Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year, new approaches.

As the New Year approaches, I've already adopted some new attitudes and habits. I'm reading and learning rather voraciously every single day. I'm doing crazy stuff to keep my head in my novel, like having Twitter conversations with my protagonist. I'm starting to exercise, which I'm hoping I eventually stop loathing.

Here are the three things I'm doing, productivity-wise, to keep myself on track with my big picture:

Maintaining a Done List. I started the Done List at the end of this year, and I love keeping it. All I do is print a calendar, and in the box for each day, I write the significant things I did that day. 

For example, I go to work 5 days a week, so I won’t write “Went to work”—that’s too ordinary. But if I got a written compliment from a company executive regarding one of my projects, or I finished and was satisfied with a major project, I’ll note that. I’ll also make a note of any learning I completed (for example, completing a module of the social media course I’m taking, or reading a helpful ebook about creative habits) and any relevant writing I did (novel-writing and revising, freelance articles, short stories, and poems all count!).

Essentially, this provides me with motivation and a sense of accomplishment. I’m less likely to beat myself up for not doing enough when I can look back on a written record of what I’ve done. 

Giving myself measurable half-year (not full-year) goals. In general, my goals include making progress with my writing and losing those last few pounds. I’m setting specific goals to work on January through June, and then I’ll evaluate my progress at the end of June and switch up my goals where necessary and to build upon milestones I achieved.

Writing and social media:
Write 1 short story or poem each month.
Read and re-outline first Emerson book.
Finish social media management course.
Begin revising first Emerson book (May/June, after anticipated move).

Weight loss:
Begin exercising 5 days a week.
Keep tracking food.
Aim to lose 1-2 pounds each month, for a total loss of 6-12 pounds over 6 months. (I am already in the “healthy weight” category for my height, so I only need to lose a little bit, and am comfortable making slow progress.)

Focus on writing, but not completely. In addition to getting serious about writing, it’s good for me to take on other activities that can boost creativity and happiness (all of which leads to me writing better). Those activities include fun in the kitchen (learning how to make macarons, learning how to make quiche), being crafty (learning jewelry-making basics, stepping up my paper-crafting game), reading more often (I’m aiming to read for a bit each night before bed), and reconnecting with friends.

What are you doing to kick ass in the New Year?  :)

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