So, my guest post will give you some tips on the S.M.A.R.T. way to achieve any reasonable goals you set for yourself. It’s all about thinking it through and tracking your progress. Nothing unmeasured is ever accomplished.
Before you go anywhere, you’ve got to read this guest post by Jess Witkins, author of the blog Jess Witkins’ Happiness Project!
Jess Witkins claims the title Perseverance Expert. She grew up in a small Wisconsin town as the much younger youngest sibling of four, she’s witnessed the paranormal, jumped out of a plane, worked in retail, traveled to exotic locations like Italy, Ireland, and Shipshewana, Indiana, and she’s eaten bologna and lived to tell about it! She deals with it all and writes about it! Come along on her midwest adventures; Witkins promises to keep it honest and entertaining.
Take it away, Jess!
Back in the days of elementary school, there was one day out of the year the whole school would take a field trip to the roller skating rink. The rink was owned by one of the teachers and all of us kids were invited in for a day of strobe lights, laser beams and bruises we didn’t have before. I loved it. It was a lot of fun, skating in a circle… There were always a few signature dances that we did every year. The most popular was skating to The Ghostbusters Theme Song! “When there’s somethin’ strange, in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call…GHOSTBUSTERS!” But I digress, another popular dance was the limbo contest. I never learned to limbo. I’m simply too uncoordinated to squat down in roller skates and bend backwards to glide under a pole without falling on my you know what! I wonder if this was all some mystic foreshadowing into my future where I would incessantly fail at limbo of any kind.
Of course, now I’m talking about the work-life limbo, the balance of time spent at work and that other place, oh yah, your home. It isn’t a question of want. I want to be better balanced, but I haven’t figured out how. Maybe if I do that trick where you roll onto the heel of the skate with one leg extended in front of you and you trace your fingertips on the floor behind you, you just…nevermind, it’s hopeless.
That’s how I felt earlier this week. My position at work is changing soon, and with any change it takes time to learn. For those of you that don’t know me, my lifelong dream is to become a writer. I started up my blog as a way to maintain a writing schedule and have found this wonderful blogging community of inspiring writers and readers full of support, advice, and virtual wine bottles! But I know for all of us, the momentum forward doesn’t happen in the timeframe we always want it to.
My biggest barrier to my writing is my other job, the real one. The job that consistently takes 50+ hours of my time, always focuses on the next big sale, always busy networking, always solving other people’s problems. I do like my job. In this economy I am ever thankful to have a job, and I like the people I work with, I like my team, I like helping customers. But I still wish I had more time outside of work to write. My constant battle has been both trying to make writing more of a priority as well as take notice of the accomplishments I have made since November when I started it up again.
The answer is really so simple I feel stupid for not thinking of it earlier. I have a schedule for work. I adhere to certain hours, certain tasks and commitments, so why don’t I make a schedule for writing? I work in sales, so it’s a people position. It’s easy to get caught up in chatting to your coworkers about your favorite dish to eat at the new Asian restaurant in town, but I know I have sales goals to make and events to plan. Why wasn’t I managing my time for writing like I do in sales? Cut down my time spent on social media (just a little, it won’t hurt) and focus my energy on where it should be in the beginning: the writing, getting the novel done. So, I bought a brand new planner (cause the work one is already too full) and started scheduling my time of when I’ll write my book, when I’ll write my blog, when I can catch up reading blogs, use twitter, etc. And since it’s in a planner, I don’t feel bad about saying no to other commitments that come up because I’ve scheduled time for my big goal, my writing.
It’s not enough to plan it, you have to follow through. And in sales, there’s usually a success story or learning opportunity in there, so that’s how I created the second half of my plan. I started keeping a gratitude journal a while back to channel some positive thinking into my life. Now, I’ve added a second list of things below that. It’s my “eye opening moments” list, for things I learn about the writing and publishing industries. I track my progress, like attending a writing conference last April, and I record new things I learn, like plotting tips. It’s a reminder to me that while I may not be able to skate as fast as the other kids, I’m still in the rink, and there are strobe lights! I’m all for a little funky.
So that’s what I’m working on this month. You can see the rest of my Life List on my blog. Stop by!
In the meantime, what are you working on? What have you learned along your journey? What have you celebrated? What’s your favorite kind of wine? 😉
Now that you’ve shown some love and read Jess’ post, go on over to the Life List Club page and see what we’re doing in this community of support and friendship. Do you have a life list?