Your answer to this question is, most likely, no.
Not because you aren’t capable of accomplishing your goals — you are! — but because, well, you know. Things keep getting in the way.
But this might run deeper than you think.
If you didn’t do everything you hoped to do this year — in writing or otherwise — do you know why? And I mean REALLY why.
Ask yourself the real reason you didn’t do what you promised yourself you would do this year (finish writing your book, starting a blog, going to a writing convention, querying another round of agents). The truth might surprise you. Or not.
It’s not because of your dog or your schoolwork or the 10,000 unprecedented events that seemed to rob you of valuable days — maybe even weeks.
No. Those are just excuses you use to try justifying why you didn’t do what you wanted to — what you could have done.
I’m guilty of this too. If I’d watched fewer shows, fewer movies, woken up a little earlier, stayed up a little later, I could have done more. But the reality is, I didn’t do most of the things I wanted to do this year because most of the things I wanted to do were very challenging, draining, and time-consuming tasks.
Some days, it was just too hard, and I gave up. Days turned to weeks; weeks to months, and here we are.
The truth is, you were scared, or overwhelmed, or stuck. And instead of figuring out how to press on despite these barriers, you simply stopped trying.
The good news is, a new year is upon us once again. And whether you believe in making New Year’s resolutions or not, there’s no better time to get back on track than the start of a fresh calendar year.
Except maybe this year you can afford to set fewer goals. Or break those goals into much smaller steps. Or maybe you can break your weeknights into work nights and movie nights, and try sticking to a routine or schedule.
Maybe your goals need deadlines. Maybe you just need to focus on one thing until you accomplish it before moving on to the next, and so on.
Maybe you need to ease up on yourself a little bit. So you didn’t read 400 books or go to space or throw your dog an epic birthday party this year. In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter? If you really want to accomplish these things, you’ll find a way to do it eventually.
Just because you didn’t succeed this year does not mean you can’t next year. Right?
Most importantly, be aware of your barriers. Come up with an action plan to overcome them as best you can. Obstacles are not always impossible to clear. With the right tools, support — and yes, even the right attitude — you can finally do the things you’ve always said you would.
So, 2019’s going to be pretty great, huh? Who’s with me? :)
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.