Coffee Share: In Which I Discuss Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work For Me

We’re ending the second week of January and I’m just now writing one of these posts. Procrastination 101, guys!

Though, giving myself time to think about what I want to do and if I can do it was helpful. If we were having coffee, I’d complain about the silliness of making resolutions and why they don’t work for me.

I set goals that are too big!

The timeline for a resolution is in the name. A YEAR. Huge right? …not! But my idiot self will set goals so big that it takes a ton of time to complete them. When anything is too daunting for me to do, I procrastinate and it’ll be too late by the time I get to them.

Life gets in the way.

This is how I interpret my reality: there’re the things I want to do and then there’s life. Life doesn’t care about my ambitions; in fact, it doesn’t care I exist. It does what it wants!

So when life happens, my resolutions slip out of focus (what’s more important: building an author platform or figuring out how to pay that bill you don’t have money for? Exactly. The platform bill).

To be fair, this is true for any goal. Finding a balance in our lives is a part of being human.

Resolutions? More like a wish list.

This is the main issue. My resolutions don’t acknowledge my reality. I give no thought on how I will complete my goals only that I want to (Write 50 books in a year? Hell yeah! Wait…).

I also forget that things don’t happen cause I want them to. Like, just because I want to get published in every magazine doesn’t mean that editors are going to collective think: Oh, this writer is ambitions and wants to be published in my magazine. I can see she has a ton of talent and is a goddess on the page. Let’s publish her! 

Nope. 🙁

So what’s a girl supposed to do?

I stopped making resolutions. It became disheartening to finish a year without accomplishing anything I set out to do.

But…I’m trying again this year with a twist. I’ve made doable quarter goals (January – April) with realistic expectations. My goals are:

  1. Read 2 Books (1 every two months)
  2. Freewrite for 15 minutes a day (total 1635 minutes or 27 hours)
  3. Post daily except on Sundays (total 91 posts)
  4. Out of bed by 8am 50% of the time
  5. Outline and Draft “Drowning in Your Sins” (a web serial 🙂 )
  6. Obtain a driver’s license
  7. Create a newsletter

I did something like this in 2016 and all I had to do was complete half of them. So that’s 3-4 goals for this quarter.

In case you’re curious, my 2018 “resolution” was to be fearless. Here’s what I accomplished:

  • I learned to play the piano
  • I earned two degrees
  • I’ve let others read my work (poetry and flash)
  • I bought the “Inky Tavern” domain name
  • I made some awesome friends
  • I held onto a job
  • I redesigned my blog so that it accurately represents me as a writer

Wish me luck and see you in the next coffee share!

33 Replies to “Coffee Share: In Which I Discuss Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work For Me”

  1. I don’t do resolutions but last year and this year I pick a word for the year. Last year was transitions and I lot of things happened in my life to fit that (nothing forced or stressed). This years word is hope.

    Great goals you set for this year and last years accomplishments are amazing! Thanks for coffee.

    1. Thanks so much and good luck to you too!

      I did something similar last year and tried to be fearless while life happened. I wasn’t always successful, but I was more brave than I’ve ever been. That’s a win in my book! I’m still practicing that mindset this year, only more focused.

    2. I also like the pick a word thing for the New year. Mine for the last three years has been action and I have actually made considerable progress already this year. We have quite a lot of excess stuff in the house and I was planning to hold a garage sale and we could use the money. However, my son’s OT talked to me about acknowledging the things that aren’t going to happen and just getting on with it. The garage sale was clearly falling into that dept and I realized there were better ways of making money too…and we found a great leather lounge beside the road. So, last night, I put 6 old dining chairs out beside the road and a wooden bedhead. The bedhead has gone and for a bit we gained a trike but it went quickly. The chairs are still there. Fingers crossed they don’t go and I’ll be back to rethink things.

  2. Hi Desiree, Wow – I like this post; rowdy and pragmatic. I would add only one thing – Read more of others blogs/posts. I determined to do this mid-2018 and have been rewarded with more friends and more encouragement, and a few more reads for my own story blog, but the community that results is great.

    I like vivid and rowdy and funny writing so I hope to see more of you around here. Stop by any time. You’ll be warmly welcomed.

    My writing, my story telling is of similar style so I really – really want you to succeed. Do stay in touch.

    1. Hi Gary, thanks for stopping by! You know, that’s a good goal to have. I like how the blogging community supports and helps each other grow. Plus, if someone takes the time to read and comment on my blog post, it’s only fair I do the same for them.

      Here’s to a good year!

  3. I don’t often do resolutions but this year I have a book I need to complete (1st draft) . the thought of not being able to afford an editor does not help with the motivation to write it. 80 000 words on my blog in 3 months highlights that I could at least complete my first draft. you have set some good goals.. good luck with them.

