After the hectic pace of the holiday season, the week before New Year’s Day - the last week of the year - can be a time of reflection and intention-setting for the upcoming year. Notice I said intention-setting, and not goal-setting. Our productivity may have faltered over the past few weeks. I know my writing time has been impacted by baking, shopping, wrapping presents, attending parties, etc. All this is good and fun! A break in the routine can be healthy, in fact (regardless of how actually healthy we’ve been…).
However, sometimes it can be hard to get back into the routine. Setting specific intentions and making a commitment ahead of time can help us get back on track faster, and start out the New Year strong.
Here are a few suggestions to help:
- First, reflect on the past year. What were your goals and intentions? Did you meet them? What can you appreciate about your efforts? What do you wish you had done more of? You may want to write about this in your journal.
- It’s fine to set overall goals (“I will finish my novel by the end of the year.”) but if you want to meet them, specific intentions are much better than vague resolutions. For example, “I will write 500 words a day, five days per week.”
- In that vein, think about what’s doable for you. Set your initial intention as low as you need to for it to actually happen. “I will spend 15 minutes per day on my writing” will get you started. You can add time, or number of words, later, when you have re-established a routine.
- Write it down. Don’t just say it in your head. Write it in your journal, or on a big piece of paper you see every day. Tell a friend. Maybe commit to regular check-ins with that friend, to help keep you going when things get tough.
Do these things, and when the New Year starts, you’ll be ready to go. If you’d like, share your intentions with us in the comments! Or, share your accomplishments from this past year. My intention: to write 800 words per day. Gotta push through and finish the next draft of my novel!