If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a fabulous one. If not, I hope you’re enjoying the winter. We had snow in Virginia, and I know many of my Southern Magic friends in Alabama did as well. I’m not a cold weather lover per se, but I love how beautiful everything looks covered in snow.
So now that Christmas is over, I’m looking forward to the new year and the promise that it holds. This week is when I take stock of the previous year’s goals and accomplishments and start thinking about what I want to accomplish in the next 12 months, both personally and professionally.
Since I can’t directly control the outcomes I really want—land an agent, get published, lose five pounds—I focus on the things I can control. Things like how much I write/edit each day, how many agents I query, how many class proposals I submit, how many minutes a day I work out.
But having goals doesn’t mean anything if I write them down and stick them in a drawer never to be seen again. I need to break them down into smaller chunks of months, weeks, and days. Then I have to make room for them in my schedule. Otherwise, with blogs and TBR piles to get through, friends and family to spend time with, volunteer work, errands to run, and a house to keep, it’s easy to get sidetracked.
I’m a master procrastinator, but I’m also competitive, so setting goals gives me the accountability and push I need. That’s one reason I did NaNoWriMo this year. It was a stretch goal, but once I told everyone I was doing it, I couldn’t stand the idea of failing.
And when it was over, I finally cleaned the bathrooms and ate dinner with my family again.
So, are you setting specific goals for 2011 or taking a more casual approach? What strategies do you use to make sure you meet them, or at least make a good effort?
One lucky commenter will receive EAT THAT FROG by one of my favorite time management gurus: Brian Tracy. Happy holidays!