask Him throughout the year—to help you complete those goals.

 

That’s it for today! Once again, thanks for the opportunity to do a guest post, Jane! I hope you find these tips helpful.

~ ♦ ~

Chelsea is a crazy, homeschooled, book and musical lover. She enjoys reading, writing, crying over her characters and confusing people. She writes historical fiction with a dash of fantasy, though she has lately tested out dystopian. She is seventeen years old and lives on a property in Australia with four horses and a lot of kangaroos.

Check out her blog at An Ordinary Pen.

 

~ ♦ ~

 

Chat with Chelsea in the comments! How did achieving your goals or resolutions go this year? What goals do you hope to achieve in 2018?

Jane Maree

Jane Maree

Jane Maree is an Adventurer—exploring the endless wonders of God’s beautiful creation. She started writing by accident, but since the very beginning has loved the enchantment of words on paper. If you say anything about pizza, superheroes, books, or any of her many, many fandoms, she’ll come at the double. Aside from crafting worlds using only twenty-six letters, she is a passionate Jesus-lover, freelance editor, self-trained martial artist, songwriter, and musician. In her spare time, she's often off on random adventures in the name of story research. She seeks to inspire her readers to step out and become the heroes of hope this world needs.

15 Comments

  1. C L Farrelly

    Cool, post! I hope you have more success next year. This year was quite a success for me because for the first time in my life I succeeded with a goal/resolution! It was simple but still challenging and I really enjoyed it. I decided I would do more baking, mostly meals and I would try out at least one new meal per month. And I now have 15 new meals, some of which have become family favourites. I also tried out 7 new recipes for different sweet things, which included cheesecake and pavlova. Before that goal/resolution I always failed or simply forgot about them. It is such a good feeling to make a possible goal and then complete it!

    Reply
    • Chelsea

      It is a good feeling, isn’t it! I tend to have goals every year, but usually don’t get them done. This year, I wrote five of them out and put them on my bedroom wall, where I’d see them all of the time and could tick them off once I’d completed them, and that made a world of difference.
      Good job on collecting all those recipes, I really should try more baking! Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Reply
  2. Celeste

    These are great tips and the sort of things that they told me in school all of the time when we were supposed to make goals! I’m definitely going to try to be more committed to goals this coming year! Best wishes for your goals this coming year!

    Reply
    • Chelsea

      Thank you for commenting, Celeste!

      Reply
  3. Jane Maree

    Thank you so much for your post, Chelsea! I absolutely loved having you here. <3
    I'll definitely keep all your tips in mind for any goals I make in the future! 😀

    Reply
    • Chelsea

      Thank you for having me, Jane! it was fun!

      Reply
  4. Catherine Hawthorn (Farm Lassie)

    I neeed this post. I’ve been trying to make more time for my writing, and I’ve been failing miserably…

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

    Reply
    • Chelsea

      It was my pleasure writing it, Catherine! Thank you for commenting. I hope you find more time for your writing 😀

      Reply
  5. J.A.Penrose

    I love goals.

    Awesome post both of you! I’ll have to start thinking about goals for next year… More realistic than usual…

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      ‘both of you’?
      Pish, all I did was invite her here. 😉

      Reply
    • Chelsea

      Thanks for your lovely words, Jess! I’m a bit of an overachiever too and psh, who needs realistic goals? 😀 I hope they go well for you!

      Reply
  6. Jenna

    great post! this 2018 New Year is the first year i’m gonna be making some writing related resolutions, including getting a blog up soon. So this post came at the right time for me! 👍

    Reply
    • Chelsea

      Getting a blog is an exciting step, Jenna! Let me know when you get it up and I’ll check it out 🙂 Thanks, I’m glad it was helpful! Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  7. Bri

    I enjoyed this post, especially the suggestions to make sure they are the Lord’s will and to break them down into manageable chunks! I’m a perfectionist-procrastinator overachiever, which means I’m always either doing too little or too much, hahaha! So New Year’s goals… sometime I make them, sometimes I don’t, and I can’t decide which is better for me :P. I’m thinking I might not make big ones this year though, because I have so many big things up in the air right now that, if they fall through, will really change life as I know it, so it would totally mess up resolutions, which would make me feel like a failure even while accomplishing what I’d rather be doing ;).
    Rejoicing in Hope,
    Bri from forget-not-his-benefits.blogspot.com

    Reply
  8. MiddleEarthMusician

    These were awesome tips! XD I’ve never actually made New Years resolutions or goals; but I would like to try and start in 2018. Thank you for sharing! 😀

    Reply

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