What’s the Plan?

Pennsylvania is experiencing the heaviest snowfall of the year – so far. The white stuff is beautiful, but traveling is terrible – just another year in the making. With that being said, it’s time to get busy and plan your year, if you haven’t already. Let’s look at three areas that might help.

Analyze Last Year’s Goals

Think about last year’s goals. Did you plan on writing a novel? Maybe starting a blog was on the list last year. Maybe something you wanted to edit.

Now, what did you actually accomplish? What goals did you meet? What still needs work? Maybe you can write a dozen drafts in a year, but you take much longer to edit. Or maybe you can edit a dozen novels, but in writing them, you proceed much slower. Use last year’s goals and accomplishments as a kind of roadmap to get you where you need to be in the coming year. Play to your strengths and give yourself lots of time and patience for tasks you know will cost you more.

Step Down Your Goals (Just a Little)

I know that sounds counter-productive, but think where the past two years have taken us. Our world has changed dramatically (thanks or no thanks to COVID), and it’s necessary to reexamine how we accomplish things. It’s a brand new ball game with new rules which affect almost all we do.

Lowering your goals just a bit may help you adjust. You can always overachieve if the goals are too low. It may mean being willing to write a first draft rather than deliver an entire novel in print by the end of the year.

It may also mean setting smaller goals along the way to reaching bigger goals. You may still get that novel completed, but it may mean fewer words per day or week. These in-between steps matter as much as the ultimate goal. Break the goal into steps you can handle and complete. Don’t get overwhelmed. That’s a sure way to miss the mark.

Plan for Breaks

Like it or not – or believe it or not, breaks are important. Nobody is exempt from the possibility of burnout. Save yourself the trouble and intentionally plan to have a week off here and there. The necessity of taking a break is real, but also, it might inspire you to work harder as you look forward to the break.

You will need to allow room in your schedule for unplanned breaks. Emergencies happen frequently, and they don’t a;ways pick a good time to occur. You need to have space in your overall schedule to allow for them.

Regardless of what you schedule. You just need to schedule. With nothing planned, very little will be accomplished. You know the old saying, “Aim at nothing, and you will hit nothing.”

Well, there you have it. See you next Wednesday.



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