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sk lamont Reward Yourself Along the Way Stepping Stones to Your Goals

Reward Yourself Along the Way: Stepping Stones to Your Goals

sk lamont Reward Yourself Along the Way Stepping Stones to Your GoalsThis week’s post is a simple yet effective strategy that I have found extremely beneficial for getting my edits out the door. The last couple of weeks have been a tough road, and there’s nothing I hate worse than doing lots of hard work with no fun involved.

At the end of my first week I really wanted to throw in the towel, walk away, and do something fun like; watch a movie, play a game, have a glass of wine, read. Anything to get away from the task at hand!

The first week went really well, but coming into the second week when the task was taking longer than I expected, I could feel myself starting to flag.

Create stepping stones to support yourself on the way to your goal.

A Simple Strategy

Keeping momentum up for a week when I was really cranking was relatively easy, but the second week I began to slow right down. This simple strategy really helped me out, and I think it’s an important one to talk about, for those of us who are struggling to get to the finish line.

Delayed Gratification Goals

What I discovered, that worked well for me, over the last couple of weeks was delayed gratification; also known as—rewarding yourself for working your butt off, not now, but later. I started working in two or three hour chunks, and put a nice reward in place that I got to indulge in after I put my time in.

It didn’t have to be expensive or elaborate:

  • Like a new book on my kindle.
  • A new app for my phone.
  • A delicious desert.
  • A craft item that I’ve been after for a while.
  • At the end of the night a glass of wine to enjoy—don’t do this one in the morning, or it’ll really mess your day up!

Whatever floats your boat!

The Carrot and the Stick Method

My new reward system worked great when I stared implementing it half way through my mountainous journey. It gave me a new lease of life and made me excited about getting to my reward.

The reward only had to meet two criteria:
1) It was cheap and easy to make happen.
2) That I really really wanted it.

I also find having a bigger final goal reward in place for when you complete the entire piece, like going out to dinner, is a nice incentive, too.

Grand Finale Goal

Having a grand finale goal is always a great idea for when you complete a large project.

Reward Yourself Along the Way Stepping Stones to Your GoalsLike smoking a cigar and downing a bottle of champagne! All joking aside; I have heard of writers that celebrate when they complete a novel, by doing something unique that they always do when they reach their goal.

The Finish Line

I am proud to announce that I am finished at least with this part of the journey. So time to smoke my cigar and have some R&R, before the next leg of the journey begins, who knows what surprises lie ahead!

What are you thoughts?

I’d love to know what you think! What strategies have you used to get yourself to complete tasks? What do you do to hold yourself accountable? Or, have you found yourself walking away because the task at hand was too difficult? What is your special way to celebrate when you achieve your goals?

sk lamont Reward Yourself Along the Way Stepping Stones to Your Goals

Please share your comments in the comment box below, along with any other ideas you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you!

Oh, and don’t forget to enter my giveaway for an excellent writing resource: A Copy of Story Trumps Structure by Steven James

How do you stay on track?

Follow me on twitter @sk_lamont


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Is Your Emotional State Wrecking Your Goals?

sk lamont Focus The Power of Concentrated Effort

Focus – The Power of Concentrated Effort

sk lamont Focus The Power of Concentrated EffortSometimes I just want to get stuff done. Like those edits that have been lingering for far too long or that book I just want to get finished. So I get my head down and don’t lift it till the task is complete.

I know I can achieve anything I put my mind to, but it does require that I give it my all,* in effort and focus for a certain period of time.

*meaning it occupies the bulk of my thinking and gets the lions share of my time.

When you focus on what you want, everything else falls away.

Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in having great habits in place and chipping away everyday to make that goal happen.

Sometimes I need push

But, sometimes things get under my skin and drive me crazy, and, I feel like I don’t have the energetic effort required or the moxie to keep chipping away at it. In fact the chipping away is robbing me of joy everyday because the task at hand seems insurmountable. Like I’m going to be working on it FOREVER! That I’m NEVER going to finish.

I know from experience that if I let this feeling of hopelessness continue for too long, then I might end up loosing the project that I had so much passion for in the beginning.

