I don't know about you, but for me, 2011 was a bit of a doozy. It definitely had its fair share of highs and lows.
But one of the best things that came out of 2011 for me was really starting to examine who I am and what I'm passionate about. I always kind of knew I liked writing and have chipped away at that over the years, but over the past 6 months or so I decided to go all in. Something I've learned by reading blogs like Jeff Goins' is that you don't have to wait for someone else to call you a writer to be one. I'm a writer because I can't not write. It's really given me something to pour into and given me a stronger sense of identity.
It helped me see how important priorities are and that if I want to write, or read, or even redo a bookshelf, I have to make time. And that it's possible to make time. For me that means saying no to 2 hours of House Hunters and brainstorming blog ideas or reading Harry Potter instead. Trade out things you like to do for things you love to do--even if they take more effort.
I've already learned so much about writing (and goals) from Jon and the community of people (particularly other writers) I've found through following his blog.
Which leads me to the point of this post.
Over the last few days, Jon has begun a campaign of sorts called Finish Year, challenging his readers to make a (short) list of things you want to finish this year. Not start; finish. Because starting is the easy part. Finishing is the unglamorous grind that we all sort of dread. But it's always worth it.
The goals can be anything, but they have to be tangible, even if it's something that seems unmeasurable, like Jon's---to have a more grateful heart. He's making it tangible by committing to hand-write 100 thank-you notes this year.
Everyone who is participating will also be tweeting (hashtag #finishyear) once a day about something they are working on to finish their goals. I may not tweet exactly once a day, but I love the idea of tracking your progress and keeping yourself accountable by publicly sharing your goals and the journey to accomplishing them.
So I wanted to share my Finish List with you this year.
1. Finish The Empress. This one will be hard for me because I already don't really want to figure out how to wrap that one up. But it will be good practice and discipline for me and I've already written three sections of it. I'd like to finish this by the end of February.
2. Write an ebook. Also a difficult goal, as I've never written a book before, but I think it's doable. Plus, ebooks can be short. First step: figuring out what the heck I want to write about.
3. Finish the Harry Potter series. I'm almost done the 3rd book. I'm determined to finish them all, even if some of them more resemble cinderblocks than novels. I'm hoping by the time I get to the last few they will be available on ebook so that I don't sustain shoulder injuries from carrying them around in my purse all the time.
4. Read two other books besides Harry Potter. You may recall my goal last year was to complete 2 books. Yep, 2. I was terrible about starting books and not finishing them, so I made a bite-size goal. But because I started making time to read, I finished not 2, not 3, but almost 6 books this year! So I think it was a success. Anyway, because I nearly finished 6 in 2011 (I am so close to finishing HP3), my goal is to read at least 7 in 2012. For you avid readers out there, this may still seem like a travesty, but hey, I may even read eight.
That's all I have so far, but most of them are goals that will take close to the whole year to accomplish. I may add to it over the next couple days, but probably won't go over 6.
What's on your Finish List this year? Challenge yourself and make it happen.
Each day in January, Jon will be posting about Finish Year and practical ways to make your goals a reality. You can follow his blog here.