New paper, pens and books, and a fresh start every year for more than two decades means September brings me a rush of energy and a feeling of excitement even though I am no longer in school. My curiosity is strong and I can’t wait to see what’s coming, to meet old friends and discover new ones. The beauty of this, now that I work on a different schedule, one more oriented to the calendar year, is it gives me a boost of energy to finish projects, reach goals, and tackle year-end challenges.
Making this Time Matter
Each year I set eight to ten goals for the year; they’re the dreams I’ve committed to realizing. Each quarter I review progress. Now I am a month away from my third quarter review. So far I am doing pretty well with five out of the nine goals for the year, but I know I am going to have to bring more focus and energy to the four that I haven’t made much progress on if I am going to achieve them this year.
Goal Review Checklist
Before I revision my plan for the last four months of the year I use this list to ensure I’ll use my time and energy wisely.
- Is this still an important goal for this year?
- Do I have the resources I need to complete it? (time, tools, information, network)
- Do I need to modify it in some way based on activity so far this year?
- What impact will completing this goal have on other goals; on my purpose?
- What values will the work to complete this goal cultivate?
- If I haven’t started, why not?
- What are the obstacles? How can I remove or minimize them?
- What are the supports? How can I leverage them?
September’s Back to School Energy
Before we went back to school we gathered supplies, shifted from summer’s more casual clothes, savoured our last days of freedom, and geared up for challenge and changes ahead. Prepare for the last third of the year with the same sense of occasion:
- Pull together what you’ll need to finish
- Find an everyday symbol of rededication to the goal
- Give yourself some time to savour what you have right now; let it nourish and refresh you
- Signal a fresh start
- Pace yourself for a strong finish by the end of the year
Publish Your 2012 Goals
Here are the four goals I need to focus on to finish 2012 with a ticker-tape parade:
- Complete Story Is a State of Mind, Sarah Selecky’s great online short story course. Find out more here: http://www.storyisastateofmind.com
- Restart my exercise routine
- Complete the first draft of my novel
- Publish an article or story
Okay, over to you. Where do you find extra power to help you finish? What do you want to accomplish before January 1, 2013? Letting folks know what you are working on can provide more motivation and accountability.
Join the discussion: Let us know your power-finish tips, and your goals. Give us updates on your progress here.