When I get to this place, when I feel like I’m banging my head against a wall, and getting nowhere fast, I do the one thing that always seems to work for me …

I attack!

When I reach threshold I tell myself: I’m not dinging around with this anymore. It’s time to get it done.

Then I dive in.

Doesn’t matter what it is. As long as it’s something I absolutely want to achieve. And, it’s a must. And, it’s important.

But, if I’m not making progress, and I don’t see an end in sight…

Then I take the project and make it the number one priority in my life till it’s done.

I shoot it straight to the top of my list.

I make room for it in my life, I set a timeline, and I make a plan…

You can get a lot done when you decide you’re finished playing around.

sk lamont Focus The Power of Concentrated EffortThe important thing is to take your goal, break it up into manageable chunks, and schedule them in everyday. Then work like a dog till you complete your project. You may enjoy the process or you may not, it’s irrelevant. As long as you’re still connected to your initial vision you had for the project and your still committed, then you walk through fire till you get it done.

Now that imagery may seem a bit strong, but honestly sometimes you just have to commit all the way and do the work. Especially on long projects like writing a book, it’s a lot of work that has you invested for months to years.

What if a project has stalled out?

If a project has stalled out then maybe it’s time to get reconnected to that initial vision you once had:

  • What made you excited about it in the first place?
  • When you complete it what doors does it open up for you?
  • How will you feel when you know you didn’t take the easy path?
  • Just imagine how good you’ll feel with the end in sight, and when you finally cross that finish line!

So set a hard dead for yourself and get it done.

So why am I writing this blog post?

Focus - The Power of Concentrated EffortBecause, I set this task for myself this past Monday to complete all edits on my current manuscript, and to get it out the door to my editor by the end of the month. I have been working my butt of this week. My body hurts. I have assigned household tasks to other members of the family. Pizza has featured largely in this week’s dinner menu. But it doesn’t matter, I’m committed and determined that I will reach that finish line even if it kills me.

Yes, maybe a little extreme but it means I get the thing I want to get done–done!

“You can move mountains when you set your heart and mind to it!”

I take the week, stop all the tasks that are not a priority, like cleaning the house, watching movies, going out to dinner. I pull the plug on all of it, get my head down, and work my butt off till the task’s complete. It’s surprising how much you can get done when you decide too!

What are your thoughts?

I’d love to know what you think! Have you ever used concentrated effort to get a task done and been surprised by the results? Or, do you fail miserably in this department and seem to never complete your project, loosing hope with the lack of forward momentum? What measures have you gone to, to complete a task?

sk lamont Focus The Power of Concentrated Effort

Please share your comments in the comment box below, along with any other ideas you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you!

Have you ever just went for it?

Follow me on twitter @sk_lamont


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When Distractions are Driving You Crazy!

sk lamont Goals and Planning - When Things Go Wrong

Goals and Planning – When Things Go Wrong

sk lamont Goals and Planning - When Things Go Wrong

Okay, so I thought I would just throw this blog post up because of my ridiculously silly, January 1st, start to the new year!

Spending the last month planning my New Year’s Goals, having everything worked out in minute detail- I know I was already asking for it at this point- somebody get a big soft pillow and hit me over the head with it please. And being completely excited about getting going, my morning got of to a great start. My plan was set in motion with only a few small bumps, but generally I was feeling pretty happy with my progress.

When Silliness Strikes:

Sitting down to begin my two hours of slotted work-in-progress edits, I opened up my file to the sound of my daughter shouting from down stairs.

“Mom.”

“What’s up?” I called.

“I think there’s something up with the stove.”

Hmm, putting my computer to sleep I headed downstairs, little did I know at this point that my computer wouldn’t be waking up again till much later that evening.

Walking into the kitchen, my daughter’s two semi-runny unfried eggs stared up at me from the pan with their big sad eyes.

“How long they been in there?”

“20 minutes”

“How about we slide them out of there and we can finish cooking them in the microwave.”

Sliding the gooey mess from the pan and onto a plate, I popped them into the microwave to show off my prowess in the kitchen. I hit the button and watched in horror as the microwave light dimmed like some late 1800’s invention, as the plate slowly turned in the flickering light.

