Saturday, January 26, 2013

On Keeping Resolutions

I'm proud to say I haven't broken any New Year's resolutions.

But then, I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore.

It seems a prudent way for a person to keep things in her life in order is to take stock a lot more often than once a year.

I've found I keep resolutions more frequently by setting them on a daily, weekly or monthly basis all year around.

For example, if I'm going to write the first draft of a new book, I'll estimate how long I believe it should take to complete the draft based on how much preparatory work I've done, what my upcoming schedule of non-writing events and obligations looks like, and determine how much time I'll have to do my actual writing.

If I believe it will take me six weeks to complete a first draft, I'll set a goal of six weeks to complete the rough work of the book.

Next, I'll set weekly goals toward reaching the one due to be achieved in six weeks. Week one I will complete the first twelve thousand words; week two I'll write the second ten thousand words and so on.

Finally, goals are broken down into days--two thousand words on Monday (my schedule is filled with other appointments), four thousand on Tuesday (my schedule is lighter), and so on through Saturday. (I work Monday to Saturday, taking Sundays off.)

At the end of each day and week, I reassess and do whatever is necessary to stay on track toward the six-week goal.

If I'm trying to lose weight, I do pretty much the same thing. First I set a long-term goal such as in March I might decide I'd like to lose seven pounds by June first. That would give me three months to lose seven pounds, roughly twelve weeks. On the average I'd need to lose slightly more than one half pound every week.

Just as I'd do with writing the first draft of a book, I'd make weekly assessments to see how I was succeeding in reaching my goal. Some weeks I'd lose weight, some I might stay the same, some I might gain. Whatever the outcome, I'd have to make the proper adjustments each week in order to reach my goal.

Many of us have a dream we'd like to achieve, but thus far we've put it off year after year because it seemed out of reach.

If we're able bodied, most of our dreams are achievable, if we work hard enough to meet our short and long term goals. If a person wants to learn to fly a plane, roller skate, cross country ski, knit, do wood carvings or write a novel he must resolve to do it and then make a plan to fulfill his resolution--whether it is New Year's Day when he makes the commitment or April Fool's Day.

Almost anything can be achieved with commitment and perseverance.

Good luck, Dear Readers, with all of your resolutions, the ones you made on January 1, 2013 (or 2012, 2011, or 2000) and with the ones you make today.


Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author
Fran's Web Page

No comments: