One Trick to Reach Your Goals in 2014

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My new dream & workspace--a vintage desk.
My new dream & workspace--a vintage desk.

My new dream & workspace–a vintage desk.

At this time of year, the advice pouring in from every corner of the internet overwhelms me. Do more of X. Find better ways to do Y. Don’t forget to spend time on Z. Where do we start?

In working through Donald Miller’s Storyline workbook, I’ve come to love the “decision filter” the process provides. (In case you missed that post, you can check out How to Live a Better Story in 2014  ).

But I found out I still need one more thing.

I can dream and plan from now until next December, but until I actually SCHEDULE time for these things in my day, none of them will get done. They will still be wishes on a list.

Scheduling time puts feet on a dream. It takes an idea from theory to action.

So I asked myself, and invite you to ask the same: What ONE THING am I absolutely determined to work towards this year?

That’s what’s going at the top of the list. And at the start of every day.

Will it take longer than we think it will? Always. It’s like a home improvement project: it always takes twice as long and requires 3 or more trips to the home improvement store.

For this month, I’m focusing on item number one of my goals for the year. I will probably do a bit on some others, but ONLY AFTER I’ve worked on number one.

I want to live a better story this year. Working towards priority one and living that story will be where I start. Join me?

What one thing will you focus on this January to reach your goals? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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CONGRATS to Kim Lacognata, who won my December newsletter contest. Kim will get a signed copy of Angel Falls and a mini bolga basket handmade in Ghana.

If you haven’t signed up to receive my newsletter, I hope you will. I’m planning more fun giveaways this coming year.

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    The Conversation

  1. The first item on my list of writing goals this year, Connie, is to write and submit 12 short magazine stories, one per month. I decided this is my top goal as those stories bring in the most cash.

    So, I’ve nearly completed story #1 and have one week to finish and submit for the April issue deadline.

    Taking small steps is the only way for me to go. My yearly goals can overwhelm me. lol

    • Connie Mann says:

      Good for you, Susan! I know it’s hard to narrow the focus and pick one thing. And I totally get feeling overwhelmed. 🙂 I love that you’ve almost finished the first story. Cheering you on!! Go, Susan!

  2. Well Connie, I figure if I get up three hours BEFORE I go to bed, quit eating (and thus grocery shopping, cooking, doing dishes, etc.) stop cleaning my house and generally fall into sloth, I’ll have time to WRITE! Wouldn’t it be bliss … So, I guess the first thing on my list is: give up sleep. LOL

    • Connie Mann says:

      Laura, you made me laugh! I don’t think you have to take quite such dire measures just yet!! Maybe start by writing 100 words a day. Just 100. It’s a paragraph or two. Then, inch it up a bit and watch those pages add up!

  3. Barb Bettis says:

    My major goal this year is to be organized where my writing time is concerned. BTW I love your desk! Great post. Tweeted and shared.

    • Connie Mann says:

      Thanks so much, Barb. I am loving my vintage desk. Feels creative just to sit here. 🙂
      Good for you getting a handle on your writing time. For me, every time, unless it goes in a time slot on the calendar, it just doesn’t seem to get done. Keep me posted on how it’s going!

  4. Love your desk! I’m getting back into my disciplined approach to writing – write first, check social media second. It’s a struggle, because who wants to work when they can play? Oh, and I’m looking for a way to write more playfully. That’s a biggie!

    • Connie Mann says:

      Thanks, Ashantay. I looked for just the right desk for over 2 years, so I’m thrilled with it. I am trying to do the same thing this year: write first, THEN social media. And I love the idea of writing more playfully! Great idea!

  5. remullins says:

    My goal is to get two books released. One is with the editor awaiting second round of edits and I’m 155 pages in the third book of my series. Fingers crossed. I also have to deal with a move in the next month. I’m moving closer to my mom so I can help her more.


  6. Very timely post, Connie – and I do love your desk. So elegant & tidy! My goal this year is to complete, edit, polish & submit for publication at least three of the unfinished ms on my ‘puter. I have a lot of started novels that sit on the desktop like guilty thoughts, demanding to be brought out into the light…Real Life has thrown me a lot of curve balls over the last three years, resulting in broken concentration, scattered energies and too many unfinished projects. This is the year to tackle them!

    • Connie Mann says:

      Good for you, Glenys! I’m so glad you’re in a place where you can tackle those unfinished projects! I just found a great quote the other day that really resonated with me, since I have a long list of uncompleted tasks, too:

      “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of uncompleted tasks.” ~William James, noted psychologist.

      Wishing you much success as you get those stories polished and submitted! Hope you’ll keep me posted on your progress.