Goals and planning - When things go wrongPulling out the eggs one minute later, it appeared that the eggs may have congealed a little more, but they were definitely not cooking.

Being a determined kind of soul, I put the eggs back in and hit five minutes, staring desperately through the window, I watched them turn, as the lights over head flickered in unison. Being from Scotland I never grew up with an Easy-Bake Oven, but watching that plate turn slowly, I imaged this must be what it’s like hoping that a 40 watt light-bulb will produce beautifully baked delights.

“Go get Dad.”

“Daaaad!”

By this point I pulled out a kitchen chair and watched my intelligent husband play with our new Easy-Bake, as the enormity of the situation hit me, how I was going to have my next cup of tea, I boil a kettle on that stove, I thought. It’s my life blood.

About thirty minutes later, after trying various appliances around the house, and watching the kitchen lights grow dimmer every-time we hit a button, (though the toaster, worked a little too well for some bizarre reason, burning my last piece of rye bread too perfection!), my husband called the power company to discover that the most likely source was a voltage problem.

As we waited for some poor soul to be dragged into work, on his day off as it turned out, to assess the problem. I decided to go back to my computer determined to not let a little thing like loss of power stop me, as I sat down at my desk and hit the keyboard, hopeful since the toaster was apparently still in business, I discovered that my computer was selected as one of the lucky appliances in our house, to get New Year’s day off too, with the rest of the country. Fantastic.

I looked at my perfect writing plan printed out on my desk beside my keyboard and sighed.

So most of January 1st turned into sitting around waiting on a power company crew to turn up on a holiday and dig up our yard, whilst I proceeded to help my little boy build his Legos. Later I lay under the covers in bed reading a book, as it started to get colder and colder in the house, thinking, why didn’t this happen a couple of days ago when it was 70 degrees outside!

Anyway not one to miss an opportunity to learn something, here is what I learned, as far as planning and goal setting goes:

What I learned:

  • I’m not half as smart as I like to think I am.
  • I can easily fall into my old patterns, thinking that they are a great idea!
  • That I don’t need to throw the baby out with the bath water and start all over.
  • I have the ability to be flexible, if I bring lightness to the problem.
  • That having fun and building Legos is sometimes just what I need.
  • That leaving room to be spontaneous has its benefits!
  • That sometimes I just need to be reminded that being with my family, is more important than any silly plans I make.
  • To go with the flow and not let bumps in the road ruin everything, and look for opportunities to embrace the day anyway.

I still plan to forge ahead come Monday, but after having my plans messed up today, I took it as a sign to do some quick edits on my 2016 plan.

sk lamont Goals and Planning - When Things Go WrongSo I grabbed that meticulously printed out plan laying beside my dead keyboard and with a few quick strokes and listening carefully to that small still voice inside, I slashed everything before 10am off my list and everything after 8pm and felt the sweet ease of freedom slide in.

I’m an all or nothing kind of gal, but I also realized today that it’s important to have room to breath. So, these are my ‘no rules, do whatever I want to do’ times. I can work if I want, but I’ve giving myself the permission to be flexible.

I can be a bit slow sometimes! This ain’t the first time I’ve banged my head against this particular wall, hopefully this time it’ll stick!

Have you ever found yourself making great plans only to find them dashed against the rocks moments later? Or have you found a way to plan and follow through on your goals, that offers the flexibility to still get things done when your day goes awry. What is your experience with goal setting or planning?

sk lamont Goals and Planning - When Things Go Wrong

Why don’t you share some of your ideas in the comments box below, along with any other suggestions, or anything else you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you!

How do you plan?

Follow me on twitter @sk_lamont


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sk lamont Is Your Emotional State Wrecking Your Goals

Is Your Emotional State Wrecking Your Goals?

Is Your Emotional State Wrecking Your GoalsThis week I have the privilege of hosting guest blogger Franklin Thomas, having worked for Anthony Robbins for five and a half years as a Peak Performance coach, coaching over 1200 people from 36 different countries, he is an expert in helping individuals achieve success.

I have been focusing on goal setting for the past couple of weeks, so I thought it would be great to have Franklin share what it takes to achieve our goals, especially writing goals, that we set for ourselves in 2016. I hope you enjoy this post, please feel free to ask him any questions in the comments box below.

