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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Monday, January 07, 2008

Week One is Done. Are You Still on Track?

Okay, so the first week of 2008 has passed. There's no turning back. For me, Procrastinator Queen, I have already come to a crossroads: Do I let myself feel guilty/disappointed/name any negative emotion because I've already wasted one of 2008's 52 weeks?

Or, do I put the past behind me (Thank you Timon and Pumba), and focus on what's ahead? What can be ahead, if I choose to go for it.

Those of you who set your '08 goals and are keeping true to them, I commend you. Well, maybe I'm a bit jealous, but I'm trying to feel more inspired by you. Honestly.

Those of you who may be floundering a bit, take heart, the Posse is here for you!

Those who are just now getting around to formulating your goals...welcome, my people, I am in your shoes. :-)

Here's the thing: My life is busy. I have a family, a part-time job and I over volunteer in my community. However, and this is the big realization we must all come to, if there is something more that I aspire to (as in, being a published author), then I need to re-evaluate, get organized and take control. I owe it to myself.

My local newspaper (St Louis Post-Dispatch, has an article in the Healthy & Fit section of today's edition. The article is geared towards losing weight and getting in shape (which so happens to be one of my goals for '08), but as I read the article, I realized some of the suggestions can be utilized in achieving almost any goal.

The focus of the article is Willpower. I know, and the article agrees, that for many, Willpower is a 4-letter word. It is for me. If I had more willpower, I'd put down the brownie. If I had more willpower, I'd stop finding other things that need to be done and head to my computer to write instead. If I had more willpower, I'd stop watching tv and exercise. (Although, with the advent of Tivo, I've been riding our stationary bike while catching up on shows, so that's a positive).

Unfortunately, there's no pill to help boost your willpower. It's something the article says you have to want to change, then recognize that you need to change. To help your willpower, you've got to motivate yourself. As writers, we know all about motivation, and how important it can be in our characters' lives. Now we see how it effects our lives as well.

If you haven't already, write down your goals. Many of us keep track of family schedules, work schedules, volunteer schedules, etc. But have you written down a schedule for achieving your goals? If you read Jill's blog last week and took the quick left-brain/right-brain test, you'll know that writing down your goals is important. Either you're left-brained and your personality needs you to, or you're right-brained and without your goals written on paper, they may not materialize because you're off taking care of other fun, spur-of-the-moment activities. :-)

Take a look at your goals. Evaluate them. Are they big ones (lose 20 pounds, write an entire novel, etc)? If willpower is one of your downfalls, looking at a list of lofty goals may leave you feeling overwhelmed. Break those babies down into smaller goals (write a chapter every 2 weeks, lose 2 pounds each month, etc.).

The newspaper article suggests finding a partner or joining a group to help you stay on track. If you didn't already know it, the Posse is here for you!!!

Find a concrete image of what you're working towards--if it's losing weight, hang a pair of skinny jeans at the front of your closet; if it's finishing a novel, design your own book cover and keep it by your computer-- anything that will keep your goal in the forefront of your mind. A visual to keep you focused.

And finally, don't forget to reward yourself! You know our motto here, "Be Good to Yourself, or Else!" But think about this, far too often we reward ourselves with food. Do we need to? When you lose that weight, go buy a new outfit, or blouse, instead. When you finish your book, treat yourself to a massage or a manicure, something to pamper your tired fingers (from all the typing) or your entire body (sitting in your chair for long periods can really cause some muscle kinks).

So take heart, if, like me, your '08 resolutions are just now starting, or maybe you set goals/resolutions that in the real game of life you've realized may be insurmountable (as in, I can't write 4 hours a day; at least, not unless I plan to only sleep for 3), don't get down on yourself.

You can do this. Have faith in your abilities. Keep your eye on the prize.

Try some of the ideas I've suggested. If you have a recommendation, please pass it along to us. We're in this together. All willpower, goal re-evaluation tips are welcome!! Bring 'em on!


At 12:59 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

It is always easier to THINK about a goal than to actually reach for it, whether it be lose weight or write a book, but it can be done!

We hope we can help.

At 8:52 PM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

Okaaaay.... I've been knocked off the internet twice now (we have tornadoes all over the place--love KS in January!) so I'll try this again!

I am so glad it's not "too late" to be formulating goals. I think mine are to finish my revisions on my manuscript (I finished my first book--hurray!) start a new project by March 1st, and have it finished by Golden Heart time in '08.

Oh, and I'll go put away my Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark that I bought in the clearance aisle at the grocery store are SO right about that food/reward thing (sigh).

At 9:31 PM, Blogger Patricia W. said...

It's never to late to set a goal and begin working toward it, whether it's January, April, September, or December 29th. So for those who haven't set their goals for the year, feel free to do so and shake off anything that remotely feels like you're behind the eight ball already.

Willpower? Now that's something that I'm working on but breaking things into small manageable chunks, as well as having a personal mantra that I can repeat to motivate myself when I begin to fall short, seems to help.

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Patricia W. said...

Oh yeah, and Gillian? I'm not sure I could resist the Peppermint Bark. (It's soooo yummy.) If you can, great. If you can't, weeellll, just eat it and enjoy it. Moving forward doesn't always have to mean denying ourselves.

At 10:01 PM, Blogger doglady said...

I have to agree with Patricia about the peppermint bark, my Passion's Slave buddy! I don't have the willpower to resist that sort of temptation just yet! I need to build up my willpower muscle because right now it is the 96 pound weakling on the beach! My goals are to finish the revisions on LOST IN LOVE by March 1st and to go back and finish DREAMS OF ANGELS or start and finish LOST IN SHADOW by Golden Heart time 2008. Okay, there! I said it out loud!

At 10:14 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

now you are commited, doglady!

Gillian, my weakness is Starbursts. I could eat a whole bagful right now.

Whether we set a specific goal or not, I think the most important thing is to stay positive. "I WILL do it!!!"

At 11:14 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

I WILL DO IT! I like that.

Pris, great ideas. I do need to work on finding the willpower to get more done. Thanks for the tips.

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Prisakiss said...

Ooh, weaknesses, wow, where do I begin. :-) Mine are sweet and salty, together.

Doglady, I'm proud of you, and everyone else, for verbalizing your goals. That's sometimes the hardest part: telling others. Then you're really accountable.

My writing goals? To start my newest manuscript and have it done by the RWA national conference in San Francisco in July. Not sure if I'm going, but I plan to have my book "ready to pitch" if I'm there.

Best of luck with your goals, ladies. Please be sure to come back for more tips tomorrow.



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