It’s a good time to take stock of things.
I say that because it’s February, the month when many people sink into a pre-New Year’s Resolution state, content with not doing yoga or meditating or writing—whatever big life-changing goals they bravely asserted at the beginning of the year.
I recently read that 88% of people fail their New Year’s Resolutions, a statistic that jives with my overall success rate. They fail largely because they experience a lapse, and then they don’t come back from the lapse. I wrote about this in a post on the NaNoWriMo blog, I’m Going to Finish My NaNo Novel No Matter What.
The key is to make a plan to recover from the lapses you’ll inevitably experience. For example, I notice that people tend to beat themselves up when they teeter from a goal. It’s difficult to start again if you’re too busy chastising yourself for failures. So you have to give yourself a bit of self-compassion. As in … tomorrow is a great day to start _______ again.
Another reason might be that instead of setting big yearly goals, people do better with smaller monthly goals. I got this idea from Dave Beck, NaNoWriMo’s IT director, who sets monthly resolutions instead of yearly ones. He aimed to run 100 miles in January (his “Janulution”), and made it admirably to 80 miles. The idea of conquering goals in a month’s burst of activity sounds familiar, but I can’t remember where I heard about it.
I figured I’d take a crack at a few writing Februlutions this month:
- I’m digging into the second draft of a screenplay, so I’m going to dare myself to finish it in the next 23 days (that’s a stretch goal, but what’s life without awkward stretching fueled by coffee).
- I’m writing a piece for Writer’s Digest’s creativity issue on vulnerability. It’s due on February 18, so this Februlution comes with a built-in crack of the whip.
- I’d say that’s enough, but I want to write more blog posts this year (as part of a book on creativity). Let’s see if I can write three more this month. Short ones, perhaps.
Okay, it’s all documented now. I’ll tweet this post, and then it will formally reside in the public record of accountability where people can chide and cajole me, and maybe even celebrate my goal victories at some point.
I’ll report back in March. And I’ll have my Marchlutions figured out by then.