Thursday, January 3, 2008

1-2-3 Prioritize!

If you’re anything like me, you get carried away with the New Year’s resolutions. My list has grown to twenty-seven items now, and it’s only January 3! I’m not sure if I’m hoping that by having so many resolutions, some will actually be achieved, or I just become over-stimulated by making lists.

However, I have learned one critical tool in this process: the importance of priorities. I may have twenty-seven things I want to accomplish this coming year, but if I don’t prioritize them, I have a very good chance of ending up with a big fat zero number of things accomplished by the time 2009 rolls around.

A tried and true time management technique is to pick the three most important things you need to accomplish on any given day. The same technique applies equally well to planning your year. What three things do you most want to accomplish this year?

Finish a manuscript?
Find an agent?
Join Toastmasters?
Clean your closets?
Exercise more regularly?

Your list can be as long as your imagination and enthusiasm demands, but once it's complete, pick the three resolutions that are most important to you. Plan on spending the majority of your time and energy on those. In fact, consider challenging yourself to do at least one thing—even one small thing—every day toward achieving one of those three goals. If that’s too overwhelming, then consider committing to doing at least one thing every week. Remember, as that old saying goes, a trip around the world begins with just one step. So does reaching your dreams!


Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

That was actually my resolution: to keep going forward one step at a time. A year's worth of ambition was too big for me to tackle at once.
So this weekend is for writing and cleaning my writing room. Next weekend is for ALA.

Anonymous said...

Robin and Mary,

A few years ago, I went to my first writing conference in San Francisco. I was planning to participate in the open mic session thinking my fear of public speaking was exclusive to people I knew. (You know, like speaking in front of the school faculty, etc. TOTALLY HORRIFYING!) Anyway, I thought a room full of strangers might be easier.


I had everything prepared and went to sign up. The event had already started when I arrived. I was in that room for less than thirty seconds when panic set in. I ever-so casually backed out of the room and into the hallway. I heard about Toastmasters the next morning from another writer who said it would really help overcome the jitters and give polish. I never checked on it because I figured only big cities would have it available. After awhile, I forgot all about it. I just looked it up on the internet and there are at least nine locations/groups in my city alone.

I’m going to think about it . . .

I was ready to put it on my resolution list until I saw the “impromptu” speeches. YIPES!

Did either of you ever participate in Toastmasters?

Glad you are both back BTW!

Kimberly Lynn

Mary Hershey said...

I love that-- going forward one step at a time. Momentum is key-- just keep moving.



Mary Hershey said...

Hey, KL--

I can't speak for Robin, but I haven't done Toastmasters, but I know a number of excellent speakers that have. It gets high marks from them. I think it sounds like a great plan for your new year.

Public speaking is hard for everyone- trust me. It gets easier the more you do it, and you'll learn what audiences are easier, as you alluded to. I'm making a note to do a whole post just about this topic.

If you do go to TM, please let us know how that works out for you, okay?

And, remember, you do "impromptu" speeches everytime you talk. :-)


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Mary!

I will keep you informed.

Kimberly Lynn