Several years ago, there was a great television commercial that always made me sit up and take notice.  Late in the evening, a deep-voiced narrator would come on and say: “It’s 11:00 o’clock. Do you know where your children are?”

Every time I heard it I’d stop and take a mental inventory to be sure I did, in fact, know where my children were. I loved the ad because it reminded me to pay attention to the passing of time. It’s so easy to get involved in something else and not realize how late it really is.

The same can be said for our lives, and more specifically, the goals we’ve set for ourselves. It’s the middle of April. Here in the US, income tax is due tomorrow, which means the mad scramble is underway at my house.

What about your goals for 2011? Remember all those lofty plans you made last December and early January? How are you doing with those? Do you even remember what you planned to accomplish this year?

Take a minute to find your list. Go ahead, I’ll wait. It took me a minute to unearth mine, too. Pull out your goal sheet, blow the dust off it and read it over. I finally did that with mine the other day and it made me gasp. One quarter of 2011 is already gone.

Here are the hard questions I asked myself—and am now asking you: how much progress have you made towards your goals??

If you continue at the rate you’re going, will you complete the tasks you set for yourself by December 31, 2011?

And if not, what are you going to do about it?

I’ll be honest. Lining my goals sheet up with my calendar lit a fire under me. I am way behind. I cleared my calendar, hunkered down in my home office and finally, finally, finally finished a story I’ve been futzing with since last year. My plan was to get it in the mail by the end of January. I’m happy to say, though, that as of yesterday, it is winging its way to an editor. Despite my frustration with how long it’s taken me, it feels good to check that off my list.

So what about you? What have you already accomplished this year that we can celebrate with you? And if you need a bit of encouragement in reaching your goals, how can we cheer you on?