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New Year’s Resolutions: The Hardest Question You MUST Answer

New Year's Resolutions, Kristen Lamb, writers, writing, writing a novel

It’s time for the New Year’s Resolutions. Countless people all over the world use this last part of December to declare how 2019 will be different. They will write lists, declare all the changes they’ll make, then ride the high for as long as it lasts.

Most New Year’s Resolutions last six months at best… and that’s being generous.

In truth, most crash and burn in seven days.

Some people refuse to make New Year’s Resolutions at all. And, if what I’m saying is true and most New Year’s Resolutions have a shelf-life of a week, why bother? Right?

New Year’s Resolution Haters come heavily armed with detailed reasons why New Year’s Resolutions are dumb and a waste of time. I know them by heart because I was a hater for years. I’ve used all the standard ‘good reasons’ why New Year’s Resolutions are stupid.

Why set myself up to fail?

New Year’s Resolutions are just a bunch of sugar-hyped hopeful thinking.

If I don’t get my hopes up, I can’t be disappointed.

Goals and ‘visioneering’ and dream journaling are just a bunch of self-help hooey.

I’ll stop now because I’m depressing myself.

For the New Year’s Resolutions Haters, I’d like to posit a thought. Resolutions are like relationships.

Sometimes, we keep failing because we’ve never taken time to reverse-engineer why everything went sideways in the first place. We fail to pay attention to when we stumbled and why so we can factor these obstacles into our future goal-setting.

Bear with me…

Bad Decision Besties

New Year's Resolutions, Kristen Lamb

Think of a friend who’s a disaster in dating, and we all have one. This friend just about gets free from one bad relationship, only to leap into a brand new relationship with the same guy/gal, only in a different-though-often-eerily-similar-body.

*face palm*

You watch from the sidelines in horror. How can your friend NOT see that the new fling is the SAME EXACT sort of @$$hat you’ve spent the past six months extracting them from?

Short of hiring those people who abduct then deprogram loved ones caught up in a cult, you’ve done everything to show dimwit friend WHY this ‘new’ relationship is more toxic than a Manson Family Holiday Special.

Now, as this person’s bestie, we see our friend is being a nitwit who’s repeating a nitwit pattern. But our nitwit friend, whom we still love despite being a nitwit, never changes. Why? Because our friend has never asked (and answered) the hard questions. Thus, they’re doomed to ‘Dating Groundhog Day.’

By the way, if you don’t have this friend, likely YOU are the friend 😛 .

Hey, I’ve been that nitwit friend too many times to count, which is why I believe I can speak with authority on ‘How to Outwit Being a Nitwit.’ We live in a world where it’s easy to fall into nitwit patterns because we’re bombarded with cheap, easy, FREE, and PAIN-FREE.

Ah, but here is the problem. When have humans ever IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANS valued what came to them cheap, easy, free, and pain-free? If we valued cheap, easy, free, and pain-free we’d hoard all those ‘free toys’ from fast food joints in a bank safety deposit box.

You can pry that stress ball from a real estate agent I’ve never met from my COLD DEAD HANDS….

…said no one ever.

New Year’s Resolutions: To the Pain

New Year's Resolutions, Kristen Lamb

Another year, another trip around the sun, a new chance to do better and be better. In this post, I’d like to deviate from the standard advice for New Year’s Resolutions. We all know goals need to stretch us, but not so much as to be unreachable (or plain stupid).

I will be a supermodel by my 45th birthday.

Also fairly safe to say we should avoid too many New Year’s Resolutions (especially unreasonable ones).

I will finish my novel by February, then lose twenty pounds by March, land a top agent by April, and pay off my house by May.

Okay, so I fast draft and it is totally possible to finish the novel by February. The rest? Er…yeah, maybe back off the throttle (and Pixie Sticks).

Lastly, I’m certain y’all know it’s good to write out goals, plan how to reach them in steps, take inventory of what you’ll need to reach said goal. Once this is done, maybe get an accountability partner, reward yourself for small victories along the way, and plan for a BIG reward once you’ve met the big goal.

This is all New Year’s Resolution S.O.P.

What I want to talk about today is how important it is to CHOOSE OUR PAIN. Why?

Because life is pain.

***I know. I totes should write greeting cards.

But seriously. No matter what we do, which doors we open or don’t open, we will have pain. If we want to be married, we’ll endure the pain of compromise, self-sacrifice, and more laundry.

