Reset Your New Year’s Goals and Relaunch Your Writing Career

Mindy McHorse

One glance around my office, and I’m totally overcome by post-resolution shame.

It’s mid-February, and my life still looks like it did – well, last December.

I’ve still got piles of stuff on my desk and scattered around my office. Chocolate wrappers are interspersed with overcrowded to-do lists. And I’m about to go swap out my too-tight jeans with some luxuriously baggy sweats.

This is not the hyper-organized, consistently exercised, driven-yet-balanced person I was supposed to be by now.

What happened?

More correctly, how come nothing happened?

I’m a big advocate of choosing “guiding words” over actual resolutions. Resolutions can be limited and easy to break. According to research from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, only 8% of people follow through on resolutions. Meaning 92% of resolutions are broken every year – usually by February.

A guiding word, on the other hand, can be applied to anything you take on. In the past, I’ve chosen persistence, courage, and all-in as words to guide my actions throughout the year.

Except … if you don’t have a plan for turning your guiding word into action, it won’t do anything for you. Same goes for resolutions.

Regardless of whether you made a New Year’s resolution, chose a guiding word, or simply set some goals, you need a process for bringing those changes to fruition.

And, if you (like me) need a “Reset Button” to get you back on track for the remainder of the year … then I’m glad you’ve joined me this week.

In the days ahead I’ll walk you through some proven ways to recapture that beginning-of-the-year excitement when anything seems possible. We’ll go over how to set concrete goals, break free of fears, and take action.

After this week, you’ll have strategies in place that make taking action as easy as breathing.

But first, it’s worth asking … why even bother attempting a resolution or guiding goal if a whole lot of nothing is bound to happen? (Statistically speaking, that is.)

Start by understanding how declarations for change are connected to your goals. In this case, a resolution or guiding word is your path to change. A goal is your destination at the end of that path.

Now, the funny thing about pursuing a writing career is that there isn’t a fixed path. Not like with other careers, where you need a specific degree or certification and then a set number of years under your belt before you can advance.

Writing is more like the Wild West. You can bust out of the gate and sign a high-dollar client immediately, or you can cover a lot of time and distance before you get what you want.

So, it all hangs on knowing what you want.

Today, I want you to re-examine your writing goals for the year. Let’s get clear on where we’re going before we decide how to get there. Then tomorrow, we’ll begin the Resolution Reset Process.

When it comes to a writing career, here’s a good goal-deciding strategy:

  1. How much income do you want to earn by the end of this calendar year? Choose a concrete dollar amount.
  2. How much time can you devote to writing? How many hours per week?
  3. What’s your long-term, lifestyle or big-picture goal? For example, do you want to travel the world when you retire? Send a kid to college? Buy a vacation home?

Remember, specifics rule. You’re looking for a concrete statement, like, “I want to make $50,000 this year writing 20 hours a week so I can leave my day job by December.”

Care to share your goals? Do it here. (Note: Research shows writing down your goals makes you twice as likely to succeed!)

Meditations for Writers

Accessing the Writer Within: A 21-Day Journey to Unlocking and Unleashing Your True Writing Potential

With these twice-daily meditations for writers, you’ll immediately start to enjoy better creativity, greater productivity, bigger success, and more happiness. Learn More »

Click to Rate:
Average: 5.0
Published: February 16, 2015

18 Responses to “Reset Your New Year’s Goals and Relaunch Your Writing Career”

  1. Hi Mindy, my goes for dec 2015 is to earn $10,000 per month, working (writing) 5 hrs per day and buy a new house.


  2. Actually the goal you wrote is exactly what I want..I want to make $50,000 this year writing 20 hours a week so I can leave my day job by December.


  3. My end of year goal: I want to make $25,000 from my web copywriting business to pay off $10,000 in credit card debt AND pay a $4,000 tax bill due. AND then put the remaining $11,000 in my savings account. That would make me a very happy woman to accomplish this by the end of 2015!!

    Cini Pye

  4. I want to make at least $50,000 by the end of this year by writing. Of course, I will always take more. I want to be able to pay off post divorce bills, and get my oldest child started in college. I want to be on track to leave my day job by June 2016.


