I’ve already talked about why you need to start your resolutions now. Yes, I’m talking about November now. Maybe that caught you a little off guard, and maybe you rushed to create some goals for yourself. Don’t worry, you can change those goals as you progress throughout the year.
Now, maybe you’re like me and actually created those goals. I’ve got a shiny new notebook waiting for January 1 to be filled in and decorated. That first page already contains a nicely printed list of my 2020 goals, the ones that I’ve already started working on. That page, however, still sits privately in my notebook.
It makes sense. Goals are personal, and they don’t require anyone but myself to complete. It isn’t in our comfort zone to go around shouting what we might not be good at, or realize a fault in our lives that we want to fix. Pointing out our weaknesses, or maybe things we are not experts in, can be daunting. We are uncomfortable being vulnerable.
But there’s a magic in learning out loud. There’s also a magic in declaring our goals out loud. In fact, you are four times more likely to complete a goal if you publicly declare it. So why don’t we do that with our resolutions?
Declaring your goals helps you create a plan
No one wants to fail after declaring their goals out loud. So, to prevent this, you go into your resolution-setting with a plan. You hash out all the details of the goal, how you plan to progress, and where you want to finish. You create a path for yourself to follow, and you give yourself room for improvement.
There are also people who prefer to “go big or go home”. Those are the “pantsers” we like to refer to in the NaNoWriMo world. They go in without a plot or structure and try to come out at the end of November with 50K words of a story. Some are thrilled by this endeavor while some are not. That’s where the community steps in.
Declaring your resolutions helps you build a community
The writing community is one of the greatest things I’ve become part of in the last year of my new writing journey. When you declare your goals out loud, you find a rallying community of support to help you. Maybe your neighbor is trying for the same goal and you can work together. Maybe you find an online support system or are directed to a community that can hold you accountable.
Declaring your goals helps you stay realistic
I’m sorry, but if you declare you’re going to run every single day of the new year, you are probably not going to succeed (and running down the candy aisle at the grocery store doesn’t count). There will inevitably be a day where you can’t get out the door, be it sickness, busyness, or literally being snowed in and can’t get out the front door.
It ties back in to planning and understanding what you are capable of. If you read my article about starting your 2020 resolutions now, you’ll recall I talked about tackling your goals in small chunks. Maybe to stay realistic you have to declare your goals one month at a time. We aren’t going to say we will run a marathon in February when we haven’t laced up our old running shoes in over a year. There’s a reasonable understanding of what we are capable of, and saying so out loud gives us a continual thing to work for.
Declaring your goals publicly helps you drown out the fear
There’s always the uncertainty of starting a new resolution. Maybe it’s a long standing habit that you’re trying to adjust or stop. It’s human nature to revert back to the things that make us comfortable. There is always a natural resistance to change.
When you declare your resolutions out loud, you can help eliminate some of that fear. Because you have done your planning, you’re more likely to seek out support and help calm some of that fear. I am sure you can find your community of support out there.
And if there are people out there who want to criticize your goals, just remember this quote from The Minimalists: “Judgement is but a mirror of the insecurities of the person doing the judging.” You got this.
Not only should you share your goals upfront, you should also share your progress. Everyone is human, and we have slip ups. We also make great strides in shorter amounts of time than we thought possible. People want to hear about the human side of things; when we fail, when we realize we were doing something wrong, or when things work well for us.
Social media is plastered with “perfect pictures” of everything going right. What we really want to see is the person who continues to pursue their goals even when faced with adversity. We want someone to relate to, not some picture-perfect illusion. Let us see you learn out loud and make adjustments throughout.
Setting, declaring, and following our resolutions are not easy tasks, but here you are, doing just that. Take each day as an opportunity to tackle one small task toward your resolution.
Most importantly, be kind. We often see one small failure as a reason to derail our entire year. Know that not everyone is perfect, and we are all flawed. Instead, use it as fuel to be better the next time. Get back up on that horse and improve the next time. Learn from the mistake and move on like the champ you are.
Stay up to date on my NaNoWriMo happenings and other writing fun with my newsletter. I like to give sneak peeks into my writing and provide different thought processes and values for writing and life. I am learning out loud with you. Find out what my 2020 Resolutions are and how I’m starting them today.