It’s not about setting goals…

Have you ever started something and didn’t make it to the finish line? We all have. When it comes to personal achievement there are several components to reaching success and it’s not always about settings goals. Setting a goal is important, however, if that’s all you do, it won’t be enough. For instance, we all know someone who has tried to lose weight and failed- they get a gym membership, change their eating habits, but fall short of their goal. On the other hand, we know people who followed the exact same strategy and achieved their outcome with great success. Why is that… why does someone fail and another reach success?

It’s all about emotional drive

In order to get where you want to go, you really need to have the drive to get you there. Drive is the intense emotional fuel that will catapult you to the next level. It will take you to new heights and in those moments where you start to experience resistance, drive will be there to help push you through and continue on. When you have the emotional drive, suddenly what would normally be work for you becomes effortless and easy. We can spot drive a mile away. For instance, when we watch an Olympic athlete, we can see it in their eyes, in their body and the way they move and breathe. We usually can spot the winner before they even cross the finish line – the signs are there! An athlete just didn’t get to the Olympics by accident – all of what you see is by his or her intention, fueled by an intense emotional connection to what they want. Emotional drive is the most important thing for you to cultivate – It will change everything!

So how do I get intense emotional drive?

Ask yourself the question… Is what I want to achieve just a desire, or is it a MUST?

Anyone can have a desire, but desire alone rarely gets us there. For example, I could desire to buy a new car, but if I don’t have enough emotional attachment to getting a new car, then I won’t go to a car dealership, look at cars, take a test drive, fill out the paperwork, and then drive one off the lot. However, if I change one word, from desire to MUST, then what happens? Consider the two statements below:

– I desire to write a book.

– I must write a book.

Which one of these has more energy? MUST of course. When you say must, there is already an expectation of the book getting finished.

So how is drive accomplished and how do I make what I want, a must?

It’s accomplished by three things:

Physiology: How you posture your body, how you breathe, and how you move.

Belief: What you hold to be true – what you focus on.

Language: What you verbally say out loud and your internal dialogue.

sk lamont Is Your Emotional State Wrecking Your GoalsThink about when a martial artist goes to split a stack of boards with his bare hands, how is he standing? His body is erect and grounded. He stands with confidence. His movements are fast and assured with precision. His energy is high. His breathing isn’t shallow or fearful, but it’s deep and strong. His focus is sharp – it’s only him and the stack. His focus is on the other side of the boards, not on the surface. He has fierce courage and if he doesn’t break through the first time, he instantly strikes again so that his mind does not even have the chance to process doubt. He does not let failure enter his mind. He says ‘Kiai’ (Hi-yah!) because to the martial artist, these words are how he expresses victory.

So how is he able to break through the board? He not only has developed the skills to do so, he also has created inside of himself the resourcefulness to achieve his outcome. If he approached breaking the boards with fear, uncertainty, depression, slow body movement, low energy and an internal dialogue that keeps instilling doubt, then we all know what his result would be – failure.

If you want to accomplish great things, then there must be a congruency between you and the thing you want to achieve.

As humans, we are stimulus response beings.

Everything you feel and all the emotions you have are tied to your body responding to the things you think about, what you believe and how you posture, move and breathe. To give you an example, we all know what it’s like to stand in confidence and we can all recognize a confident person when we see one.

There is a part of your brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the brain’s chemical plant. The only way you feel anything is because your brain creates the chemical for you to feel that emotion. For instance, when you stand in a posture of confidence, your brain at the unconscious level picks up on it, and then the hypothalamus starts producing the chemicals so that you start to feel confident. The same thing happens when it comes to belief. Whatever we believe to be true, at the deepest level becomes our reality and our hypothalamus churns the chemicals to support those beliefs. The same thing happens with language. Our unconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie. It only takes in what we repeat to it over and over and then eventually accepts it as truth. We all know what happens if someone tells a lie long enough? They end up believing it. The reason for this is, when they repeat it over and over again verbally, the unconscious mind picks it up and it becomes internal truth. Like the Proverb says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”.

So what now?