Want kids? Kids are wonderful…but also come with drama, diapers, snot, and…more laundry.

Maybe your dream is to run your own business. Fabulous dream! Welcome to spreadsheets, eighty-hour workweeks (at least in the beginning), managing people, inventory, dealing with contracts and lawyers.

Also, when you do get a day off…likely you’ll be doing laundry.

Pain and Process

New Year's Resolutions, Kristen Lamb

I’d like y’all to notice how even the opposite of all these goals and dreams (above) come with just as much pain…it’s just different pain. Being single, childless and working for someone else all have advantages. But they ALSO have just as many disadvantages (code for pain).

Since life is pain, we have some hard decisions to make. First, for the New Year’s Resolutions Haters, you’ll still have pain. Only you’ll have pain with little to no agency.

Since you aren’t the captain of your own ship, the Currents of Life will take you where they will and all that’s left is to hope they deliver you to a lovely sandy shore in Fiji and don’t smash you on a coral reef, instead.

Whether we like it or not, no decision is still a decision.

This said, studies have shown that those who write down their goals are 42% more likely to reach them.

But, y’all know this already.

You’ve done it before. You wrote out your goals, bought the unicorn stickers, put together a Pinterest board of what your fulfilled dreams will one day look like.

After doing ALL of this…you ended up losing a week of your life to binging on Game of Thrones, then the cat got sick, your car broke down, and by the time you found your planner? Why bother?

I know I’m mixing metaphors more than a 90s DJ, but y’all are sharp so I know you can keep up. Try baking a cake with every ingredient BUT sugar (or any form of sweetener). When we remove even ONE simple ingredient—sweetener—we don’t end up with cake.

We end up with cake-shaped sadness.

Now, we could have bought all the tools for cake-baking, binge-watched baking shows, pinned every cake recipe we could find on Pinterest and meditated to ‘You Are an Amazing Baker’ every morning. Alas, if we fail to ever add in SWEETENER, none of that other stuff matters.

Why do I use such a silly metaphor? Because too many of us have ALL the ingredients but the most critical…the grind.

Do We Love the Grind?

New Year's Resolutions, Kristen Lamb

To achieve anything remarkable, we have to be willing to embrace and love (or learn to love) the process/the grind. If I had to list the single largest reason most writers fail, it would have to be that they wanted the summit without the climb.

It’s why we have so many unreadable ‘novels’ listed on Amazon.

Everyone wants a book to hold in their hands. It’s thrilling to see your NAME on the cover of a book. What writer doesn’t dream of packed book-signings, book clubs dedicated to dissecting our work, awards, accolades?

But why so many writers don’t make it and won’t make it long-term is because they fell in love with the end result and wanted to skip the process. That or they simply couldn’t endure the grind.

In fact, many believe innate talent is a GET OUT OF PROCESS FREE card.

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha! #Cute 

Nope.

Hey, I’m not judging. I was that person who was too dumb to know I was dumb. I’d made a goal to be a New York Times Best Selling Author by 2002…2003…2004……..

*weeps*

New Year's Resolutions, Kristen Lamb

Though I had dream boards, did visualization exercises, and read every inspirational guru I could find, I failed to read any novels…or craft books (probably important).

Also, I wrote when I felt like it. I started books then stopped when it started feeling less like fun and more like work. When critique groups shredded my pages, I defended myself instead of listening and learning.

Finally, after far too many years of failure, I had to make a tough choice. Did I love writing enough to stick with it even in the dark times? Could I throw myself into learning everything possible about my craft then practicing over and over?

Was I willing to hang up my ego and be humble enough to LEARN?

Was I willing to develop rhino skin? Did I LOVE writing enough to do it even if NO ONE EVER READ IT? If I never landed a Big Six (now Spiffy Five) deal, would I still write?

Should I go to my grave having NEVER hit a major list, would I embrace that as success? If I NEVER got the book signing, the book club, the hardback, the movie deal, the house in Bora Bora, would I still LOVE writing and all it entails?

Would I still BLEED for my writing even if I never sold a single book? To be transparent, there have been times I couldn’t answer these questions, namely because of all the snot bubbles and ugly crying. But, eventually I had to commit—YES or NO?

