Staying Resolute in 2017

I’m announcing it so I can be held fully accountable: my New Year’s resolution is to read a book every week.

We’re more than halfway through January, which means we’re just reaching the point where almost half of resolutioners lose their resolve. I’ve read a lot of advice on how to keep your New Year’s resolution, but there are three tips I found especially helpful, so I’m condensing them here.

Everyone has time for 3 tips, right?

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1. Tell someone who’s going to keep you accountable.

“No man is an island,” “live together, die alone,” etc. Friends can help keep you on track this year–just make sure it’s someone who actually cares whether or not you’re doing what you said you would.

Bad Example: I told my whole family that I’m going to read a book every week and nobody said anything when I didn’t meet my goal at the end of the second week. Not helpful!

Find an online chatroom (is that still a thing?), tell your friends, tweet it, whatever. Just remember shouting it into the void does nothing if no one is listening.

2. Adjust your goal so it’s concrete and specific.

Being specific is both good writing advice and good life advice. The point here is to be able to make your big goals manageable and to track your progress.

“I’m going to read more this year” is not as strong a resolution as “I’m going to read a book a week” because there’s no way to track my progress with the first one. I have no baseline of how much I normally read, so how could I really know if I’m reading more? With the second one, I get a stack of novels that grows taller every week, showing me how far I’ve come and encouraging me to push forward.

3. Have a plan for getting back on the horse.

You’re going to get off track at some point in the year. It’s not a matter of if, but when. You’re human. (If you’re not human, please let me know immediately–I need to know who my nonhuman readers are.)

So plan for it! How are you going to make sure you don’t quit when you fall behind?

Good Example: When I fell behind on my Sunday to Saturday reading schedule, I had to adjust my schedule for the next week by reading more pages daily than I anticipated. If that doesn’t work, I’ll just have to pick a shorter book for the next next week. If that doesn’t work… my shorter book isn’t short enough.

Anyway, I’m not an expert, but I do know these tricks work for me. Mostly I’m just excited for 2017 because I can’t wait to share my reads with you! And if you have any book recommendations, feel free to send them my way.

Click to see what I’m currently reading and what I’ve already read.

Do you have a New Year’s resolution? Tips for how to stay on track? Anecdotes about what doesn’t work? Let me know in the comments!  ↓

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Midwest writer hailing from the Mitten State. Not nearly as clever as I pretend to be.

3 thoughts on “Staying Resolute in 2017

  1. Good luck with the books…
    Remember though if you start a book you don’t like you don’t have to finish it. I just did that with an odd little paperback. Don’t waste your time reading what doesn’t make you happy or teaches you something.
    Reading anything is good. Really.

    I’ve tried to start so many journals…
    But I do write (even if it is something small everyday…)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck on your quest! I have such plans too, maybe we can encourage each other along. I get a Saturday off each month and try to read something longer than 10 pages and oh not be on WP all the time – that’s not really reading is it? Love the thoughts you put forward here!


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