Last December, I worked with a new student who was struggling to figure out how to make her New Year’s resolutions for 2023. She was upset because she didn’t know what she wanted. She was twenty-seven. When I was her age, I didn’t know either, but I could make resolutions and stick to them by using a simple thinking tool, which I shared with her.
She just contacted me to let me know that she had been able to honor her three 2023 resolutions: Her new screenplay placed second in a screenplay contest, and she was about to sign with an agent. She’d ended a bad relationship, met someone new, and was taking yoga classes once a week. I was thrilled for her, and her success inspired me to share the technique with you. Here it is:
How to Make New Year’s Resolutions by Knowing What You Don’t Want
1. Set a timer for 1 minute. Think of what you know you don’t want to happen in the coming year. Pick three to focus on. For example, “I don’t want to get sick, gain weight, and stay stuck in my current job.”
2. Next, set the timer again and make a second cluster about what you can do to prevent these things from happening. For example, “Wear warm clothes, eat more salads, redo my resume.”
3. Now, get ready to write. Imagine it’s December 2024, and you‘re writing a blog or email looking back over the year that has just passed, reviewing how you stayed healthy, kept your weight down, and got a new job.” Use your imagination, and pretend you’re reporting actual events.
4. Describe in detail what you did to attain these goals. No step is too small. For example, “I went to a dinner party on New Year’s Eve and didn’t stuff myself.”
5. Write your New Year’s Resolutions like this: “By 2024, I’ll be healthier, slimmer, and have a new job.”
This technique can be used for goal setting in other areas as well. When you write, you can use a deadline to give yourself a framework for success. For example, I’m working on a new Word of the Day book, a manual for self-acceptance. My goal is to complete the first draft by April 2024. Rather than focusing on achieving the goal, I’ll write something like, “I don’t want to have an unfinished draft by April. In order to avoid having that happen, I must research, outline, and write it.”
Then, I’ll work with a calendar, see how many weeks I have between then and now, and make a schedule. This way, I’ll succeed because every time I don’t want to work, I have accepted the possibility of failure, which will motivate me to succeed.”
Please try this technique and let me know how it works for you.
Join me for the next Word of the Day Webinar
Get off to a great start in 2024!
The power to overcome challenges and barriers to life, relationships, and career goals lies within you. You don’t have to sit and wait until inspiration strikes. Learn to use the Word of the Day and make it happen! It’s a short, easy, and fun daily practice that ensures you’re productive whenever you work or create.
And it works for all areas of your life!
Join me via Zoom on Wednesday, January 3, 2024, from 7:00-8:30 pm EST.
Here’s to your writing success,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz