Create a Yearly Plan to Beat Your Resolutions: 6 Freelance Writer’s Tips to Achieve Success

It's that time of year again - the start of a new year, and with it comes the annual tradition of making New Year's resolutions. 

We all know the drill: we make a list of goals and resolve to make positive life changes. 38.5 % of adults in the US make new year’s resolutions, but 23% fail within the first week. Like most people, you may struggle to maintain the motivation and focus needed to make real progress.

That's why, this year, we're suggesting a different approach: creating a comprehensive plan for the year ahead. This blog post will explore why a yearly plan is better for setting and achieving your goals. And we'll provide tips for creating your plan of action. 

So, if you're tired of making resolutions you never seem to stick to, keep reading!

Why most new year’s resolutions fail

The number one reason is that most people set unrealistic goals. They make grandiose resolutions like "lose 50 pounds in a month" or "run a marathon" without considering the time, effort, and commitment required to make these changes. As a result, they quickly become discouraged and lose motivation.

Another reason is that New Year's resolutions often lack sustainability. They may focus on short-term changes rather than building long-term, sustainable habits making it difficult to maintain progress over the long haul.

Also, New Year's resolutions can be too vague and lack specific, measurable targets, making it difficult to track progress and stay motivated.

They can also be too rigid, leading to feelings of stress and pressure. If people don't see immediate results or encounter setbacks, they may become discouraged and give up.

Overall, it's clear that many factors contribute to the failure of New Year's resolutions. Many people set themselves up for failure from the start. Taking a different approach from the norm may be the answer.

Creating a comprehensive yearly plan

You need more than hurriedly scribbled goals and sheer willpower to achieve them. With a yearly plan, your chances of success are higher. You start by self-reflection to determine your priority and values. Values provide the north star of your plan. It can change or evolve, but it is always there to guide you. 

The following strategies will help you create a plan you can follow all year long for success.

1. Identify your values and priorities

Before setting goals, it's important to take some time to reflect on what's most important to you. What are your values and priorities in life? Understanding what matters most to you can help guide your goal-setting process.

For example, you may value family above all else. In that case, your priority might be to spend more quality time with your loved ones. Or you may value personal growth and development, meaning your focus might be to invest in your education by taking on new challenges and learning opportunities.

Whatever your values and priorities, keep them in mind as you set your goals. It will ensure that you focus on the things that truly matter and that your goals align with your values.

2. Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals

Now that you've identified your values and priorities, it's time to start setting some goals! But not just any goals - SMART goals.

SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. They are clear and actionable and provide a roadmap for achieving your objectives.

Here are a few examples of SMART goals for a freelance writer:

  • Specific: Write and submit two articles per week to online publications.
  • Measurable: Increase my monthly writing income by 25% within the next six months.
  • Achievable: Pitch at least three new clients per week and aim to secure at least one new writing project per month.
  • Relevant: Focus on writing about personal development and wellness, as these topics align with my values and interests.
  • Time-bound: Complete a minimum of one writing course within the next three months to improve my skills and knowledge.

By setting SMART goals, you'll be able to clearly define what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there. As a result, staying focused and progressing toward your objectives will be easier.

3. Break your goals down into smaller, more manageable steps

Now that you've set your SMART goals, it's time to start breaking things down into smaller, more manageable steps. It will make it easier to stay focused and make progress.

Let's go back to our examples from step 2:

  • Specific: "I will write and submit two articles per week to online publications."

To make this goal more manageable, you could break it down into smaller steps like:

  • Researching and outlining article ideas
  • Writing a rough draft of one article per week
  • Editing and revising your drafts
  • Submitting your finished articles
  • Measurable: "I will increase my monthly writing income by 25% within the next six months."

To make this goal more manageable, you could break it down into smaller steps like:

  • Identifying new potential clients to pitch to
  • Crafting personalized pitch emails
  • Following up on pitches and negotiating rates
  • Keeping track of your income and progress toward your goal

By breaking your goals down into smaller, more manageable steps, you'll be able to stay focused and make progress toward your objectives.

4. Create a plan of action that includes deadlines and milestones

Now it's time to create an action plan. The plan should include specific tasks or steps that you will take to achieve your goals, as well as deadlines and milestones to help you stay on track.

Let's continue with our example of increasing your monthly writing income by 25%. Your plan of action might include tasks like:

  • Pitching at least three new clients per week
  • Following up on pitches and negotiating rates
  • Completing one writing course within the next three months to improve your skills
  • Setting a deadline of six months to reach your goal of a 25% increase in income

By setting deadlines and milestones, you'll be able to measure your progress and adjust your plan as needed to stay on track.

5. Seek out a support system

Achieving your goals is not a solo endeavor. Having a support system in place helps you stay motivated and on track. The system includes friends, family, or a coach or mentor who can provide encouragement, accountability, and guidance.

As a freelance writer, you might seek out the following types of support:

  • A writing group or community where you can connect with other writers, share ideas, and get feedback on your work
  • A coach or mentor who can provide guidance and support as you work towards your goals
  • An accountability partner who can help you stay on track and motivated
  • A virtual assistant or intern who can help with tasks like research, editing, or administrative work, freeing up more time for you to focus on writing

Having a solid support system in place can make a big difference in your success as a writer. So don't be afraid to reach out and ask for help when you need it.

6. Be flexible

As you work towards your goals, remember that it's important to be flexible. Life is unpredictable, and you may encounter unexpected setbacks or challenges. That's why it's important to be open to adjusting your goals as needed.

Back to our goal of increasing writing income by 25% within the next six months. Along the way, you may encounter obstacles that prevent you from making as much progress as you'd hoped. You may struggle to find new clients or have trouble balancing your writing work with other commitments.

In this case, adjusting your goal or plan of action might be helpful to fit your needs and circumstances better. You may need to focus on finding new clients more aggressively, or you may need to adjust your schedule to allow more time for writing.

By being flexible and open to adjusting your goals as needed, you'll be better equipped to stay on track and make progress toward your objectives./


The yearly plan is not set in stone. As you continue working on your goals, you may find your life taking a new direction. Your plan should also follow suit and grow with you. It is a living being that evolves as you make progress and desire to achieve more.

If you're tired of making New Year's resolutions that you never seem to stick to, try creating a yearly plan instead. Following the step above can set you up for success in the year ahead.

So don't wait - start planning for success today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top