Setting Achievable Goals This New Year

When scrolling through social media at this time of year you’ll find an endless stream of inspirational quotes. Alongside a gallery of filtered selfies from 2010 that leave you wondering how you missed your friend once having deer ears and glitter floating out their eyes. Also, of course, loads of kids have been pretending they weren’t just fetuses ten years ago. I shared this to take the piss out of the 2010 vs 2019 trend, but no-one found it funny. Awkward. (Forever laughing at my own jokes).

Anyway, I used to be part of the New Year Resolution Club. I’d always set myself goals to achieve over the next year and then fall into a pit of despair when none of those goals materialised. They were all stupid things like ‘be rich’ or ‘be better’ or ‘get an agent and a book deal’. All of which are vague at best and completely out of my control. Now I sit in the Just Do Your Best school of thought. Yet, for all the teasing, I’m pretty sure everyone sets themselves at least one thing to achieve in the new year. Here’s a little guide, then, to picking out goals that aren’t going to leave you curled up in a corner on December 31st (again, we’ve all been there).

  1. Make goals that are within your control

I’m guilty of every point in this list, but none more so than this one. The amount of times I’ve had ‘get an agent’ or ‘sell my book’ or ‘get a better paid job’ on a goals list is countless. These are all out of my control. However, applying to jobs and sending my book off to agents I can control. A small shift in perspective and wording makes all the difference.

  1. Break the goals into bitesize chunks

OK so let’s use the most common goal people set. You want to get fit. It’s a pretty big goal in the scheme of things and big goals can be overwhelming. Therefore, they go un-scored (did I just make a football reference? UGH!). Instead try ‘go for a fifteen minute [insert preferred exercise here] twice a week’. Take it week by week. Make it bitesize.

  1. Be specific

Again, GUILTY. I’m forever putting vague shit like ‘be happier’ on my goals lists. Or ‘make more friends’. All good and well but…how? What steps am I putting in place to achieve these things. Perhaps a better goal would be ‘join [insert club here]’.

  1. Keep a list of your goals

This is a last minute edition. I was just scrolling through my blog posts, to check I didn’t write this same damn thing last year (I didn’t, phew), and I came across my list of goals for 2019. Here I was thinking I’d achieved none of my 2019 goals when actually I’d done well. So, don’t keep your goals in your head. Write them or type them and look back over them next January.

As a recap, here were my 2019 goals:

  • Become healthier/ happier (example of vague AF goals. Break it down, Rebecca!).
  • Reduce screen time (vague but done).
  • Travel (again, vague as heck, Rebecca. Travel where? To work? To the next town over? Timbuktu?).
  • Move the F out (BIG. FAT. DONE!!).
  • Finish working on my screenplay (not even close to done. I’ve barely even looked at it).
  • Edit my Brexit inspired YA (DONE and with agents as we speak).

And my 2020 goals (bloody hell):

  • Finish writing my damn screenplay (it might not even end up as a screenplay but I want to write that story whatever it ends up being).
  • Start volunteering with the Super Power Agency (link here if you’re curious: https://superpoweragency.com/).
  • Continue querying agents with both my Brexit book and my fantasy one. (If I keep throwing my shit at the wall it has to stick at some point, surely. You can thank me later for that lovely mental image.)
  • Apply to at least one job a month. (I like my current job as a bookseller but a fifteen hour contract won’t be sustainable forever.)
  • Blog once a week and grow my following. (Last year I more than doubled my blog views but that’s a lofty goal because I’m not actually sure how I did it. Here’s the point where you say “you just wrote such amazing posts, Becca!”, yeah?)
  • Research/ set down ideas for how I can make money on a freelance basis (for example: blogging, running creative writing workshops, etc.).

What are your goals for 2020?

[This post ended up longer than I expected. Rambling my way into 2020 like only I can. Good on you all for sticking with me this long, you’re all saints, please invite your friends. Stay fabulous.]

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