AS I’M SURE YOU’VE NOTICED, we are slip-sliding quickly to the end of the calendar year. It’s time to take final stock of where you are with your goals and make that last big push to reach the finish line.
At the start of the year, we embarked together on a journey to make this the best writing year we’ve ever experienced. I asked you to dream big, to write out your dreams, and to create a plan to manifest those dreams into reality.
You began with setting an overarching intention — your focus and guiding principle for the year. (Mine has been “perspective.”)
And then I asked you to write down and share your SMART Big Rock goal and create a step-by-step plan to achieve it.
Whatever your Big Rock goal, whether it was to publish a book, finish a first draft, or submit more articles for publication, here are three tips to help you make that final push to achieve it:
Revisit your intention (your why) and prioritize.
Now is the time to take a look at all your goals and tasks and to-do lists and narrow everything down to the top 1 to 3 (max) items you truly want to accomplish before year’s end.
Revisit your reasons for wanting each of your goals in the first place. I know that things shift for me throughout the year and goals that I thought I wanted to do at the beginning of the year sometimes shift into last place or drop off the list altogether.
For example, I have always appreciated and envied people who tastefully decorate their homes with appealing and inviting art, colorful objects, and comfortable, homey touches. So, at the beginning of these last two years, I have written down specific goals and related tasks to enhance my own home decor. However, each year, I find that these particular goals get delayed or put off in favor of those that I really want to accomplish. If I am to be honest with myself, I have to acknowledge that my motivations are not strong enough — that there are simply other things I want more than to have an inviting home. Once I acknowledge this, I am free to focus on what I truly want.
As we’re approaching December 31st, you need to be clear on what it is that you absolutely want and are motivated to accomplish. Everything else can wait.
Decide which of your top three goals is most important to you and put numbers 2 and 3 aside. Now, you have only goal number 1 to think about.
Apply focus and discipline — in other words, just DO it. Now that you’ve narrowed your priorities to the one thing you need to accomplish, just do it. Don’t falter just because the finish line looks too far away. Figure out what you need to do to get there, dig in, and put in that final effort.
If it means getting someone to watch the kids and shutting yourself up in a room for several days to write, then do it. If it means getting up at 4:30 am every day for 3 weeks or staying up late, then do it.
If you really want it, if you’re really hungry for the final result, you can make it happen.
Don’t give up. Even if you aren’t achieving as much as you originally hoped, keep writing.
This time of year, it’s easy to get discouraged through lack of confidence, feeling that your writing is not good enough, or feeling that the task you’ve set yourself is too large. The key word in that last sentence is “feeling.” Feelings are not facts, and we writers simply have times when we need to push past those feelings of failure and skepticism about our ability. Just keep writing, and you’ll get it done.
No matter what, no matter where you end up on December 31st, you will have accomplished more than you thought you could way back in January, when you started this process. You will have written more, honed your writing craft, and learned more about yourself as a result of this year-long goal journey you have taken. And that is something to feel proud about!
What will you commit to doing in order to achieve your top Big Rock goal by the end of the year?
In the next and final article in this series, we’ll talk about the importance of acknowledging our successes as well as ways to celebrate them.