Do or Do Not, There is No TRY

New Year's Resolutions, Kristen Lamb

A major reason we don’t want to write down goals (make New Year’s Resolutions) is because we don’t want to be held accountable. There is something about committing, REALLY committing, that puts us on a hot seat. Because if we make a New Year’s Resolution to finally write that novel, and in June we’ve only typed up twenty pages?

The people around us are going to—rightfully—question our dream.

There’s a good reason many of us in artistic professions have a bad rap for being flakes. We can be flakes.

That and too many wannabes hop into our profession, and they really don’t wanna be an author. They want to ‘play author’ and ideally win the Literary Power Ball (write one book that, for no discernible reason, sells a bazillion copies).

These Armchair Authors throw all they have into more ads, more marketing, more social media and when the book doesn’t turn into gold?

They quit.

Before y’all get too discouraged, remember we all start somewhere. I once was an Armchair Author, but it’s because I was NEW. Embrace the days of small beginnings. We don’t know what we don’t know.

This is why we have to embrace the process.

We have to embrace the PAIN. If we can’t learn to love writing even when everyone is calling us a fool, when no one knows we exist, when rejection letters pile up?

Then don’t set a goal to be a NYT Best-Selling Author.

Firstly, because we could write a book so amazing angels weep and Kim Kardashian’s Shopping Adventures (ghost-written by a super smart gerbil) would make the list and our book could die in obscurity.

This profession is NOT a meritocracy, and fair is a weather condition.

When it comes to writing, we have to do it because we LOVE it. We LOVE the process, the pain, the suffering and if our ability to write/create was ever taken away it would be akin to losing our limbs.

REAL writers don’t write because they can write, they write because they can’t NOT write.

Pop the Question & BE HONEST

New Year's Resolutions, Kristen Lamb

When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, we need to pop the question if we really want to succeed. The question being, ‘Do I really want to succeed at X?’ Then BE HONEST.

If you want to write a novel, then great!

Are you willing to take craft classes, hire a coach to train you, build a brand and platform, stick to the novel until it is finished, gut through revisions, pay for a good editor/proofreader?

Can you endure obscurity, rejection, and even scorn? Is being a novelist more than a mental postcard with you standing on the literary summit? Can you enjoy and outlast the valleys?

What are you willing to sacrifice?

Are you willing to use money you’d normally spend on eating out or shopping to attend a conference or take a class? In 2019 are you willing to stay up later or get up earlier day after day after day?

After day?

New year's Resolutions, Kristen Lamb

This applies to ALL New Year’s Resolutions, by the way. If we can’t deal with sore muscles and waddling like a penguin for days, then that dream of getting swole is just that…a dream. To become financially free, we’re going to have to math. Mathing is tough. We’ll have to do without, cut back and clip coupons. Even tougher.

Yet, I firmly believe that if we would take just a little bit of extra time to imagine the pain that comes part and parcel with the dream, we’ll get FAR better results.

We must ask and honestly answer: Can I LOVE the PROCESS as much, if not more than the END RESULT?

No Pain No Gain

New Year's Resolutions, Kristen Lamb

First, pondering the pain (process) will keep us from making dumb New Year’s Resolutions that waste time, resources and leave us feeling like failures. I once made a New Year’s Resolution to participate in a Spartan Race...but I HATE running. Seriously, even though I am in fantastic shape, I would rather be WATER-BOARDED than run.

The IDEA of being in the Spartan Race and sporting the tee was SUPER cool, but it was never gonna happen.

Ever.

Because if you see me running? Someone has unleashed a bear…that is wielding a chainsaw. I was unwilling to endure the process that would make me good at running.

Secondly, being honest about pain and process weeds out stupid goals and unveils better goals. I gave up on the Spartan Race goal and, instead, vowed to make going to the gym part of our family routine.

Thirdly, if we’re honest about ALL it will take to achieve the dream, we can plan our pain. We’re less likely have our goals hijacked because we were prepared for the soreness, the fatigue, the extra hours, the plateaus, etc.

Ultimately, we’re wise to consider why we want to achieve any goal. What is our why? Then be really HONEST. Are we doing this to prove ourselves? To outdo someone? Because we think we ‘should?’ Once we are honest about why we want the goal/dream count the cost.

Think of the process and then grill yourself. Can you embrace ALL of what that dream entails? REALLY. If not? Cool. You just saved everyone a lot of time, money and hassle. Now, ask if you could possibly modify the goal. Are there some ways to prepare ahead of time that will keep you on track?

