New Year’s Resolutions and Daring to Dream

Workbooks 1As 2016 rises over the horizon I must make a confession … I’m one of those people who likes to ask what your New Year’s resolution is. Yup, I’m that girl you roll your eyes at. The girl with that extra skip in her step because I love the idea of a clean slate, starting over, and trying to put the past behind me and look at the New Year with fresh eyes.

Call me an optimist, or call me obnoxious, but in the end, I’m just a big happy planner. I love spreadsheets and goals. I love getting out the markers and creating structure charts or outlining projects. I love looking at the future with hope, and then making a game plan to help me get there.

Did you know that the number one reason you aren’t achieving your goals is because you aren’t writing them down and reviewing them? Here’s some pretty hefty statistics that might get your resoultion butt in gear this year:

  • 80% of Americans claim that they don’t have goals
  • 16% of them have goals, but they don’t write them down
  • Only 3% actually have written goals, but they don’t review them regularly
  • Only 1% has written goals and they review them regularly, and these are among the highest achievers in the US

Workbooks 2It’s amazing that simply writing down your goals, committing them to paper, and then regularly reviewing them can make such an enormous impact on your success.

My New Year’s resolution is to write down my writing goals, make action plans, and review my actions. To help me do this, I’ve become a little obsessed with the super-fun watercolor woo-woo hippie-awesomeness that is the Leonie Dawson Create Your Shining Year Workbooks.

You may have seen me over the Christmas Holiday posting Instagram images of my adventures juggling markers, becoming a coloring ninja, writing out my goals, and making big fat and fabulous plans for 2016. It’s been super inspiring … particularly when you couple the childhood fun of coloring with business planning. Who said this had to be boring?

Workbooks 4If you’re interested in the Leonie Dawson Workbooks, she has two kinds: Create Your Shining Life and Create Your Shining Biz. The Life Workbook focuses on what you want in your personal life: home, relationships, personal goals, fitness, health, etc. The Biz Workbook (my personal favorite) can easily be adapted to the writing life: book goals, marketing, revision, finances, habits, and systems. I bought both this year, because I thought it was important to find a balance between the two.

I also found myself enjoying a little entrepreneurial kick in the pants lately. It’s easy to claim you have a resolution, but it’s a completely different thing to actually write it down, put it into action, and stay accountable! As a result I’ve become a big fan of the books The 12 Week Year by Brian Morgan and Michael Lennington, and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Both of these are great at helping you see how you can stay accountable and achieve your goals.

Workbooks 3Writing a book is such a big undertaking. There’s a false sense that inspiration will strike and  both creativity and productivity will take care of themselves. I’ve never found this to be the case. For me, writing takes planning. Planning when I will put my butt in the chair. Scheduling the time. Creating my own deadlines. Then making myself accountable for not meeting those deadlines. It’s so easy to be distracted. To push the deadlines back. To not make writing a priority.

Do you find this happens to you? Maybe we can plan to create better writing habits in 2016 together.

I think that all starts with daring to dream, daring to write down our goals and admit that we have them. Do you want to get published this year? Do you want to get an agent? Do you want to sell the next book? Write it down! Has 2015 been a shadow of disappointment? Forget it. Shed it like the skin of a snake. 2016 is new and shinny and ready for your hard work!

Workbooks 5Make an action plan! Write out everything you need to do to achieve those dreams. What actions must you take? This is where those colorful workbooks are suuuuper helpful.

“The universe will not respond to your desires, no matter how passionate or intense they are. The one thing that moves the universe is action. It is consistent action that turns a dream into reality.” – 12 Week Year

Keep yourself accountable. Find an accountability buddy. Find someone you can trust to tell your dreams and action plans to. Be responsible to tell them when you’ve succeeded and failed. Work together to make new plans … and never give up!

I’d love to hear your writing resolutions! Please share them in the comments.

I hope your 2016 is filled with action, inspiration, goals, and tons of writing. Happy New Year everyone!


10 responses to “New Year’s Resolutions and Daring to Dream”

  1. Happy New Year!

    I really love your blog. Not sure I’ve ever told you that. I’m an incredibly slow writer, but I’d really like to write two new novels this year (as well as wrap the book with my editor).

    My overarching intention is something I’ve been working on for the past year, to continue to learn what it means to write smart and not scared (you can see the starting point for this on my blog here:

    I’ll be thinking of you this year and cheering you on!

    • Ingrid Sundberg says:

      CAROLINE!!!! First off, thank you so much for telling me how much you love my blog. That means the WORLD to me!

      I also love that you’ve shared your resolutions with me! I am also overly ambitious … I may have 3 to 5 book projects (in various stages) on my resolutions list this year. I agree, Its important to write smart, not scared, and to be realistic about what is achievable.

      I’ll be cheering you on this year as well! 🙂

  2. Jen swain says:

    Hello Ingred… This is great I am as well a lister and like to do the same . I will take a look at the books by Dawson. Sounds awesome I would love to have a schmooze (mingle) where we do this for the new year! Would be great to start the year off this way for all of us lit minglers. Anyway just wanted to let you know I dig your post and expect great thinks from you … Harry Potter… I mean Ingred Sundberg!

  3. I wrote down my goals this year for the first time writing-wise. I have some personal ones I’m about to jot down in my wish list for the new year, a small Christmas box my family and me do every year. Hope you reach your goals, Ingrid!! Happy New Year!!

  4. Natalie says:

    Thanks so much for this! You helped me to realize what my New Years resolutions are. I had been so utterly stumped as to what would help me finish my last year in undergrad and become financially independent. Make the god damned list and look at it, sit with it, invite it in. I need to focus on organization, simplifying, and planning in the year 2016!

    Ugh if only it would be as simple as saying it. I am NOT an organized person. I guess I’m afraid of it. I’m afraid of being told what to do. -_-

    But anyway thanks again and happy 2016!!!


    P.S. writing to you is intimidating because your such a great writer and I seriously need to up my grammer game.

    • Ingrid Sundberg says:

      Natalie! Thank you for sharing your dreams and looking honestly at your fears. The great news is no one is telling you what to do but yourself! Thanks for being brave and saying hello. May 2016 be full of success.

      P.s. I’m no good at grammar either.

  5. Heidi Phelps says:

    Hi Ing!! I am a goal setter and writer but my problem is that I’m not consistent. I’ll goes weeks with writing down my goals and adhering to them (for the most part) then life, vacations, family, etc. derails me. It could take me a month to remember to get back to setting and writing my goals again.

    But now you’ve got me thinking about posting my annual and/or monthly goals in front of my face on the wall…hmmm, I like that idea. Also, I get discouraged when I don’t meet goal, in which you also got me thinking…mini goals to reach the main one!

    Okay, you’ve got my wheels churning. Time to get to work on my goals! Thanks for getting me to think about this again. 🙂

  6. Linda W says:

    I needed to read this today. Good idea about writing down writing goals. Love those workbooks!

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