Yes, it’s that time again. It’s the time when you look back on the past year and make plans for the next. For screenwriters, those plans often involve starting or finishing a script they’ve put off. Maybe you feel guilty for procrastinating. Maybe you’ve even set New Year’s resolutions before, only to have them fall by the wayside.
So how can you make this year better than the last? Here are some proven methods to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions.
Set Small Goals
According to the American Psychological Association, setting small, attainable goals throughout the year is better than setting a giant goal on January 1. If, for example, your goal is to write every day, you might start by writing three days a week, then work your way up. If your resolution is to finish a script, set attainable page number goals instead of trying to finish the whole thing in one crazy writing session.
Avoid Previous Resolutions
A study by Quirkology found that only 12% of people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions. One predictor of failure was a person’s tendency to choose a past resolution. This can lead to feelings of guilt over failing to meet your goals the previous year. If your goal was to finish a script last year, try starting a new script this year.
Talk about Your Plans with Friends and Family
You’ve probably heard this before, but that’s because it works. Numerous studies collected by Psychology Today show that social support is a key predictor of attaining one’s goals. You might try joining a writing group if you don’t have one, or tell a close friend about your resolution.
Don’t Take January 1 Too Seriously
The Pennsylvania Psychological Association reminds us that there is nothing magical about New Year’s Day. Sure, it’s the start of a new year, but if you don’t look at your calendar, it’s just another day. If you’re caught up in work or family, maybe a different starting point makes more sense for your goals.
Here’s hoping you can keep your resolutions this time. If you have any other tips, remember to leave them in the comments or on Twitter.
Happy new year, everyone!