In the end, I’m a huge fan of setting goals. It’s shocking how much time we can waste if we don’t have a vision. Life is short and it’s like Pac Man. It just gets faster and faster and harder and harder until we DIE. But, in the meantime we CAN have a great time.

Remember, humans don’t appreciate what is cheap, easy, free, or pain-free so even if the cost is WAY MORE than you’re prepared for, it’s cool. You can grow into it. You’ve got a whole year 😀 .

What Are Your Thoughts?

I’m always writing To Do Lists and Goal Lists so sometimes I make New Year’s Resolutions, and sometimes I don’t. I do, however, notice that I’m a LOT less stressed if I have lists and deadlines. I’m always redoing my goals because I change, life changes, desires change. But what about you?

Do you think you might do better at achieving goals if you also through through the process? Maybe you might modify or clarify your goals? Are you bad about setting too many goals or goals that aren’t achievable? Have you struggled with self-sabotage?

I LOVE hearing from you! Comments come with REWARD…

What do you WIN? For the month of DECEMBER, for everyone who leaves a comment, I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

Also, if your goal is to write that novel, build a platform, be published, then check out the FANTASTIC HOLIDAY DEALS we have!

A lot of our On Demand classes need to be wiped from the server to make room for more training, so if you want professional training AT HOME? While in jammies during December when calories don’t COUNT? Grab you SOME! Gift it to yourself, a friend, YOURSELF!

In the meantime, opinions!

What do you WIN? For the month of DECEMBER, for everyone who leaves a comment, I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

LIVE CLASSES! REMEMBER TO USE Holiday18 for $10 off! OFFER ENDS DECEMBER 24th so GET YOUR SPOT!


The Publishing Triple Threat Bundle

Instructors: Kristen Lamb, Cait Reynolds
Price: $155.00 USD (buy now and get that last tax deduction in before the end of the year!)
Where: W.A.N.A. Digital Classroom
When: (see below)

Normally, it would be $210 USD for these three classes.

With the Triple Threat Bundle ALL THREE CLASSES (10 HOURS LIVE and RECORDINGS) for ONLY $155 USD. (Three classes for the price of TWO!)

You can also purchase each class individually.

***Registration is open until an hour before the final class. If, however, you want to attend ALL THREE CLASSES LIVE, MAKE SURE TO SIGN UP BEFORE THE FIRST CLASS ON JANUARY 10th.


ON DEMAND CLASSES!

ON DEMAND BUNDLE – Author Branding TKO

New Year New YOU! As they say, fail to plan and plan to fail. 2019 is almost here and the Author Branding T.K.O. delivers the training you need to make 2019 a success.

In this bundle, we’re going to take on then tame the three most terrifying topics. By the end? Easy peasy! You’ll wonder why this stuff ever had you so freaked out in the first place.

Normally all three classes would be $155…as well as spread across the entire year. But now, with the T.K.O. BUNDLE, all three classes in one place (your place) for only $99.

***Get your bundle TODAY. Only available for purchase through 12/24/18. Get your bundle before these classes go away with 2018. Gotta free up space on servers for 2019….


ON DEMAND BUNDLE – The Author’s Toolkit: Go PRO in 2019

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SIX HOURS of PROFESSIONAL TRAINING all at the same time, delivered to your computer. $165 when purchased separately, but in The Author’s Toolkit Bundle ONLY $99.

***Only available for purchase through 12/24/18. Get your bundle before these classes go away with 2018…


Blinding them with Science: The “X” Factor Classes

Tired of writing Soylent Green? Too many unfinished books trapped in the Twilight Zone? Ready to get weird…but way faster and at a professional level of weird? You came to the RIGHT PLACE! Cait and I are professional weirdos….(that sounded way more awesome in my head).

Anyway, the Blinding Them with Science Bundle is SIX HOURS of professional level training in speculative fiction at your fingertips.

***Just promise us that when you enslave the human race, we get cookies.

Three mind-bending classes for one low mind-blowing price. $165 in classes for only $99. ON DEMAND. Meaning enjoy at home in jammies.

***Only available for purchase through 12/24/18. Get your bundle before these classes go away with 2018…


ON DEMAND BUNDLE – Dangerous Dames: Creating Strong Female Characters

DOUBLE TROUBLE WITH KRISTEN & CAIT! Get the One-Two BAM! Two Power Classes with ONE T.K.O. PRICE!

