When I mention that my 17th book will be released in a couple of months, some people react with surprise. Many dream about writing, let alone publishing, at least one book!
I’m not being coy, just matter-of-fact. First of all, I’m not exactly a teenager, so I’ve had plenty of years during which to write books. I planned to write them, I did, and I have more in the works. Why? Because I’m a writer. I don’t just think about writing. I actually sit down and do it.
Last year I planned to run a half marathon, I signed up, I trained, and made it to the finish line. Why? Because I’m a runner. I don’t say that next Monday, next month, next year, I will run. I lace up my shoes and hit the pavement today.
I’m not telling you this to show off, but to prove a point.
When someone tells me how lucky I am to be a published author or in such good shape for my age, I think of all the hours I put in throughout the years to set and accomplishing those goals. That’s what luck is made of! You invest time, effort, persistence, and thus increase your odds of success.
Thinking or even talking about writing a book, running a marathon, starting a blog or backpacking around Europe will not make it happen. Sure, it’s a precursor, but unless you take action, it will be a mere thought, nothing but a dream.
I’ve had plenty of challenges in life – as most people do – and, going back to writing, as an example, I’ve done it in depressed states and feeling blissful, when life was grand and when it seemed worse than a nightmare, after the death of someone dear and shortly after the birth of each of my children. That’s how books get written. That´s how things get done.
Life will always get in the way of your dreams, if you let it, and the perfect challenge-free time may never arrive, so make plans and take action now.
My message to those who are making New Year’s lists of resolutions and goals, and who risk feeling like a failure when twelve months from now, they realize none of them were met: don’t set goals of what you want to accomplish.
- Set the goal of becoming the kind of person that will accomplish objectives, year, in year out.
Do you want to write a book or do you want to become a writer? Do you want to run once or twice or do you want to become a runner for life?
It’s fine either way; there is no right or wrong answer. But if you choose the second option, then ask yourself what traits you need to develop to become a writer, a runner, a blogger, an entrepreneur, a parent, you name it …
Above all you will need to develop persistence, patience and stamina. You will also have to nurture your passion. That’s why Steve Jobs said: “Stay hungry.”
Ah yes, and foolish, also foolish …
This is my secret to achieving my goals: I’m hungry and foolish.
What’s your secret to sticking to your New Year’s resolutions?