I wish that I could say that the answer is always “yes” but the truth is sometimes it is not. This is a great time to take stock and make course corrections before the year ends.
November is National Novel Writing month. For folks who take the challenge, the goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Most of you are not interested in writing a 50,000-word novel in November, or any time soon; however, many of you do have projects or career goals that you had planned to complete by year’s end. I am going to take a wild guess that, like me, you have not made as much progress as you would have liked on some of those goals.
Why not apply the idea behind the 30-day writing challenge to take action on one or more of the items this year’s agenda?
Here are some tips to help you get started.
Get inspired. Reconnect with the sense of excitement that your initially felt as you looked ahead at the new year. Select the goal that you felt most passionate about but that somehow got lost in the minutiae of daily living. Do you want to update your résumé? Go after your dream job? Save money for a family vacation? Post your goal and something that represents it where you will see it all day, every day.
Identify your support team. These are the people who going to egg you on to greatness. Tune out the naysayers, in fact, don’t even share your intentions with them since doing so will only encourage their negativity.
Break your goal into daily pieces. Given all of the other factors at work in your life, what can you get done every day? Up the ante a bit and create a daily stretch goal. Taking lukewarm or intermittent action isn’t going to get you where you want to go.
Make your progress visible. Will a checklist help you? Would calling your friend daily with a progress report keep you inspired? Or, would posting your progress on Facebook work better? Do whatever you need to do to inspire action. You may discover partway through that your tracking mechanism isn’t motivating you. So what? Change things up. There are lots of right ways to approach your goal.
Factor in regular pep talks from yourself and your support team. Give yourself credit for taking on the hard work of making your life match your aspirations. Ask your support team for inspiration when you need it; don’t try to willpower your way through the difficult moments on your own.
Build in tantalizing incentives. When taking on a challenge the carrot is more far more effective than the stick. Identify specific rewards for achieving daily and weekly benchmarks.
Jump in with both feet. Now imagine the sense of accomplishment and relief that you will feel when you wrap up the year.
Celebrate your success and approach the holidays with a sense of real satisfaction. Congratulations, you are awesome!