If you want success in the things you want to achieve, then you need to cultivate the emotional resourcefulness to get you there. The great thing about this is, we already know instinctively how to do this. Let’s try the following example. If you wanted to instill confidence in yourself, would you:

  • Stand – erect or slack?
  • Posture your face – would it be down or up?
  • Posture your shoulders – slumped or up?
  • What about your breathing – shallow or deep?
  • How about your movements – slow, or certain & fast?
  • Would you say to yourself – ‘I’m going to fail’ or ‘as long as I don’t give up, I can make anything happen’?
  • Would you create excuses why you can’t or would you need to believe there is always a way?
  • Would you tell yourself – ‘it will never work’, or ‘I can accomplish anything as long as I set my mind to it’?

The answers are pretty clear and the great thing about all of this is that YOU are in charge of it. You can posture your own body, you can replace any belief with a new one, and you can speak out of your mouth what you need to help you achieve success. You are already doing all of these things right now so why not do it so that it supports your outcome. Most of what we believe wasn’t derived from things we consciously considered, it came about as a result of experiences, some of which, we don’t even know their origin. The crazy thing is, we let some of these un-resourceful beliefs rule our lives, but the great news is we can change it in an instant. We just have the make the conscious decision to do so.

So let’s get practical, to start with, write down any dis-empowering beliefs that you have and then write the inverse. The more intense the empowering belief is, the better. You want it to crush the old belief. Also when you do this, you should be standing up and put yourself in a posture of the emotion that you want to create in your body. If you want courage, stand courageously. If you want certainty, stand in a posture of confidence. Then write it down and repeat, then own it!

For example:

Dis-empowering belief:

  • I’ll never write my book, I don’t have time.

Empowering belief:

  • My book is an absolute priority in my life, I will not let anything stand in my way.

It sounds a bit crazy and outrageous, but maybe crazy and outrageous is what you need right now. So try it on and then notice what works. Once you have practiced this several times, and you feel the shift, then it’s time to create strategies, goals and plans. How much better would it be, to be writing all of your goal setting from a emotionally resourceful place. How much more likely are you to continue towards your outcome if you practice this everyday?

What are some ways that you have fallen short in the past, how will you change that now? Or what are some great strategies that you have used in the past that worked great? Share them in the comments box below, I would love to hear from you!

sk lamont Is Your Emotional State Wrecking Your Goals

What’s on you goal list?

 


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Gathering my Writing Goals- Getting Ready for the New Year

sk lamont These are a few of my favorite things - what are yours

These are a few of my favorite things- what are yours?

These are a few of my favorite things – what are yours?

sk lamont These are a few of my favorite things - what are yoursIn last week’s blog post, I talked about gathering my goals and getting ready for the new year, I also talked about reflecting on my life currently- what could I have done better, what’s not great, how am I missing the mark? I started thinking of ways that I can improve.

This week I am doing the opposite, before finishing up the year and creating a brand new set of goals for next year, I like to put together a list of what is great in my life.

It’s all too easy to see what is wrong with our life- at least I think so anyway. We can easily be dissatisfied thinking we’re missing something, or how we can improve or where did we fail and miss the mark. As we draw towards the end of the year, I do like to put my life under a microscope and seek out areas in which I can improve. But it is also just as important to figure out what is great in my life. I like to slow down for a couple of days, take stock, put on some great music even, close my eyes and think about my life and what I love about it!

What is great about my life?

Here is some questions and exercises that I use to focus on what’s great:

What do I love about my life?
Who are the special people in my life?
Special pets?
What is a particular meal I love, or color, or outfit, (I’m a bit partial to fuzzy socks myself! )
How much I love tea!
What music really inspires me or makes me weep?
What movies have I fallen in love with this year, or old favorites.
Or great stories I’ve read?

What do I love?

I grab a journal and start jotting down all the things I love or have a special affinity for.

Oh you might say I’m grateful for nothing, I love nothing, nothing good is in my life. Well if that is the case, think deeper. You’re able to read this aren’t you, be thankful you can read, and write it down. I’m sure it’s been less than 24 hours since your last meal, if so write it. You probably own a pair of shoes I’m guessing, put that down! If you have to start small, start thinking about what you could be grateful for, maybe eventually your learn to love these things too.

