That time of year again

I’m a list maker. I love writing down tasks just for the pleasure of marking them off when they’re done. I love my google calendar for the same reason – it’s so much fun to check off a task and move it to the completed items. I obsessively make lists for everything. What I’m packing for a trip, books I’ve read, what my characters like to eat and drink, and where I should submit each one of my stories.

I also love spreadsheets. I track my short story submissions on a color coded excel spreadsheet that would require a manual for someone else to understand. I think maybe I’m good about submitting my work just because I love tracking it on that spreadsheet.

Goal setting is just another form of list making for me. I know people who would rather eat dirty diapers than set goals, but it’s one of my favorite things about the end of the year. I take a final look at my goals for the past year, reevaluate my priorities, and create long and short term goals for the upcoming year. Some years I do better than others, but I never feel bad about what I haven’t accomplished (well, almost never) – I just try to figure out why there are things left on that list.

I’m not gonna preach goals here- my writing group is already avoiding me to keep from hearing the lecture.  I’ll just say one thing. Whether you want to finish a novel or lose 15 pounds or learn to speak Spanish or read 50 books in a year, to succeed, you have to plan to succeed.  (OK, so maybe that was a little preachy.  But I’m usually way worse.)

So, how’d I do in 2011? Not bad. There are a few things I’ll be moving over to 2012, but I got to cross a lot of stuff off that list. That alone is worth doing the work.

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