I was planning to start a new series for beginning writers today, walking them through the steps to start a novel. But this idea keeps nagging at me and it has finally shoved itself to the front of the blog post line like a rude person cutting in line at the movie theater. Beginning Writer Series grudgingly gives way to Pushy Post Idea to avoid a fistfight at the blog.
January’s the time of year when we make resolutions… and promptly forget about them within a week. I’ve done my part in this grand old tradition for many years, obediently forgetting mine within the designated time period.
This year I’m not setting resolutions in the usual way. Instead, I’m drawing inspiration from two sources – Ali Edwards and Chris Brogan.
Ali is using a one-word resolution.
Can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2009?
It can be something tangible or intangible. It could be a thought or a feeling or an emotion. It can be singular or plural. The key is to find something that has personal meaning for you. This is not your mother’s word or your spouse’s word or your child’s word – this is YOUR word.
One little word can have big meaning in your life if you allow yourself to be open to the possibilities. And here’s one thing that is totally interesting: sometimes a word will pop into your brain and it will not make any sense to you right now. Give it some time. Let it percolate a bit. I have often found that our hearts speak to us in very unique ways. Maybe this is a word you need to hear but just aren’t ready for it yet. Again, be open to the possibilities.
She has a HUGE list of words from her blog readers. It might spark some ideas for you.
Chris is making a three-word resolution.
…think of how you want to be successful in 2009. Then, try to think in even broader terms. Extrapolate on the broader terms, and find one word to hang the idea on.
Meaning, don’t think as much “I want to lose 50 pounds and get back into my high school pants.” Try thinking “Fitness means I’ll be able to cover more ground.” From there, you can say “ground” might be your word. And then, when you look at that as a word, you see how it can open you up to even more meanings. “Ground” can remind you to get fit so you can cover more ground. It can mean to be “grounded,” like someone who feels calm and at rest.
Look for three words that will help you frame your challenges and opportunities for 2009.
I find myself falling in between one and three. My two words this year are Persistence and Focus.
Persistence means that I will keep on working on this website (always improving and adding more value for you) and making progress on my internet marketing plans. Persistence means I will make consistent efforts on the housework. Persistence means that I will make regular, measured progress on my science fiction novel until I have a completed, revised final manuscript.
Focus means that I won’t get distracted by all the new and shiny things on the Internet. Focus means that I will evaluate new ideas against my overall goals to see if they fit in or should be discarded. Focus means ignoring the irrelevant drama in the world around me, so that I can give more attention to the things that matter most to me.
I like the idea of having a mantra of one to three words to focus on throughout the year. If you’ve had trouble keeping your resolutions in the past, try choosing one or three words to reflect on in 2009.
And if you’d like to share them in the comments, even better.