Come on, admit it. Resolutions are useless. I’ve made the same resolution for the past 50 years in a row—that I’m going to lose X pounds (the number goes up every five years or so). Have I ever lost them? Have you seen photos of me lately? ‘Nuf said about that. Bottom line, resolutions almost never work. So I don’t make them anymore.
But, you say, if you don’t have goals…
Oh, I still have goals. Goals with a plan – a roadmap of how I’m going to get there. But that’s way different than a resolution.
A very wise friend of mine gave up resolutions too. She says they’re simply empty wishes (and they certainly have been in my case!) She replaced them with ONE WORD. A word that is her touchstone throughout the year, to remind her of her goals. She puts it on the wall above where she writes, so she looks at it every morning when she sits down to work.
Narrow your whole focus to one word? Yes. It’s easy.
What are your goals? Let’s say you plan to finish editing that book this coming year and push it out into the world – either through self-publishing or getting an agent. Maybe your word is Emerge. As in, go through a transformation to become something new—a published author! See how focusing on that word leads you back to your goal?
Mine for the coming year is Trust.
2016 was a challenging one for me in my writing career. Finishing a contract, trying, and failing (so far) to break into New York in a new genre (women’s fiction) with three different proposals had me questioning everything: my ability to tell a story, my self-worth, my sanity.
Frustrated and disenchanted, I sat myself down about a month ago. I decided that:
- I am a good writer – I didn’t start this gig to be a bestseller. I started it to get the stories out of my head and on paper in an engaging, true way. I’m improving at this, every book.
- I love writing – I’ll do it whether I have a contract or not
- If I’m this ‘fluffy’, when I’m writing, what would I look like if I quit? (sorry for the visual)
Bottom line, I’m trusting what I know inside, not the external yardstick of success. If I do, hopefully that yardstick will come into play again. If not? I’m having fun, playing with my characters. And after all, that was enough fun to start me on this journey to being with.
Here are some other examples of One Word:
So, have I convinced you to try a one word solution to sucky resolutions?
What would your one word be for 2017?
She sold her Sweet on a Cowboy series, romances set in the world of professional bull riding, to Grand Central. The Sweet Spot won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award in the Best First Book category.
Her ‘biker-chick’ novel, Her Road Home, sold to Harlequin’s Superromance line, and has expanded to three more stories set in the same small town. Laura’s first women’s fiction, Days Made of Glass, released January, 2016.
In 2014, Laura realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She’s a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.
Laura will be presenting her workshops Working Past the Fear and Be the Dude: Strengthen Your Scenes Through Your Focus at the conference in March in Brea, CA.