    1. I understand where you’re coming from. Sometimes it’s hard for me to find the motivation to finish a project when I know I’ll have issues trying to fund it. Still, money shouldn’t be the reason we stop doing the things we love. There’s always a way if we’re willing to look or work for it. For example, Patreon is one resource that might be beneficial or asking for beta readers. We have options!

      Good luck with your book. You can do it!

  4. Hey Desiree, I don’t do resolutions. Honestly, don’t even remember when I stopped! The change of a year is a randomly set time to do it anyways. Also, I agree people get excited and tend to set unrealistic goals. I’d rather look at smaller time frames and focus on what seems to be important right then. I also believe in listening to your body and your inner voice. If they tell you something needed to be changed, it would be unwise not to listen. Achievements are rather limiting, if they chain us and we forget to live while trying to hit them!

    1. Hello, Zaza! I totally agree. New year’s resolutions make regular goals seem more important than they really are. I feel like it’s a point in time where everyone make wishes. We can achieve anything we want if it’s really that important to us, but I fear most of us don’t take reality into account. Also, that’s a good point. Why do we make resolutions at the beginning of the year? This whole “new year new me” thinking is bogus because the only thing that really changed is the calendar. People’s circumstances are still the same.

      I stopped making resolutions because I felt like I was setting myself up for disappointment, but really I was making a single (poorly thought out) goal seen more important than it really was. So I’m being more realistic this time around. Let’s see what happens.

      Good luck to you!

  5. Good luck with your quarter year resolutions. I empathise with you. I have only today written out my goals for this year and have set too ambitious a target – but then I like to be pushed and I have no problem changing direction if I find I have to. Will look forward to seeing how you go with yours. I’m going platform more important. LOL

    1. Oh I agree, Irene. The platform is always more important, but lets pretend bills are so we don’t scare the non-writers lol. Resolutions work for some people and those people scare me. Like, it takes a ton of determination to carryout a well planned resolution. Wishing you all the luck with yours!

  6. Best of luck. I have the same problem of trying to set goals that are too big and then getting discouraged. This year I’ve acknowledged that some of the things I want to do are more than one year tasks and have therefore planned for that a bit better.
    All the best for your new series.

    1. Thanks, Carol! I wish I would’ve understood this earlier in my life. I use to get so frustrated when I didn’t complete anything I wanted to do. Turns out, I wasn’t being realistic.

      Good luck to you too and I look forward to reading your work this year!

  7. Oh, I really like how you’ve chunked your goals into smaller windows of time! That feels like a very obtainable timeline and your goals are realistic so you’re doing your best to set yourself up for success! Love it! I completely understand “life getting in the way”. Managing a farm on top of a full-time job and having a family throws me for loops almost every single day.

    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

    1. Thanks! I know how silly I can be when I think too big, lol. Also, can I just say you’re a very busy person. Job, farm, and a family. Wow. Go you!

  8. Quarterly definitely better than yearly! I try and do my with the ebb and flow of the school term. Currently in a 5 week year if that makes sense and already I’ve blown a couple….but each week I pick myself up again and start the mental challenge again. Tough out there in the January months!

    1. So true. January is the hardest month to get started in. I think it’s because I’m mentally exhausted after all the December chaos. But we’ll make it through 🙂

  9. This year my resolution was to not make a resolution and I think I just made and broke it at the same time hahaha
    all the best with your resolutions

  10. I agree with Antoinette. Just live life the best you can. I think if you want to change things, i mean really change, oyu start right now. If you are going to do it, you will do it. I also believe in baby steps, ie change one thing at a time and before you realise, you cumulatively achieve your goal. Its always worked for me, but we all have our own way.
    Desiree, it sounds like you had a pretty good year last year anyway. Awesome!

    1. Last year had its ups and downs, but I’m trying to focus more on the good things. I agree that things will change if one really wants them to. Motivation is key.

      1. I am hoping you have a great year. My life is the same with highs and lows, but it became easier once I accepted who I really was. Since then change has been much easier. Also working out why you want to change. I spend 12 years in a marriage trying to change for someone else. That was always doomed to failure!

        1. It’s amazing that you took such a big leap like that in your life. I honestly feel like I need to be more of myself, so I’m taking your advice to heart.

  11. Hi Desiree,
    You have some great ideas here, especially having quarterly goals. I might take that up myself. I’ve just finished reading a fantastic book: Raphaelle Giordano’s: “Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You only Have One”. It is listed as a novel but it’s more like a series of ways of functioning better. I am planning to use it as a work in progress manual.
    Best wishes,

      1. Desiree, the big take away I got from the book was to throw away ten items. I started to think about what those items should be. I could throw out something small but it wouldn’t clear away as much space. I think I had to look out making the most out of each step and my wimping out. I took bags and bags of stuff to the op shop and put six chairs out beside the road, which all eventually went along with a bedhead. It’s been very encouraging.
        Best wishes,

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