I think the problem with New Year's resolutions, as with other goals, is that they're too ambitious.
Want to lose 20 pounds in a month and look like a model? No problem. Want to stop smoking in no time and never be tempted again? No problem. Want to be a model student and catch up on any studying you have missed over the last year? No problem.
There's nothing wrong with being ambitious, but ambitions don't always motivate us. Sometimes they can be crippling. We see the goal in our mind and we want to reach it, but because it's so unrealistic we can't ever succeed and when we realize it, the goal no longer serves its purpose. It no longer motivates. It gets us down, because we know there's no chance not to fail.
And who isn't scared of failure?
The ugly threat of failing looms over our heads every day and cripples us even more.
So that goal we set a few days, weeks or months ago?
It turns into the bane of our existence.
What was supposed to help us, destroys every chance we might have ever had to actually reach a realistic goal.
And that's the magic word: realistic
Even a writer needs a hint of reality in their life.
Realistic goals motivate.
Unrealistic goals depress.
I used to set myself unrealistic goals and I never reached them. I didn't even get close and it always made me feel bad. So unrealistic goals? Not for me.
I like goals that I can reach or maybe even surpass.
You might say: What's the use of setting a goal of 500 or 1000 or 2000 words per week? That way you'll never get that book written.
I will get the book written, it'll only take longer. Every written word brings me closer.
So what would happen if I set a word count goal of, let's say, 10k per week?
I'd fail to reach it the first time, fail to reach it the second time and get so frustrated that I wouldn't write for a few days or weeks. Nothing gained. And worst of all: I would feel bad about myself, even guilty.
Maybe 10k is a realistic goal for some of you. You have to decide what's right for you. Only you. It doesn't matter if your writing buddy gets 5k written every day. That's great for them, but trying to keep up with them won't do you any good.
So try to find out what's a realistic goal for you and adjust it whenever something changes. Sometimes life gets in the way.
Life always gets in the way, but that's just one more reason to be fair to yourself and don't pressure yourself with unrealistic goals.
What do you think? Maybe some of you like unrealistic goals and don't feel depressed by them?