I spent all of 2019 with a growing list of tasks and goals that were never brought to fruition. During that time, I learned a lot about perseverance. I learned a lot about what it means to wholly give yourself to your craft and never give up on your dreams. I’ve never felt the spark of a fresh start hit me the way the beginning of 2020 has, and I’m determined to make this year the best year yet. I’ve been planning the start of the new year and preparing all of December, and I have my game-plan ready to go. With the first week of the year nearly behind us, I can safely say that the few new habits I’ve been trying out haven’t been so bad, but there’s a specific way I plan to keep them growing throughout the year (unlike those New Year’s resolutions we’ve all had but never completed).
When you’re trying to alter any aspect of your life, reflection should be your first step. I want you to ask yourself what it was like when these habits weren’t a part of your everyday life and what value they bring to it. That alone may help you stay on track. I’ve put together a small checklist of all the things I plan on implementing this 2020, and I’d like to share that with all of you.
1. Tackle the Big Tasks
I’ve neglected my planner for the majority of last year. While keeping up with my digital calendar did help me get things done, I did miss out on the opportunity to prioritize my tasks, write them out, and genuinely figure out how I was going to tackle them. When it comes to working in a creative field, the pressure to continue developing your content is always looming.
That’s why the drafting process of each post, writing out my plan of action, and holding myself accountable for when I procrastinate is so essential to this new wave of productivity.
We’re tackling the big tasks first this 2020, and we’re giving our all to every single thing we produce.
2. Plan for the Impossible
Along with neglecting my planner, having a digital to-do list means that it’s very easy to shift something to tomorrow and pretend like it was never there in the first place. I used to shove tasks to the side whenever I felt slightly under the weather, or I’d give myself the most convincing excuses that always kept me from progressing for long periods.
Now, I’m planning for the impossible. I’m working harder and creating more daily, so I can be consistent with my blog schedule as well as not letting the little things get in the way of my big aspirations.
3. Track Your Spending
I’ve been an impulse spender all of 2019 as I was experiencing life-altering changes that left me stressed and unhappy. I was taking unnecessary trips to the mall to buy things I didn’t need to fill a void that only got deeper. It wasn’t until around November did I realize I needed to change this habit because my entire financial situation changed.
So, I jumped into action and started tracking my spending so I could better understand what corners I could cut. It was eye-opening to see how much money I wasted, and now having two months of untouched savings, I can say that tracking my spending did change my life.
While there’s nothing wrong with a treat now and then, I’d rather spend my money investing in my career and business this year than buying another sweater I don’t need.
4. List Your Goals
I have three main goals this year:
- Finish my novel
- Query for a literary agent
- Stay consistent and encourage growth on the platforms I use to write my content.
Narrowing my most important goals down to three allowed me to envision a way to start each project separately without feeling overwhelmed. Think about the three major things you want to accomplish this year, write them down regularly, and remind yourself of them every day. Don’t let them slip to the back of your mind, stay active, and that effort will pay off.
How to Make Your Habits Stick
Forget New Year’s resolutions, forget the“New Year, New Me” surge and focus your attention on accomplishing small goals every day that feed into the bigger ones.
I plan on blocking out a slot in my calendar solely for novel writing every day, and I will not allow myself to work on anything else during that time unless it’s urgent. When it comes to tackling my workload, I remind myself what showing up every day is going to do for me in the long run.
There was a time that you dreamed of where you are now. Carry that with you this year, and make it absolutely unforgettable.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.
Anisa Nasir is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and family. She’s the writer behind As She Writes