It's that time of year. We begin reflecting on the passing year and look onward to the times ahead. Do you set New Year's resolutions? Are they goals for your physical or spiritual health? For your career? Home improvements?
I could create a post long enough to keep you procrastinating a lot longer on your to-do list, but I'll simply it for you:
1. Make the List
2. Do the List
3. Take care of the list-maker!
Make the List
I'm a 'to-do' list girl. I always have been. I have an on-going list at home, at school, and for my writing work. For the new year, I usually create a goal list. From there, the goals get broken down into my to-do lists, or steps to accomplish these goals. I start with the things that have due dates or deadlines and work my way backwards. If there is something you really want to accomplish, you should put it on the list. If there is something you aren't serious about or don't think is important in this season of your life, don't clutter your list with things that aren't a priority right now. (You can always add things on your future lists.)
Do the List
On every list I create, there are some things that I can't wait to tackle and there are some things that I wish I didn't have to do. The list items that are daunting, could be scary because the task is overwhelming, difficult, or takes me out of my comfort zone. For these things, I try to remember this video from a leadership training I attended.
Once you eat the frog(s) on your list each day, it really does set you into motion for conquering other things you need to take care of. I take great satisfaction in taking a fat sharpie and crossing off those unpleasant list items once they are done. By the time my list gets whittled down to a few items, I usually have some new ideas or tasks that need to be added. I create a brand new list and add the ones from the old list at the top. The cycle continues and I find the frogs and eat them.
Take Care of the List-Maker
As I have gotten older and my responsibilities have grown, I've discovered the most important element in making and doing my lists. You have to take care of the list-maker. Over the past few years, as a full time teacher, a mom to two teenagers, an author, speaker, the regional advisor for the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and a member on the board of directors for the Indiana Reading Association, I've had to pause and reflect on what drains my energy and what fuels it. I realized that I would either have to give up some of the things I love to do or find a way to do them in a healthy way so that I can continue and still do a good job.
After a visit to my doctor and an honest look at my priorities, here is what I came up with:
I hope these tips are helpful and that the new year brings you exciting adventures and opportunities. If you would like to stay connected, please follow me on Twitter or Facebook and subscribe to my newsletter below:
Please add your favorite tips for reaching your goals in the comments. I'd love to hear them!