Monday, December 22, 2014

7 Things I'm Doing Instead of Making New Year's Resolutions

by, Alycia Morales

Before I get to my regularly scheduled post, congratulations Tracy Crump! You've won a copy of Andrea's book, Murder of a Manuscript!

Here's the problem with New Year's Resolutions: they require resolve. Most people's resolve melts away like snow by the second week of January. There's no follow-through. And then there's the guilt...

I've decided that in 2015, I'm not making resolutions. Instead, I'm setting goals. I'm tracking accomplishments. I'm celebrating successes and evaluating failures. Rather than resolving to do or change something, I'm planning my activities.

1. I'm reviewing. This process began in mid-July when I realized how much work had piled up, how little time I had for my children, who were home for summer break, and how distracting it was to have to work with them in my office. I decided I'd do my best to set up enough work from January to May so that I wouldn't have to work from June to mid-August. I can then resume work until November, when the holidays roll around and I want to focus on my family.

2. I'm evaluating. As my editing work piled up, my writing fell to the wayside. Way aside. In July, I checked my personal blog. I hadn't posted since January. That's bad, because I'd been posting regularly, three to five times each week, for over a year. To have completely stopped blogging says something about how much I've written in 2014. Not much at all. So I've asked myself an important question: what happened? I took on more editing jobs, which is great for income. It wasn't so great for the rest of the things I wanted to accomplish in 2014.

3. I'm prioritizing. In the midst of my question asking, God whispered. I didn't call you to edit. I called you to write. In 2010, when I asked God what I could do with my talents, He didn't tell me to edit for Him. He told me to write for Him. Because I edited so much, I strayed from the path God wants me on. I need to trust Him to provide and be obedient in my calling. There's nothing wrong with editing. I know I'm going to keep editing. But I'm also going to prioritize writing so that I can do both.

4. I'm setting goals. There are a few things I'd like to accomplish in each area of my life in 2015. I'm going to set realistic goals in each of these areas.

5. I'm planning ahead. I used to be very organized. I knew everyone's schedule and rarely missed a beat. I only had two kids at the time, and I wasn't trying to earn an income. Having four kids and trying to run a business has left me a bit disorganized in the past couple of years. I've noticed my follow-through and follow-up has flown the coop, and all those kids have stolen some of my brain cells as they entered the world. I struggle to remember everything, and sometimes I even forget to write things down so I can remember them. This is discouraging to me, a perfectionist at heart. I strive for excellence, and when I don't see it in myself, I get upset, distracted, and frustrated. That's going to change this year as I plan ahead for everything. Conferences, writing projects, editing projects, kids' school trips, finances, savings, family vacation, Christmas - you name it, I'm setting up my calendar now.

6. I'm creating a personal schedule. It's been said that kids find security in a schedule. They know what to expect, which gives them a sense of safety and peace. I have things I really want to do, but they seem to take a backseat to the craziness of life. So this year, I'm scheduling as much as I can. I realize I don't have total control - that's for God to worry about. In scheduling myself, I will get closer to meeting my goals as I focus on each priority and find peace in my daily routine.

7. I'm putting God first. This is the key to it all. The most important. I have realized in the last few months that I have a hard time saying no. Thankfully, God has blessed people like Lisa Terkeurst with the ability to write encouraging words that help people like me learn to use their best yes. So when God whispers, "Don't do that," I'm going to listen and say, "I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to say no." Because He has something better. Something more important. A priority. A blessing. And I need what He has in store for me, because in that I will find peace and joy and rest.

Here are a few of my personal business goals for 2015:
  • Finish my novel before the end of March. (I'd like to have it completed earlier, but this is a reasonable amount of time to give myself.)
  • Write another book each quarter of the year. (That would be four books in one year. This may be pushing it, but I would be happy to have one written before December.)
  • Attend ACFW. (I've wanted to go for three years now.)
  • Be consistent in my blogging and post on time. (I'm usually a day late.) Get my personal blog (a new one that I recently started) up and running and obtain 1,000 readers.
  • Get 5,000 Twitter followers. (I'm hovering really close to having 1,000 followers now.)
  • Make a certain amount of money each month from editing. (I'll keep that # to myself.)
There are other things I'd like to do, but these are a few of the key goals I have. And here's why I want to do these things: I want to encourage as many people as I can to follow hard after their God-given dreams. Whether it's writing, being at peace with who they are, feeling successful as a parent, or something as simple as learning how to use their camera or how to crochet.

God created each of us in His image and with purpose. He's called each of us to do something for Him. What's He called you to do? What's one step you could take toward reaching your dreams in 2015? What's one goal you could set and schedule time to achieve it? Share with us in the comments below. We'd love to encourage you!

 

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4 comments:

  1. HI Alycia! Thank you for posting this I really needed to read this today. I have been struggling with a lot of these things too. What a blessing and encouragement! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! ~Marcie

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Marcie! I pray your 2015 is filled with God's blessings as you pursue all He has for you in the New Year. We can do this! :)

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  2. Alycia, thanks so much for sharing your personal approach to the new year with us. I really enjoyed your article. Happy New Year!

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