Saturday, January 3, 2015

Resolutions vs goals

Christmas is over and we’re three days into the New Year. How many resolutions have already been broken?

I tend not to make resolutions. I like goals. I like to be able to check things off my to do list. 

Some goals aren’t as easy as others to put on paper and achieve. Some are more abstract like be a better person. But there are ways of making that tangible. What could you do to quantify that? Donate to the animal shelter, volunteer your time?

The promise to get the credit card cleared is another common promise…but again a plan of attack is needed to make it happen.

Exercise is another resolution that often gets ditched early because people make huge promises and are discouraged early. So start simple with small goals. I didn’t wake up one day and decide to run 5km, I built up to it. Fitness goals are much healthier to achieve than the elusive ‘beach body’ (What is that any way? Seriously if you have a body it is beach ready). A fitness goal is easily quantifiable, ten chin ups, run 5km--whatever your goal is (I'm still working on the chin ups). And it's something that can be worked toward in small steps. There's is a sense of achievement which makes hitting those goals fun :)

My goal this year is to run faster, 6km in 30 mins instead of's a process. I also wanted to learn something new so I signed for a dance class.

Another common goal is I’ll write more this year…

Many years ago a read a book called Wishcraft by Barbara Sher and what I liked about it was the practical way it dealt with changing dreams into reality. The only way to do that was to break it into goals, and give them a time frame. 

That’s my kind of approach and it’s something I’ve held onto. Writing even one book is a huge goal that needs to be broken down into realistic, bite sized pieces. 

Realistic is the key word. If you know you don’t have time to write 3000w a day, setting that as a goal will only lead to failure. So it has to be something you can achieve, then inch upwards.

The first time I did Nano I struggled, really struggled, to reach the daily word count of 1667 words. 

These days….let’s just say I write a lot more in a month than 50k (assuming I don’t have edits or plotting to do as well). 

But even now I make a list of the books I’d like to write (or am contracted to write). I print out a calendar and mark in deadlines and block out time for plotting and editing. I then have the calendar at my writing desk. I also built in ‘fat’. This is for the unexpected whatever. Lose a day for a school excursion, illness etc. Life happens. I also have smaller goals over the school holidays because I know that I won’t get much done. 

Last year one of my goals was to write a contemporary romance (notice I said write because I have no control over if it would get published, unless I’d self-published it). I wrote a novella. Then had an amazing opportunity land in my lap to be part of the Secret Confessions continuity. I wrote that novella…which then lead to the sale of the first novella and a contemporary romance series. 

So fish those resolutions out of the bin and take a look at what you can do to make them tangible, make them smaller and more achievable? Remember that a small change is better than no change and once you have started and seen success it becomes easier to reach for the next goal. 

Happy 2015! May you reach your goals (feel free to share them in the comments).

Here’s a sneak peek at my first contemporary romance out January 15!

Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives – Meagan

From the hottest writers in Australia comes a scintillating new series. Enter the world of Sydney’s elite, and find out what goes on behind the doors of the most exclusive addresses in the country…

Meet the Housewives of Sydney. They are wealthy, elegant, poised, and constantly in the public eye. But what goes on behind closed doors, in the private homes and parties where the cameras and paparazzi aren’t welcome? Delve into the most personal details of their relationships, their friendships and their lives. The only question is: can you handle the heat?

Meagan knows food. In the kitchen, she’s confident, cool, and in charge. But when it comes to presenting next season’s dishes and delicacies to the owner of the exclusive restaurant where she is head chef, all of her insecurities boil to the surface. 

She knows that she’s playing with fire with a special dessert that blows the restaurant’s budget, but maybe, with the help of some unorthodox persuasion techniques, she might just get what she wants – everything that she wants. 

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1 comment:

  1. Love that cover! I want to write more this year and run faster! My resolution is to simplify. I have to say no more often and to the right things. Good luck with your goals, Shona. Knowing you, you'll achieve them easily.