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Update Your Annual Writing Goals on Your Birthday, Not For New Years

by Jennifer on September 22, 2009

By Jennifer Blanchard

Today is my 26th birthday. And I’ve decided to do something a little different this year than most other years.

I’m pretty typical when it comes to setting New Year’s goals. I, like most people, have big plans at the beginning of the year. And I, like most people, also abandon my goals by the end of January.

I think the main problem with setting goals for the New Year is that people tend to view New Year’s goals (also called “resolutions”) as fixing yourself or your life. And that’s the main problem, because there’s nothing to fix.

You are perfect exactly as you are.

If you’d like to continue growing, changing and reaching your goals, however, then you need to continute to make annual goals, but with a twist.

This year, as I celebrate being another year older, I am suggesting that we instead make annual goals that start the day after our birthdays. And that we continue to do so from here on out, instead of setting New Year’s goals.

Since your new goals will be associated with your birthday, rather than the new calendar year, they will feel more personal and you will be more likely to keep them.

When you set your goals for the year, you should think about what you want to achieve over the next 365 days. Be sure to think about all areas of your life, such as:

  • Your career
  • Your family/friends/social life
  • Your hobbies
  • Your health
  • And, of course, your writing

Once you have a plan, or at least an idea of where you want to be on your birthday next year, you’ll then be able to work backwards to see what you need to do to get to reach all your goals.

And when you set your birthday goals, don’t be afraid to aim high. It’s always better to challenge yourself then to allow your self-imposed limitations to stop you from reaching your dreams.

My writing goals for my next birthday are:

  • Finish writing my first novel, Celebrity Soulmate
  • Publish Celebrity Soulmate
  • Start and finish writing novel number 2
  • Finish and launch writing productivity eBook
  • Continue writing and growing Procrastinating Writers

What do you think of setting annual writing goals for your birthday, rather than for the New Year? What are your current writing goals?

About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is founder of Procrastinating Writers. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 lara September 22, 2009 at 1:05 pm

love it! my birthday is in June so I’ve always separated my year into two rounds of goals/resolutions. the hype at new years is always so much that I think doing this on your day makes it much more personal. Happy Birthday, Jennifer! I hope you’re having a wonderful day.

2 jennifer blanchard September 22, 2009 at 2:49 pm

@lara Thanks so much! And I got your e-mail…I will be getting back to you shortly. Thanks! 🙂

3 Sandra S Richardson September 22, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Happy Birthday, Jennifer!
My birthday was Sept. 20th, though I’m older than you by slightly more than double. LOL

I’ve never been good at setting goals, especially long term ones. I do like the thought of such “resolutions” being more person if we make them on our birthdays.

I want/need to finish my writing course (this will most likely take another year to do). I want to get some work submitted. (I can’t control getting published so I won’t say that.) I want to get to where I’m comfortable with and really understand POV and “show don’t tell”. I want to find a mentor/editor that will work with me as I’m tired of feeling so high and dry.


4 Larry September 23, 2009 at 12:49 pm

First and most importantly… happy birthday! You’re just a pup… as you get older you’ll realize what a treasure birthdays are, so celebrate it HUGE. Wish I would have been half as connected, insightful, giving and alive as you are at 26… I had no idea what I didn’t know. Celebrate your achievements today!

Have the best birthday ever… write something amazing today.


5 jblan September 23, 2009 at 10:15 pm

@Sandra S. Richardson If you need a recommendation for a mentor/editor, send me an e-mail: jennifer@procrastinatingwriters.com.

@Larry Why thank you. I was really freaking out about this birthday because I’ve been feeling a little like I’m in the same place I was last year, but that’s so not the case. It took a shift in my perspective to see this, thou. I’ve achieved a lot more than I give myself credit for. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

6 Jean September 25, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Happy day…

I’ve been lurking here for quite a while and have to say this is one of the best blogs around…especially for us procrastinators.


Funny…cause I’ve been thinking about mentors for a bit now and just how to find one. I think there are lots of us who’d love a mentor to work with. While I’ve made lots of progress on my own, it’d especially nice to have someone to kick my backside when I slack up. Maybe an ad on twitter or facebook?:-)

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