Tag Archives: year of clarity

Mini Check-up: Where are you on your goals for 2010?

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According to my calendar, July 1 will bring us to the 182nd day of 2010, leaving us with 183 days to complete our goals for this year.  Time to check in. Are you on track? What were your goals for 2010? Did you name your year: select one big theme that all the little goals culminate under?

Mine is The Year of Clarity. On Dec. 31, 2009, I posted my goals for 2010. Click here for a recap.

So far, I’ve accomplished a few of the goals on my list. I feel a bit overwhelmed with these lofty sights I’ve set. (Especially the early morning workouts!*smashes alarm clock*) However, I need to remember that life is unpredictable. Having goals is important, but having the flexibility to move with the ebb and flow of life is critical for my sanity and my momentum.

My husband started a business this year, which has shifted the schedules in our household. My day job has become more time- and mind-consuming, prompting me to focus my waning energy on one specific writing goal (i.e. novel completion vs. essay/article writing and submitting.) And, I’m struggling with my addiction to reading and research which takes up my scheduled writing time.

What unforeseen things happened that (temporarily) derailed your plan for 2010?

Are you allowing flexibility in your list? Maybe your goals changed due to some new information or insight about yourself and what you really want to accomplish.  Share with us! And check back in for the Official 6-month Check-Up on July 1.

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Topsy-Turvy: finding balance

{image courtesy of foresightculture.com}

 

What is that called when you receive a “message” at just the right time? You know, when things just become clear. An “Ah-ha” or “epiphany” or Kismet? A coincidence, a quinky-dink, fate? 

Well, the night after my husband and I had an argument, I received Christina Katz’s newsletter The Prosperous Writer in my inbox. The theme? BALANCE. Ah-ha! 

The argument between my man and me was about, again, my writing/computer time and how he feels like low man on the totem pole. Last on my list of priorities is how he stated it, actually. Ouch. It hurt me that I hurt him that way. But, where do you draw the line? If a deadline is looming, how do you shut off that “entrepreneur” part of your brain to get into sexy spouse mode? Or even carefree mommy-mode? That’s balance, people. Something I’m apparently lacking. 

Feeling like I’ve been turned upside down and around, my day job, my writing and teaching goals and my role as wife and Mom have come unhinged on the priority pole. Time to take a number. But, who/what comes in first? Of course, the P.C. answer would be “your kids!”  “your husband!” And that’s true. People relationships are the foundation for the rest of it. If my kids and husband aren’t as excited about my writing and teaching career as I am, well, I can still be successful, but lonely. And I imagine it’s not much fun at the top if there’s no one there to clink glasses with. 

Though, I’m not prepared to say goodbye to the writing and teaching opportunities that I have grown in the past several years. Maybe I do need to prepare to say, “let me get back to you.” For instance, now when someone presents me with an opportunity and asks, Hey, would you be interested in-  “YES!” I interrupt. Trigger-happy. I’ve gone through this before and paid for it by experiencing slight burnout and major attitude issues, including exhaustion, doubt and anxiety. Sound familiar to anyone else? 

Christina says that sometimes this imbalance is the best thing to set us straight again. And again. (in my case!) And remember my Year of Clarity? Quinky-dink? It’s time to reassess my goals in relation to my time and find that balance. How am I going to do this? Let me count the ways… 

  • Decide which projects I’m already committed to and note their deadline(s)
  • Figure out the timeline(s) leading up to these due dates, i.e. the amount of time I’ll need to prepare, edit and present or submit these projects, then break them into bite-size pieces
  • Discuss with my family how much time I’ll need per week to achieve these goals, making sure everyone is in agreement that I’ll be “unavailable” on certain evenings and that it won’t interfere with family obligations: band concerts, school open house, my husband’s work schedule.
  • Communicate! Write on our kitchen calendar the times I’ll be “working” and out of the house.
  • Stick to it. When I’m not on the calendar as “working” I need to release the responsibilities. Meaning? No checking emails. No updating Twitter. No researching online or checking in with my writing group.
  • Use my off days to: start a scrapbook with Sam, take David to the basketball hoops, cuddle with my husband, try a new crock pot recipe, play with Comet (my bird), read for pleasure, take a walk, have a movie night, play Rockband, etc.
  • Before I say “yes” to any more opportunities, I need to Stop. Drop. And Roll. Stop before speaking. Drop the idea by my family, considering how much time this will take from them. Roll it through my ultimate goals filter – does it fit within my plan for “Getting Known?” or is it just another to-do?

  

These steps will be a struggle for me, I know. But the first step is admitting there is a problem, in my case: imbalance. 

How about you? 

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Filed under Advice, Deadlines, goals, Organization, Perseverance

2010: The Year of Clarity

At the end of each year, I like to look forward: forward to the days and months ahead and how I will best enjoy, work, play and reach for my goals.

So, 2010 will be dubbed The Year of Clarity. My mission is to refocus my talents and align my true passions with what brings me most joy: writing & submitting fiction and personal essays, teaching my young writer classes, and hosting authors on my blog. Everything else can fall to the wayside and the world will not actually implode. Fascinating.

Cool thing I discovered, is that when you focus on something, The Law of Attraction brings people and opportunities and other instances into your line of vision.  Example: yesterday I received Chris Brogan’s monthly e-newsletter which had a similar theme  to clarity: ecosystems

“Translating that, “ecosystems” means that for every project I take on, I’ll ask whether it fits any of my existing platforms, whether it’s something that can grow beyond a standalone project, whether it’s something that helps grow my existing ecosystems, etc. The point being that everything has to match up, and I can’t keep saying yes to things that come along, just because they’re awesome.”

Are you a “yes” person? Are you overwhelmed? Think there’s a connection there?

I love Chris Brogan’s idea of ecosystems, building upon an existing platform.

As part of my Clarity for 2010:

  • I’ll be purging paper: many, many issues of magazines, print outs of articles and writers’ guidelines (I can find everything on-line, after all) – look for giveaways on my blog next year!
  • Restructuring my young writers’ classes so that my lesson plans can grow with me – not be recreated for each teaching session.
  • I will also discipline myself to workout in the morning whether Pilates, yoga or toning (Because there is ALWAYS a reason not to do it midday) and I feel so cruddy if days of sloth have gone by.
  • (Biting my lip I say this) I will not join or otherwise commit to any more projects/organizations/volunteer groups/invitations to write for free (that hurt a little)
  • Find balance between teaching/helping other writers and focusing on my own writing: i.e. during my teaching sessions just focus on my lesson plans and student work with journaling for myself. Work on my own drafts and submitting in between teaching gigs.
  • Continue my use of lists, but be more realistic and forgiving (give myself a lot less to do until I can master one or two things – instead of being spread way too thin)
  • Scale back on the mass amounts of research/reading about writing and refocus on the actual writing. I’ll do this by canceling many of my google alerts and free email subscriptions. There is such a thing as too much information! ; )
  • And most importantly, Have assigned writing days/time slots to work (without too much internet use -I’m very easily distracted.) Outside of these set writing times, I need to learn to let it go and focus on the people in my life, including myself.

So, what are you guys going to focus on in 2010? Write it down. Make it happen. Let’s keep each other accountable, shall we?

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Filed under Advice, Believe, goals, Organization, Platform/Marketing