These are a few of my favorite things

So I made my children watch The Sound of Music last Christmas, it was one of the movies I loved growing up, it used to get shown every year in my country around Christmas, so my brain has filed it a Christmas movie, along with all the classic James Bond movies

Anyway, I don’t think anyone was that impressed with my choice of movies! But I do love that song.
Here’s the link if you need some inspiration!

sk lamont These are a few of my favorite things - what are yoursA few of the lyrics as a reminder:

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things…

…When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

When I feel bad, out comes the list of memories and they help bring a little sunshine into my day. Then I go and enjoy some of the things on my list.

Here’s a few of mine:

My husband’s bristly beard

The soft touch of my two-year-old boy’s little cheek against mine

My first cup of tea in the morning

Walking in the woods, when the dappled sunlight filters through the leaves

The swirl of the ocean around my ankles, stealing the sand from under my feet

A good storm picking up around me and electrifying the air

Watching the rain rush towards me over the mountains, that moment right before it touches my face

Being cozy in my bed whilst a storm rages around the house

Coal fires crackling and the sound of rain outside the window

Okay so maybe I like storms a lot!

Then I write a list of magic moments

What has been a special moment today, this week, this month, this year.

Close your eyes and think about those special moments now, think about the people in your life, how do they look when they’re happy, when you’re playing around, think about special moments that put a smile on your face. When you just cuddled your pet, or went for a run, or danced this morning with wild abandon, or cozied up on the sofa with a good book.

Here are a few of my magic moments from this week:

This morning my little two-year-old son peeked around the door at me, looking sneaky- like a little pixie, expecting me to chase him, I did and he fell onto the floor giggling as I covered him in kisses.

Last night I enjoyed our wee Jack Russell as she ran around the bed doing turbo time, which basically means she goes crazy, running in circles, flying across the bed and then darts back under, before she attacks once more.

The other night I had fun in the kitchen, playing around and joking with my fifteen-year-old as we made dinner together.

Curling up in bed yesterday morning, with a good cup of coffee in one hand and a good book in the other.

These are a few of my favorite things - what are yoursI’m making a list and I’m checking it twice.

(actually I’m making two lists!)

What do I love?
What are some magic moments from this year?

One list is more general, the other more specific.

I want to make sure that I bring more of what is on my list with me into the new year, after all, these are the things that make my heart go pitter-patter and my spirit soar. Doesn’t have to be big things, in fact I find the smallest of things tickle me and bring me delight, and they are pretty easy to experience on a regular basis.

I like to think of it as soul maintenance, I think we can get all crumbly and dry on the inside if we don’t leave much room for the things that delight us in life.

Oh you might say, but they don’t contribute to my big goal this year or what I’ve decided is important. But the tiniest dose of joy is like rocket fuel and will give your purpose more drive, so don’t rob yourself of the things that make you happy.

After you’ve written your list don’t just file it away, keep it somewhere important, put it in a treasured place and pull it out frequently, when your feeling sad or when you just need to remember what is most in important in your life, when you feel truly alive.

It’s so important to stop and cherish what is great in our life, we’re always moving onto what’s next and sometimes forgetting what is now. If we don’t slow down from time to time to smell the roses, or the sweet fragrance that is already in our life, we might miss it all together. Then it is too late. When all we really do have left is memories, having missed the moment completely, where you can no touch and feel and taste and savor the richness that might be in your life right now.

Even if it’s an amazing cup of coffee or a smile from someone at the grocery store. Enjoy!

What are you grateful for? What are a few of your favorite things? What do you savor, enjoy? Who do you love, who loves you?

sk lamont These are a few of my favorite things - what are yours

Why don’t you share some of the items from your list in the comments box below, along with any other ideas or suggestions, or anything else you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you!

What’s on you list?

Follow me on twitter @sk_lamont

 


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Gathering my Writing Goals- Getting Ready for the New Year

sk lamont Gathering my Goals - Getting Ready for the New Year

Gathering my Writing Goals– Getting Ready for the New Year

sk lamont Gathering my Writing Goals - Getting Ready for the New Year Gathering my Writing Goals – Getting Ready for the New Year!