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Normally $90 for both classes. With Double Trouble Bundle, enjoy BOTH classes for ONLY $75.

These classes are pre-recorded and won’t be offered again. This is the last chance to enjoy these classes before we free up space on the servers.


About the Instructors:

Cait Reynolds is a USA Today Bestselling Author and lives in Boston with her husband and neurotic dog. She discovered her passion for writing early and has bugged her family and friends with it ever since. She likes history, science, Jack Daniels, jewelry, pasta, and solitude. Not all at the same time. When she isn’t enjoying the rooftop deck that brings her closer to the stars, she writes.

 

Kristen Lamb is the author of the definitive guide to social media and branding for authors, Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World. She’s also the author of #1 best-selling books We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer. She’s just released her highly acclaimed debut mystery-thriller The Devil’s Dance.

Kristen has written over twelve hundred blogs and her site was recognized by Writer’s Digest Magazine as one of the Top 101 Websites for Writers. Her branding methods are responsible for selling millions of books and used by authors of every level, from emerging writers to mega authors.

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  1. My New Years Resolutions, in addition to holding down the day job, being a wife and a mom:

    1. Release two books this year. I did it in 2018, barely. Trying for it again in 2019.

    2. Write three first drafts.

    3. Eat food before it spoils, thus saving money and eating healthier (it’s always the strawberries that spoil).

    4. Move at least three days a week. Walking. Elliptical. Treadmill. Weights. Whatever. We have a new corporate gym. I have started using it at lunch.

    5. Keep a food journal. I have signed up for one, and I have tried it. I am terrible at remembering it. Trying to convince my sister to be my partner on this one.

  2. Good points all, Kristen. I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions anymore because I found something better. January to December Resolutions. My Resolution Revolution.

    I treat the end of every month like December 31st. I separate goals (resolutions) into long-term, near-term, and short-term categories and review them each month. Short-term goals are things I can accomplish in the next 30 days. Near-term goals are one to three months, anything else is long-term.

    For long-term goals, I look at what I can do near-term to get one step closer and write them down. For near-term goals, I look at what I can do this month to get one step closer and write them down. Once I have my short-term goals… I schedule them in my daily planner.

    And since I do this every month I have no end of year angst.

    Great post. Keep them coming.

    • Tom Crepeau on December 18, 2018 at 4:10 pm
    • Reply

    Hi, Kristen. I don’t set annual goals. I set goals, but years are an awfully arbitrary frame that doesn’t work for me. My brain more works in seasons, with three of them in a year of about three months long. The process of writing my WIP, this one has been both long and painful and it’s taking WAY longer than a single year. However, a friend who has been saying we should write a book together on September 10 sent me a beginning. About the 10th of this month we wrote the end, and are dealing nicely. Now, we have over 120,000 words, and a beginning, middle, character arcs, a climax, a second climax when disaster strikes, and a resolution. Oh, and did I mention the characters meet an angry dragon along the way? We have a time frame to get this puppy to our developmental editor (about two weeks from now) and we need to clean the draft to get there. We’ve got one loose end to wrap up we sorta kinda didn’t get to while revising, revisiting, revamping, and pressing forward, forward, and then forward. Then, we started working on the opening to the next book, and are very pleased indeed at our process and the results we have to show. Yes, there’s going to be a second book, and very likely a third. There’s room for a fourth, so each of our three amigos gets to have a different path forward from our ending. Most people tell you that in a collaboration both people do 90+ percent of the work. My partner David and I seem to have found a way where 2+2 seems to be larger than 8. I suspect there’s a least a pinch of magnificence in the product we’re sending to the editor at the end of the month (and, we expect it to remain within the novel, through the editing, and our discovered theme seems to be fully supported). Not all of our protagonists have a traditional arc ending. In fact, while this story ends happily, this world we built isn’t going to leave us alone.

    So, yes, goals. But if a year isn’t long enough, write a multi-year plan. See how much progress you make, regularly. I didn’t think we could do what we are doing. For us, this time, it works. It isn’t either of our first projects, and there’s been considerable stopping, dig a foxhole, sit in it, and plan a way forward. Then, out an forward! Again and again.

