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Resolutions gone? Now’s the time for real goals.

Okay, I admit I’m a fan of the whole goal thing. Resolutions are nice but without the practicality of a working plan, they’re often obsolete 24-hours later. For more than five years, the members of my Artist’s Way group celebrated the turning of the year with an annual recap of the ending year and an annual plan for the new one. During the month of December we would review the year. No dilly-dallying for us. We went through the goals beginning with January and reviewed our quarterly check ups and made an end-of-the year assessment of what we had accomplished, how our plans had mutated and often grown, and how we felt about the year’s accomplishments. We looked at all areas of our lives but particularly focused in our chosen field, whether art or writing or music. As the year turned we divested ourselves of any bad feelings, thoughts of could-as and should-as, and readied ourselves mentally and emotionally for the beginning of a new year and a new cycle.

Of course we all tended to have resolutions as the New Year rang in but January proved to be a month of formulating our goals, plans, and strategies for the months ahead. By the first of February the holidays had passed from our lives and minds, the new year crazy resolution fever had departed, and we were ready for the real work.

Today is the first of February, 2005. Where are you on this year’s plan? Have you brushed off the resolutions and turned away from the first rush of goals and promises? That’s okay. Now you have the rest of the year to enact a few serious, realistic goals and set your tapping fingers to work to make them happen.

To nudge you in the right direction, take a look at  Michael Hyatt’s blog Working Smart–The alternative to working hard! and his Goal Setting: The 90 Day Challenge post. Mr. Hyatt is Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Christian publisher and the ninth leading publisher overall. A writer and a former literary agent, Hyatt knows something about what it takes to get published. I second his praise for Henriette Klauser’s book Write It Down, Make It Happen and have seen first-hand the power of goal setting not only in my life but in the lives of others. Why not spend some time today thinking about your writing goals and take his 90 Day Objective challenge?

To help you get through the next ninety days, click over to writer W. Terry Whalin’s site and read Karen O’Conner’s article Organize Your Time and Space in Under Two Minutes. Whalin’s a prolific writer and his website (www.right-writing.com) is chock full of interesting information and is a great resource you’ll want to bookmark. You might want to check out his blog The Writing Life, too. As both an editor and writer, he provides great insights into the writing life and the publishing industry, and his post on January 30th reveals how much importance he thinks story has in the development of a bestseller.

So what, you may ask, are my objectives? Well, for the next ninety days (May 01, 2005), I plan to (1) finish the final editing on my second teen novel and send it to the publisher; (2) attend TLA (Teacher-Librarian Association annual Texas meeting); (3) finish the first version of my new TeensTakeAction site; (4) take at least two photography walkabouts and print and frame new photographs; (5) declare a moratorium on formal deadlines; and (6) take some time and relax.

Your turn. 


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