Reaching your writing goals depends on how you start

Writing goalsDid you list writing goals as your resolutions for New Year? At the start of every year, naysayers claim resolutions are a waste of time, but I say they’re missing the point.

Instead of worrying that you won’t persevere with your writing goals to the end of the year, embrace the excitement of starting, for this is your most productive time.

Humans love starts. Start of the year, start of a project, start of every week. The newness of it makes starts full of potential. Anything could be achieved.

There have been plenty of studies to back this up. Here are some ways to embrace starts to meet your goals:

Start a new challenge or goal on a Monday

An article on Psychological Science shows that people feel more positive about their goals on certain days that mark a new period. On these days, they are able to distance themselves from any past failures with goals. So make Monday mornings your day to write a short list of steps you want to take over the week to get you closer to your bigger goals.

If you want to read the article:

Why Monday is the Best Day for Setting New Goals

Start every day with any (or all) of these to boost productivity and success.

There are lots of books and websites offering the right way to start your day. Though the tasks might differ, they all have a similar philosophy — start with self-focus and in a positive manner. Here’s a collection of a few:

  • Writing goalsThe Miracle Morning for Writers suggests 30 minutes to an hour filled with:
    1. Silence or Meditation
    2. Affirmations
    3. Visualising your day
    4. Reading something that improves you
    5. Writing your thoughts, plans, ideas
    6. Exercise
  • Morning Pages are part of The Artist’s Way. When you wake, before anything else, write three pages by hand. There is something inspiring about connecting the pen with the mind. It doesn’t matter what comes out, just write whatever you are thinking. This
    helps to empty the trash or clutter that has built up, clearing the way for a creative day. You’ll be surprised at the great story ideas that can come from it.
  • Confidence positions  are an idea put forward by Amy Cuddy. The basic idea is that by making a confident pose, such as stretching to make yourself big, or putting your hands on your hips, you’ll trick your brain into thinking you are confident. If you’re heading out to promote your books or network, this is a great way to start your day.  
  • Hug yourself. I attended a lecture by Professor Pieter Rossouw on the brain and learning. Showing some self care by hugging or patting yourself on the back stimulates the hippocampus into regulating cortisol and relieving stress. You can also look in the mirror, smile and say, ‘Hi, I hope you have a great day!’ Apparently this will set you in a good mood for the day, which is beneficial for learning new things, and even extend your lifespan by reducing stress.

How do you start your day? I’ve tried many of these approaches, at the moment I’m enjoying my Miracle Morning routine. I track my progress in my daily planner. You can grab the daily planner for writers as a free download.

Stay creative!