Being a former life coach has its advantages, it means I have the tools and strategies at hand to help me plan out my writing life and get it done! This week I’m sharing how I get ready to make the best use of my time in 2016, but gently does it now, the next two weeks are a time of preparation, or as I like to call it Goal Gathering Time.

Over the next two weeks I tune in to my inner life and listen closely.

Questioning my life

I like to ask the following questions:
What do I truly want?
Am I being congruent?
Is this the life I truly want to live?
How would I like to spend my days?
How can I live out my true authentic self?

Just because I’ve set a goal at some point in the past, does not mean it is still in alignment with what I truly desire today. So I like to take this time, to check in with myself and make sure I’m headed in the right direction. It’s easy to get off track and start pursuing something that once fulfilled you and no longer does. Or maybe you come to the realization that thing you thought you wanted no longer fulfills you, but it helped reveal a deeper part of yourself and now you know more of what you desire.

Hone your desire

What do I truly desire now?

When am I most at peace, most relaxed, most excited?
When do I feel truly alive?
Am I living my passion?
How can I bring more of that into my life?
What would it look like, sound like, taste like?

What do I want my life to look like?

I close my eyes and I imagine the perfect day

What would I be doing?
What is most important to me?
Am I spending time on what I say is more important, or do I let other tasks, get in the way?

Then I start gathering ideas and goals over the coming weeks, as I reflect on that vision, of living my life on purpose.

While most people are winding down for the holidays, I like to gather ideas and goals for the new year.

sk lamont Gathering my Writing Goals - Getting Ready for the New YearWhat new things would I like to see in my life or what I would like to maintain? I also reflect on my life currently- what could I have done better, how am I missing the mark? I start thinking of ways that can improve. I begin three lists, I put them in my phone or journal and start adding to them in the coming weeks.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

~ Benjamin Franklin

Between now and Christmas I gently start to collect thoughts and ideas for the new year. What I would like to see, or be, or continue, or bring in new?

 I add these goals and ideas to the following lists:

  • Add new
  • Maintain
  • Improve

My Writing Life

When it comes to my writing life specifically, I ask, what could I add to my life to make me a better writer?

Before getting into this, I would like to add a side note on the life wheel, this is a tool that is used in coaching to create a balanced life. I may in the coming weeks explore this a little deeper in a more holistic way, but for now suffice to say, that if the wheel is not balanced your life will feel ‘out of whack’ in some way or other. So even though I am focusing on writing, it is important to remember that writing may feel like our all, but we can’t make it our all, or in the end our writing will actually suffer, if our life is not more balanced.

It’s important for a writer to get out and live~

The following quote I think, sums up what I’m trying to say beautifully:

“In order to write about life first you must live it.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

Gathering my Writing Goals Getting Ready for the New YearThe Writer’s Life Wheel

Big Picture vs Little Picture

Big Picture

Contributes globally to my life, but at the same time enhances my writing, giving me more energy and inspiration to bring to my writing.

Here’s a glimpse of some things on my list:

Get on my pottery wheel and throw pots
Dance
Exercise
Spend more time hugging and playing with my kids.
Research inspirational trips, where do I want to go this year-
– Maine
– Biltmore Estate
– Castles
– Turquoise Oceans

Little Picture

Enhances my writing life directly and obviously.

What do I want to learn?
How to write a series
Deepen characters
Books I want to read

I start collecting like a little squirrel for the bigger work that comes the week after Christmas. This is when I like to plan my next year in full, for now I like to keep this stage of gathering light and have fun with it. I have done this process since I became a coach back in 2000, this will be my 15th year of gathering. I love this time of year, so exciting, so full of promise. In the coming weeks I will be collecting and hiding away ideas, for ‘goal-setting’ week, where I’ll start setting down some hard deadlines.

Please share your comments in the comment box below, along with any other ideas you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you!

What are some of the things you hope to achieve in 2016? How do you hold yourself accountable? What fun ways to do you add another layer of learning into your life? Or what areas do you know you need to improve in? I’d love to know, please share in the comments box below.

What are your goals?

Follow me on twitter @sk_lamont

 


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