  3. I LOVE the sense of new beginnings that January 1st brings, but I’ve learned that a year is just waaaaaay too long for me — so many things can change to disrupt my plans! I’d almost given up on major goal setting until I read a book called “The Twelve-Week Year” by Moran and Lennington, and it changed my outlook. A year is full of the unforeseen. Twelve weeks feels more reasonable, less intimidating (and for some reason, more natural) to me. So that’s how I’m rolling now. So far, so good!

  4. Counting the cost is such an under-appreciated part of decision-making! Probably because it robs us of the happy illusion that we can actually do it all, without sacrificing opportunities, sleep, or even our sanity.

    My 2019 targets are:
    get already-published book up on Smashwords (have to strip out perfect typesetting & convert to .doc, alas);
    get at least one of the two novels I first-drafted in 2018 into publishable condition;
    and learn to love gardening. (The garden is currently bribing me with strawberries and redcurrants. Grapes and apples to follow.)

    I might do NaNoWriMo again too – we’ll see how the cost is looking closer to the time.

  5. Dear God, woman, I really wish we lived near each other!

    This past year was a year I was Jabba the Hutt. Didn’t do much at all- in fact, I stopped doing a lot of things that kept me remotely sane, including writing! The goals I had for this year don’t matter, because I simply became a giant, overbearing slug who did nothing to move forward in life.
    Maybe it was because I had a hysterectomy in November 2017 and had to be flat for 12 weeks because I kept trying to overdo it during my recovery. Three months of being Jabba can become a very bad, unproductive habit.
    I stopped blogging.
    I stopped writing.
    I stopped LIVING. I won’t tell you how many times I binge-watched the entire series of NCIS, Star Trek NG and DS9. Not to mention I haven’t even cracked open a certain book I bought from you- twice! (digital and soft cover..lol)

    And now it’s the end of another year and I’m still in limbo- and I don’t want to be.

    If I had to make any resolutions for 2019, there would just be one. Keep Moving Forward. (and yes, I’m aware that’s a ‘Meet the Robinsons’ Disney quote- but I’m a rebel so let them try to find me to sue me. Nyah.)

    I’m asking myself the tough questions, and I hate the answers. I have to sacrifice time and energy to get back on track. The track has been unused for too long and now has weeds growing through the ties. The rails are rusty with disuse.
    The couch bears a very large butt-shaped dent. How do I know? Because I’ve finally stood up to face the future.

    I’ll add another resolution to that list- to read your book as I snack on a piece of homemade cake- and by the way, cake without sugar is basically bread- and I won’t tell you how I know THAT either. ;P

    May God bless you in many unexpected and wonderful ways- and KEEP WRITING! You inspire millions of Jabbas off their couches!

    1. Thanks ((HUGS)). One thing I am learning and embracing this year is to learn to be KIND to myself. I am like you and kind of have this D.I. personality and I am my worst critic. But look at Ecclesiastes 3 (or The Byrds), “To everything there is a season…” Sometimes there is a season to DO NOTHING. It doesn’t make us bad. Winter exists for a reason. You may have stopped living but I see you were pausing and refilling your creative reservoirs. We can’t be creative and productive and wildly imaginative all the time. We NEED rest and seasons of hibernation. Granted, we have to be honest. Am I hiding or hibernating? Yet, as a creative, you need time for restoration if you ever want to bloom and produce fruit <3

      1. You just gained another level of awesomeness from me lady. 😉

        I had no idea what the heck a DI personality was, so I looked it up. You pegged me like an entomologist pegs a fly.
        It never occurred to me that I was hibernating vs. hiding. Maybe a bit of both. And you’re not the first to tell me about all of my fantazmagorical ‘seasons’- if I was Mother Nature, my seasons would be switching a lot more than four times a year!
        Hmm…Mother Nature in menopause would be more like it!

        Thank you again for your kind words- hopefully this year will be a fruity one!

        1. 25 seasons in one day? So you are just…TEXAS. Ergo–> AWESOME.

  6. Lol – you just inspired me to look at last year’s goals. I haven’t looked at them since I wrote them, but achieved five out of eight. Not too shabby.

