Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Won’t Work
A new year is often a time for new beginnings, a refresh of our priorities and our goals. We often accompany this time of reflection with a wave of resolutions: I will write 4,000 words per day, I will do two blogs posts per week, I will wake up at 5 am every day in order to market my books.
But how many of those resolutions do we actually follow through with for the entire year? How many do we keep for longer than a month? Probably not many. Pretty soon, we start slipping back into our old ways. We start hitting the snooze button or saying “not today.”
Resolutions are doomed to fail.
Here’s what I want you to get from this blog, though: that’s normal. In fact, it’s so normal that most psychologists and therapists encourage us not to make resolutions for this very reason: not only do we put added pressure on ourselves, but when we (inevitably) fall into our old patterns, we now also have the guilt of a promise broken.
I found this explanation from Carl Buckheit very illuminating:
The main reason they don’t work for most of us most of the time is because the New Year’s resolution operates by imagining a different future and then putting that future into conflict with the version of us who is doing the imagining in the present. In other words, as soon as we make a New Year’s resolution we have at least two of us there: the one in the future behaving differently and theoretically behaving better, behaving more responsibly, whatever it might be; and we have the present person who is imagining that better future. We have a problem; we have a conflict.
We have attempted to ally ourselves with the future self against the present self.
What he’s saying is that we need to respect who we already are, and know that what we did in the past was not wrong (or bad). We are simply going to re-align, not change our entire person.
So change is possible! If you do it the right way, you can make all of your marketing goals come true.
Here are some tips:
1. Little by little is the easiest way to make changes. Just like you can’t lose all twenty pounds in one day, you also cannot write an entire book or complete an entire marketing plan in a few days. Know that each step on the journey takes you closer to being that amazing writer and marketer you want to be.
2. Make your goals easier on yourself. You are not going to be able to go from zero to sixty, but if you go from zero to five…then that seems more doable for both you and your brain to accept. So maybe “get 50 reviews” is easier to achieve if you think “ask/follow up on one review per week”.
3. Realize that a little bit is better than nothing. Even if you can only write or market for ten minutes, it is better than not doing anything at all. All of those little ten minute increments during the week add up! (One trick is to use a timer for a ten or twenty minute sprint.)
4. Consider putting more energy into your mental state than into actual “doing” something. Affirmations, meditation, and envisioning your dreams can all help you to feel good about everything you do.
So go ahead, tear up that sheet of resolutions. Instead, make one small change this week that is easy and sustainable. And then next week, make one more.
What do you think? How have you brought about changes in your own life?
Contributed by Erin Moore, MFRW author...
Erin writes sensuous paranormal romances set in exotic locales. Her latest book is a sexy minotaur shifter story set in Crete. A regular blogger for Marketing for Romance Writers as well as Heroes and Heartbreakers, Erin is sadly neglectful of her own blog. She lives in Atlanta with her two little paranormal beings and one unruly husband.