Okay, okay, we all know January approaches and with it the annual decision: To goal or not to goal. Writers run the spectrum when it comes to this ritual. Where do you fall? I confess I practice a fairly extensive annual goal setting and year-end reflective writing. In fact, I like to write in the New Year.
My ritual consists of a fairly comprehensive review of the passing year. My focus is not limited to my writing life. I look at my mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, financial, and lifestyle areas. I also take a look at friends and family, recreation, and my creative life. Did I achieve my original goals? Did I adjust them as the months passed? How successful was I in the practice and commitment of my intentions? I also take a look at what things may have happened that either worked for or against the goals set in January. Did I complete any goals, projects, or major tasks? All of this I assess through writing. I do think there is something about setting my thoughts on paper or in a computer file that makes them more concrete. The writing definitely makes my thinking more specific. Because I do this annually, I can review what I wrote and often piggyback off of those thoughts. Since I take stock every 3 months during the year, I"ll often find notes reflecting on the progress at that point. It makes for an interesting couple of days when I do this. There's so much I often forget by the end of the year.
As I finish with the current year, my thoughts turn to the new one. What are my intentions? What do I want to accomplish during this new year? I tend to get very specific. No vague thoughts for me. My goals are clear and simple. I even break my major goals down into smaller subsets. This whole process is easy to do and really helps me get ready for the new year. I open a journal or a file and just start writing.
Today there are plenty of tools to guide you through the process and even help you with your goalsetting and with goal-related habit-making. I found one earlier today called Joe's Goals. It's a cool tracking program to help you initiate and instill your goals. It sets up in minutes. Here's mine.You can click on the badge to see them all.