    1. Actually that’s pretty fabulous. Go you!

  7. If we didn’t have a goal, what would we shoot for? Nothing. Great post. I’m a list-maker. It helps me organize my thoughts. Then, I don’t look at it. LOL So much for organization. As you say, we need to be honest with ourselves. What are achievable goals? What’s realistic? I’d like to publish 5 books a year, but I also want a life and time to play with my grandkids. I’ll make goals again this year and try to make them realistic. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  8. Fascinating post. I’m always intrigued by other peoples resolutions and how they approach them and if they stick to them. It’s great to have a fresh start every January but I can’t help but think life should be evaluated and lived every day of the year. We just try and wake up each morning planning to make the most of the day and be happy.

    • Deborah on December 20, 2018 at 4:36 am
    • Reply

    Excellent article. One of my main goals this year was to read more nonfiction, which I achieved. The rest? I have forgotten. Anyway, I am inspired now to make sharper, smarter goals.

    • Anna on December 21, 2018 at 12:19 am
    • Reply

    I needed this post.

    I have been trying to define what exactly it is that I have been struggling with for over a year now.

    Setting Goals (ex. lose 50 lbs) – check

    Meeting Goals (lost almost 80 lbs) – check

    I had reached my goal. Then what?

    I gained it all back.

    And I have spent much of my physical and emotional health over the last year trying to figure out WHY. Not HOW I gained the weight back, I know that. But why?

    Why when I felt the best I had felt in 20+ years would I simply go back to the way I had been living before. And why was I not more motivated to get back to that more positive, healthful place?

    Thankfully, I stumbled across this post on your website and while reading it, something clicked.

    I did and pretty much always have set my goals on what OTHER people want/expect from me (or what I think they do).

    I lost all that weight because a doctor said it would reset some of my food intolerances. I stopped eating sweets. I stopped eating out. I cooked two, sometimes three, different meals every night so that I could eat what the doctor said I should without inconveniencing my family. And then, as soon as my body reset, I went back to the path of least resistance in those around me. I went back to the convenience of eating all of that food that had caused the problem in the first place.

    I have been struggling with so much guilt and sense of failure. I have been drowning in it with no desire to try to swim because, “I failed last time, right? It doesn’t matter if I can meet the goal again. I’ll end up right back where I started. This way, I’m just cutting out the PAIN.”

    There’s that word you mentioned. Pain.

    I’ve never chosen my own goals. I never made the choice to lose weight or be healthier (in the fitness sense). I didn’t choose the pain and inconvenience of changing my lifestyle when everyone around me thought I was crazy. I was just doing what I was told.

    More importantly, I’ve never chosen my own pain. My own pain to wrestle with and fight through. To overcome. Victorious or defeated, it never mattered. The battle wasn’t mine.

    So thank you, for this post. Thank you for the words I needed but couldn’t find. Thank you for helping me realize that I will never win my own battles when I’m always letting everyone else choose them for me.

    2019 will be MY year, MY goals, and MY pain.

    1. Sorry for the late response. Been tending sick family. What a beautiful and thoughtful reply and yes, I remember feeling the same way you’re feeling when I encountered that “flip the script” thought process. If I’m not vigilant, I lean toward people pleasing and I lived a lot of my life living everyone’s dreams and goals but my own. So I GET you and so happy to meet you and that my post helped so much! ((HUGS)) Here is to an amazing 2019!

  9. This is just the advice I needed to read. Avoiding the pain is what I have been doing in a number of areas of my life. I’m also reading the linked article that you included to really reinforce the message. I never liked goals because then I had to actually follow through on them. So now I have been found out. Good. I have learned over a little more than a year to appreciate the pain of going to a gym twice a week and suffering through the workouts to get to the reward, which is moving and feeling better and stronger than I have in a long time. Now I just need to take that experience and transfer it to my writing life and other areas that need the same treatment. Thank-you again and have a great Christmas! Colleen

  10. Well, I shouldn’t have gotten behind on my email. Damnit! I missed all your specials. But, I’m showing up. I’m writing and more than half way through my next novel. Not buttering you up. Yours is a no BS blog. I don’t always get to it right away. (I have a day job and am raising a grandchild) but I do get to it.

    1. Kelly, if you want one of the specials just email me at kristen at wana intl dot com. We haven’t purged the server, and happy to help you out 😀 .

  11. Dear Kristin

    I went ahead and signed up for the class on Self-Publishing for Jan 11th. I work full-time so will have to wait for the recording. After being with two publishers, I am returning to self-publishing and need to relearn the process.

    Thanks for all you do.

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