Making New Year’s Resolutions that Stick

With the coming of new year everyone is making new years resolutions. In this context a resolution is a promise that you make to yourself, however we all know that in most cases this promise will be broken within a few short weeks. Here is what I do to make sure I actually stick to my resolutions.

These are Goals not New Years Resolutions.png


The difference between making and sticking to a new year’s resolutions is making a SMART goal. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. If your goal is all of these things then you are far more likely to achieve it. Let’s take the example of:

I will write more

This is a very bad goal because it is not SMART. Firstly we have to make it more specific by adding details.

I will write 100 000 words


I will finish my first draft of project one

Next we have to make sure that this goal is measurable. When it gets to the end of 2017 can I look back at this goal and definitively say whether I achieved it? For the above two goals the answer is yes, I can look at my draft or my word count and check the numbers.

I will improve my writing style


Is a very difficult goal to measure. The next step is making sure the goal is attainable. If you already know there is no way you will achieve the goal then you will give up quickly. Unattainable goals are often goals that are far too large for you to be tackling, if that is the case decrease the numbers and work up to that larger goal once you know your abilities and already have the habit.

The next step is making the goal realistic. Often when making new years resolutions people make unrealistic goals, expecting that they will change their whole life. This is not going to happen. Start small and try to fit your goals around your already busy life.

I will write every morning

This is an example of unrealistic goal because you will need a break every so often and you might sleep in or be sick. The last thing is to make sure your goal is timely. That means there is a time frame for you to achieve this goal. This could be a month or the whole year, it’s up to you. Taking our SMART principles and applying that to our example here is the transformation.

I will write more


I will write more than 100k words over the course of 2017

However this fits the SMART principles for me, I don’t know what is realistic or attainable for you. Hopefully this guide has helped you make some SMART goals for next year. Now I’m going to share with you some of my goals, you might notice that a few of the goals on there aren’t SMART this is because I wanted a few more difficult goals on my list and there are a few changes to my lifestyle that I want to make even if they are difficult and might fail.




  1. Read 80 books in 2017 – school is ramping up next year and considering that this year I only managed to read 65 books in the 9 months of the year that I was on goodreads I think that 80 is a reasonable goal.
  2. Finish 10 series in 2017 – there are so many books I have started the series and never ended it and I need to change that
  3. Have less than 3 novels on my TBR shelf at the end of the year (excluding Christmas presents) – I want to cut down my TBR shelf because currently there are 20 books sitting there on my shelf <— this may not quite be an attainable goal… we’ll see
  4. Read one classic every month or 12 classics total throughout the year
  5. Read for half an hour before bed every day but friday <—- maybe not a realistic goal, but I can dream



Timeline of what I hope to achieve:

  • Finish Dawn of Discovery first draft (Jan – March)
  • Plan and outline a novel for April (March)
  • Write a first draft of this new novel (April – June)
  • Do a full round of edits on Dawn of Discovery (July – October)
  • Plan and outline a novel for November (October)
  • Try to participate in nanowrimo in November – this may not be possible because of exams


Actual goals:

  1. Participate in (and win) camp nanowrimo in April and July
  2. Write 100k words in first drafts in 2017
  3. Write for an hour first thing in the morning even during the school term <— not very realistic but I can dream



  1. Have all blog posts written a week in advance to decrease my stress levels
  2. Write blog posts that I enjoy writing rather than ones I think people want to read (which would be a plus too but comes second) <— not SMART at all but an important goal for me
  3. Write reviews for more than 1/3 of the books I read in 2017
  4. Increase followers to 200 by the end of 2017
  5. Get more than 150 views every month – I managed this in months I was active this year but I kept getting busy and dropping down
  6. Get 1500 views over the year (a low goal but I don’t want to worry too much about growing the blog)


Life <— all of these are very unspecific I know

  1. Stay on top of school work and have it as a priority
  2. Keep my room clean and have all school sheets filed away
  3. use my planner and make to do lists
  4. take time to review school work weekly so I don’t get stressed when exams arrive
  5. spend a few hours a week learning another language
  6. do yoga weekly


Plus, I just joined twitter. Add me @BookishNights or click the twitter button at the top right of the blog. I would love some new friends.

what goals are you making for next year? how can you make them SMART?


5 thoughts on “Making New Year’s Resolutions that Stick

  1. Oh I totally agree that it’s great to have more definite goals *nods* Otherwise too much vagueness makes it overwhelming right?!? I have just finished writing up my list of goals for next year too!! And omg I love how you have all your writing planned out!! I know I want to write 2 books and edit 2 books buuuut I never know what inspiration is going to strike me until it does. ;) But good luck with all your goals!! 🎉


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