“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

-Walt Disney

The Business Insider has affirmed, " 80% of New Year's resolutions fail by February." Many do not realize how common it is for somebody to give up on their resolutions in a matter of weeks. Each adult I know has gotten to the point of not even making a declaration for the year, which, in my eyes, is considerably disappointing. We all have potential as individuals; we could be recognizing our faults and making an effort to better ourselves. Celebrating a new year should be a fresh start for all of us to improve.

Okay, okay. Yes, this sounds like something you hear in a self-help book, but no matter at how one looks at it, it's the truth... although, it is not all of it.

What I wondered about around New Year's is not what to do for my resolution, but how I am going to operate to keep it. I determined to become better at my art and writing this year because I hope to become a prominent author and illustrator. Very soon I realized that I had no plan, or my idea was too vague to really know what I was doing. So how did I continue to practice and keep my promise to myself so far?

"Vision without action is daydream. Action without vision is nightmare."

-Japanese Proverb

I believe that the reason a person does not complete their goal is that they do not have a plan. Say, for instance, one wanted to lose weight this year. They start off really motivated. They restock their fridge with only organic food, buy a brand new treadmill and even collect an incredible and rocking ABBA playlist. They run whenever they can for the rest of the next two weeks. They only eat that disgusting carrot and grain bar.  They start to push theirself to have no sweets, and they must run every day.

They end up giving up.

This is a typical scenario of somebody wanting to lose weight for the new year. The point of me telling you this particular situation was to demonstrate that going into something without careful planning is probably, in my opinion, not going to work out.

I have done something similar to this! I said I was going to write one page of my novel every day. Can you guess that it failed miserably? I still only have half a page! If just I planned it a little better...

How does one plan a goal in detail? Well, this is what I did.

"Failing to plan is planning to fail."

- Alan Lankein

I got a piece of paper and wrote my goal down.

Really.

Alright, maybe not just that. I wrote it down and told myself how exactly I was going to do it.

In the top margin, I wrote my primary goal, which was,  "Become a better artist." Underneath it, on the first line, I wrote down why it was important.

The why is exceptionally significant; it's what keeps me motivated not to give up. If I just said, "I want to become a better artist because it would be nice and helpful," I would never be able to keep going. I needed a specific reason, so I wrote down, "I want to become a better artist because I want to make children happy when they look at my books."

Below that, I recorded little, specific steps to obtain my aim. My first step was to, on Mondays, choose a painting or drawing to make, and analyze it carefully to get the natural "gist" of the colors. Next, put it in action by working on it little by little every day at seven o'clock for at least ten minutes. I try my best to finish it by Sunday that week. Practicing art helps build my skills.

I originally wanted to practice drawing for an hour each day, but in the long run, this was not obtainable because of my school work and other commitments. I realized that I had to make an adjustment. I understood that I had to set goals that are realistic to my lifestyle.

All I have to do now is stick with it. Psychology Today claims that it takes an average of sixty-six days for something to form into a habit, not 21 days like many think it does, but everyone's amount of days to create a pattern is different.

This technique can work for any purpose. I make sure to put that paper in a place I see it each day.

"You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream."

- C.S. Lewis

Our lives are up to us. We are the masters of our ships. We are the only ones who can do something to change the life we have. No one else is going to do it for you, not even if they are the most motivational person or helpful friend; the only one who has control is you.

Even if your goal seems impossible, there is always a way to learn. Always.

I challenge you just to be the best you this year. Our planet certainly needs it.

"All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them."

-   Walt Disney