It can be easy to follow a new diet, a new exercise routine, a cleaning schedule or just about any thing that you can list right here for just one day. It isn’t the one day that is difficult, but it is the day after or the day after or the day after. No matter what it is that you are attempting to do in your life, consistency is a key component.
1. Have a plan. Being consistent in what you want is easier if you have a plan set up to help you get there. Think of the plan as a map that will lead you to your purpose or goal. Make your plan personal to your style – it can be a list of things that need to be done, it can be an hourly schedule or it can be a time line set up to show the how, the when and the ultimate goal of it all.
2. Set smaller goals along the way. Thinking about losing 100 lbs can seem impossible (unless you are on The Biggest Loser Ranch) and your ultimate goal may be to publish a book, to make a living off a blog or to leave your current 9 to 5 job to write full time. Setting goals that are too overwhelming can derail your efforts. Think about baby steps. What will you do this week to get one chapter written? What will you do today to build your unique visitors by just 10%? Break your ultimate goal into smaller goals and you will find that with each accomplishment comes a surge of energy to help you push on.
3. Become accountable. The reason people tend to be more successful at accomplishing tasks in a work environment or group situation is because of the accountability that comes from being around other people. Start a writing group. Put your goals in writing and sign a contract to complete those goals. Have your fellow writers witness the contract and agree to encourage you along your path. Knowing that someone else is watching out for what you are doing (or not doing) is sometimes enough to keep you going in the right direction.
4. Be realistic. It is okay to shoot for the moon, but make it the one orbiting Earth. Keep your goals far fetched but attainable. You are NOT going to get an 8 million dollar signing bonus for your first book (unless you’ve been married to certain Presidents) so setting a goal like that will only lead to disappointment, discouragement and difficulty reaching out towards new goals in the future. Look at the normal publishing world and situations and aim for something in or just above the norm.
5. Give yourself a reward when you reach different points of your success. Have a list of rewards as part of your plan so that you know what you are working towards for each level of accomplishment. Think of these as bonus pay for a job well done. It could be a day at the spa, a day at the beach or a day reading a good book and doing little else. Make your rewards something that you wouldn’t normally do so that you will work for the treat.
Becoming a successful freelance writer is no different than finding success in any aspect of your life. You have to be consistent in your pursuit of the purpose. That means that each and every day you have to step out in the plan and push to make the plan a reality.