I have a moral obligation to report in on how I went with the big announcement I made last year. To the world. On the web. For all to see. ‘I’m going to write a book,’ I said.
By November, the pressure was on. The year was almost over and my book wasn’t finished. In fact, it wasn’t even started. I hadn’t written a word of it.
So, I made another public pledge: ‘I’ll write 1000 words every day for the rest of the year.’
And I went on living my life the same as I always had.
For much of 2016, I tried to work out why it was that I wasn’t writing a book this year. Part of a book. A chapter even. And seriously, I couldn’t work out why. I had everything I needed. What on earth was stopping me?
On the second last day of the year, my brother-in-law asked whether it was lack of ideas for my book or lack of a routine.
I had ideas. Even a bit of a plot. But I had no writing routine. I didn’t change a thing about how I spent my days for the whole year.
It’s that old saying:
‘If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.’
It’s like announcing that you want to get fit but then you don’t do any exercise. At all. If you want to write a book, you actually have to write some words.
Devote time to it. Make it part of your daily routine. Create the habit.
Even if you haven’t got twenty minutes or whatever it is you need to do some exercise or write some words, it doesn’t matter. Do one push up. Write 50 words. Something is better than nothing and it all helps to form a routine and move you towards your goal.
I must be a slow learner; how come I’ve only just figured this out?
So this year’s resolution isn’t going to be as big or broad or lacking in detail.
Here’s another quote for you. No. For me. This one is by American author and speaker, John C Maxwell:
‘You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.’
I’m going to set myself a daily routine. Daily writing goals. Daily exercise goals.
Instead of getting to the end of this year and trying to reflect on what I achieved and where there were disappointments and what I’d like to accomplish next year, I want to look at that sort of thing each day of this year.
I’m going to find the good things, savour them, reflect on them and think about the following day’s goals. That should steer me more effectively and be better for my mental health than ‘I’m going to write a book.’
Here are some of the good times from 2016:
How about you? Learn anything good in 2016? Got anything good planned for 2017?