  5. Managing My Schedule

    To schedule my priorities, I will use google calendar, and knights office suite with word processing functions. Google Calendar will allow me to keep my scheduling information making it easy to access on the go. That will come in handy when coordinating my schedule with other significant people in my life. Knights Office Suite will help me with other time-and priority-management tasks, such as recording goals and preparing a checklist. These are tools I'm already comfortable with, so I know they will work for me. I am sure I need to keep working to earn income. Writing for the web is a huge opportunity for copywriters and I know work is the only way to create a blockbuster.

    Guest (Frederic Johnson)

  6. I want to make $48,000.00 a year, working 14 hours a week, so I can quit my "job", live comfortably working from home enjoying financial freedom, while providing for my family.

    Guest (Sherma)

  7. Thanks Mindy -- Great stuff!

    It's nice to be reminded that AWAI stars have normal lives too.

    I look forward to that extra $60,000 by year's end along with my excellent day job(s). It'll be nice to to wind down less productive and lucrative work in favor of increasing and improving better-paying, more interesting copywriting using 10 to 15 hours a week.

    The reasons?

    Continued improvement financing family travel, housing, and growing my business for a freer future on the other side of the world.

    Jonny Bahk-Halberg

  8. My goal is to make enough in my writing this year to pay off my car and all other debt. I'll need at least $30,000.

    The amount seems small, but I haven't taken action on any of my writing.

    Lena Seckman

  9. I actually did my writing goal for 2016 as follows:
    $30,000 writing 20 hours a week to set up the next year for even bigger and better.

    Then I cut that by 1/3 for this year.
    $10,000 writing 6 hours a week so that when I leave my job this year, I'll be on my way to bigger and better!

    Guest (Dawn)

  10. I would like to make a great living with enough money to live nicely and to travel.My Husband had a stroke and I am a caregiver. I can put 4 hours a day into writing and am looking forward to taking my husband to his native Scotland.

    Guest (Brandi Poole)

  11. I want to earn $55,000 this year through writing and selling my photography 25 hours a week so I can travel around the world.

    I quit my job as a teacher last June. I have been focused on photography since that time, but I also need to improve my withing skills so that I can write articles that sell. Thanks for the RESET button idea.

    Guest (Diana)

  12. Good article, Mindy. I will make an additional $3000/Month, $30,000 total, to pay off existing debt by Year end and retire,(again).


  13. I David B. Justiss' Goals for 2015:

    1.) Work no more than 10 hours a day 5 days a week, (workaholic). Travel overseas, while doing so.

    2.) In the next 45 days develop my business plan to include, a 6-8-10 month action- client getting and research plan.

    2a.) Finish AWAI TAP for Six-Figure Copywriting, course.

    2b.) Develop 10 key strategic indicators of what my best client looks like, sounds like, and thinks likes.

    2c.) To know s/h_e like my best friend...what keeps them up, day and night.

    David B Justiss

  14. I want to clear my debts and travel, while living the writers life.

    My short term goal is to make $3000.00 a month, writing 20 hours a week by Dec 31, 2016.

    My long term is be earning $100,000 per year as a B2B writer by June 20, 2018.

    Mike S

  15. My goal for this year is realistic to make $20,000 as an entry level copywriter. I have been at this junction of setting goals before but always fallen short of the goal. I can devote as many hours to writing as is needed within a given day.

    My long term lifestyle includes writing and being able to earn an income writing.

    Joan M

  16. My goal for the year would be to earn $3000 a month and to be able to travel and not worry about my finances. Pay off what few bills I have and enjoy my life. I have as much free time as I want to write but am willing to give at least 5 -8 hours a day this year. I am willing to work 20 - 40 hours a week writing. I want to treat this as my career.

    Guest (Carolyn)

  17. My goal is to earn $50,000 by December 31 writing 20 hours a week. I want to continue traveling the world and to fund it by writing, as that is my version of the writer's life.

    Kimberly W

  18. My goal this year is to make 25,000 to supplement my regular job for now. I can put in 12 hours a week consistently. I want to be able to help my kids out if they need it and pay bills without pressure.

    Sheila C

Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)

This name will appear next to your comment.

Your email is required but will not be displayed.

Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters

Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)