Stop Beating Yourself Up and Get Things Done



I detest New Year’s Resolutions. It’s not that I mind self-improvement. I truly believe we should always be moving forward. I suppose that’s part of my issue with them–they tend to mask a lot of self-hate pretending to be good for you.

I prefer to make commitments each year. I’m aware those sound similar, but they’re not. A resolution focuses on the end result: I will lose ten pounds or never smoke again or publish a novel. But, when we want to accomplish something, our goal is meaningless without a plan. It’s like deciding to move to another country without securing a job or visa, a place to live, or even a means of travel. It’s as if we expect to just poof there, and the details can work themselves out.

But details, stubbornly, continue to refuse this responsibility. That’s why I like creating a plan and committing to the steps. Even more importantly, I’ll make a plan to evaluate if I’m any closer to my goal.

Last year, I committed to a plan to stop smoking. On January 23rd, I’ll be one year smoke-free. 2014 is the year of the writer for me. I’ve created a detailed plan, listed my commitments, tried to prepare for any foreseeable obstacles, and created quarterly evaluations on how well it works in my life.

Now that you know the keys to success (a realistic goal, a plan to achieve the goal, and a way to measure if it’s working), you can do anything. Including publish that novel. 2014 is the year of the writer for me. I’ve created a detailed plan, listed my commitments, tried to prepare for any foreseeable obstacles, and created quarterly evaluations on how well it works in my life.

If, like me, you want to commit to progress as a writer, here are some links to help you out:

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About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

15 Responses to Stop Beating Yourself Up and Get Things Done

  1. It’s always good to have goals and yours look acheiveable for sure. And thanks for the links!

  2. Bethanne says:

    Great plan, Lori!!
    I agree about resolutions. I’d rather keep a journal and track my work… knowing i’m moving forward is the key. 😀

    Happy New Year, Lady!

  3. Thanks, Bethanne and Connie. I’m really excited to see how it works out.

  4. Pingback: Making “Resolutions” Stick

  5. Reminds me of the quote, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

    Thanks for the links. Those are great!

    • The links were the result of my research to make a better plan. I’m so glad they’re helpful to everyone.

      That’s a great quote, Julie. Being a social worker, “measurable goals” becomes a buzz word fairly quickly. Still, with a realistic plan, it’s so thrilling to see people succeed. It has reaffirmed my belief in committing to an achievable plan.

    • Molly McLain says:

      Aah! Love this quote, Julie! I’ve gotta write that down… 🙂

  6. Jennifer Shirk says:

    Love those links, Lori! Thank you!!

  7. Thanks for sharing the spreadsheet, Lori! I love this post because I feel the same way. I get sick of beating myself up over things I can’t control. What I can control is what I’m able to do in this moment so that’s what I focus on. Congrats on quitting smoking and good luck on your commitments this year!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Jamie. I think we (definitely I) generate a lot of needless anxiety worrying about what is outside our sphere of influence. And thanks, again, for the spreadsheet.

  8. Landra Graft says:

    Woot Woot! The year of the writer for sure. I agree that the best way to reach a goal or destination is to plan. Those links are awesome to. I know what I’ll be reading this afternoon.
    For me, lately, it’s about short term goals and forcing myself to stick to the plan.
    I can’t wait to hear more about your plans for 2014 and wish you all the luck, hugs, and positive writer vibes I can give.

  9. Molly McLain says:

    Lori, I love your outlook. I agree it’s far more productive to go about reaching your goals with a clear vision on how you’ll achievement in place. I need to remember this more often! I think I’ll put up Julie’s quote as a screensaver. 😀

  10. Congratulations on being a non-smoker for almost an entire year – kudos!!
    I love this (and I’ve been using Jamie’s spreadsheet since Jan. 1 and love it!)
    This IS going to be the year of the writer…here’s 2014 and achievable goals! Great post! 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Deb. You’re one of my inspirations because if anyone has a hundred irons in the fire, you do. But it’s clear you’re always moving forward and keep a positive attitude. So, really… Thanks.

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