Most people find it hard to keep their New Years Resolutions or goals, or dreams, whatever you want to call them. Only 8% of people actually achieve the goal they set for themselves at the beginning of the year, which is a pretty tiny number. I don’t know about you, but I want to be a part of that 8% with my writing goals for this year.

The Writing JournalLast year, I decided I wanted to get serious about my writing career and resolved to publish my first novel… Sadly, I was part of the 92% that didn’t make the cut. This year, I swore to myself that it would get done, that I would publish my first novel and more! To that end, I bought myself a yearly planner and dubbed it my “Essential Writing Journal”.

This strategy could be adapted for anyone, but this is how I use my writing journal. If you’re like me, you like a visual representation of what you’ve done and what you want to get done. For me, this can be anything from a simple list to a more complex graph that shows my word count over a number of days. In the back of my diary, in the lined ‘notes’ section, I wrote down my writing goals for 2014 so that they would always be there for me to look at.

Next, I decided exactly which months I wanted my novels to be published in, giving myself time to edit, polish, get cover art, send to an editor, format, etc… Once I’d finished that step, I found that I could plan on getting four books published this year if everything goes smoothly (which it generally doesn’t, this is life we’re talking about, it always gets in the way!). Happy with that rough guide, I penned my goals into the last day of the specific month in red ink.

Inside spread

Inside spread

The planner that I bought was built especially for my needs, thanks to a site called Personal Planner ( ). They give you some templates to choose from and you can pretty much build your perfect diary. You can choose the colour of pretty much everything – the cover, the borders inside, the clip-in ruler, the elastic that holds it closed… I really liked being able to choose my own cover image, putting an inspirational one on there that I had recently found on another great blog – . I think it’s the perfect cover for my Essential Writing Journal and might help me keep to my goals and be in that magical 8% this year!

I know that it is still going to be hard work – that never changes if you want to be successful at anything – but I am going to make this the year that it all pays off and become a published author! 🙂

So what are your 2014 resolutions? Are you planning on being in the successful 8%? What’s your plan for reaching them? Is the yearly planner something you could see yourself using? Leave a comment! 🙂