August 9, 2012

GOALS, LISTS AND PROCRASTINATION - By Kathy Ivan

Today I did something I haven't done in a really long time. I went back over some old lists where I wrote out the things I wanted to accomplish for a particular year. Yikes! You know the kind of list I'm talking about. We make them at the end of the old year or the beginning of a new year, promising ourselves we'll make things happen, finish more projects and make changes that will affect all the areas of our lives.

While I made a few things from the lists happen, but most of them never came to fruition. It makes me a little sad so much time has passed without accomplishing the things I set out to do, year after year. (By the way, you all know I'm the Queen of Procrastination, don't you?)

More than half of 2012 has passed us by and the same pattern seems to be holding true this year as in years past. I promise myself I'll be better, keep on track toward accomplishing my goals, but before I can catch my breath another couple of months has sped by. I'm stuck in a repeating loop of sameness.

Today I want to change that, set some new goals. We still have several months left in 2012 to accomplish something momentous, stupendous (or even just a little bitty thing we keep putting off).



Join me in setting some goals for the last half of 2012. They don't have to be writing related, although they can be. They just need to be something important to you. Let's put our energy out there for everybody to see, focus on the positive things we've done—not the negative of what we haven't finished (yet). Big or small, we all have goals and together we can make them happen, with a little help from our friends.

Here are a few of mine:
1. Get the weight loss back on track (enough said - LOL).



2. Get out in the backyard and make something grow. For anybody who knows me and my black thumbs (or as I call it the "kiss of death") I need to weed the back patio and replant something and make it actually survive more than a week or 2.

3. Spend more time with friends. I sometimes get so wrapped up in the day job, the exercise/workouts (see #1 above) that spending quality time with the people I care about gets pushed aside. I want to change that.

4. Write more and submit at least one more project before the end of the year (and hopefully get something accepted for publication).

Share with me and the fellow Princesses some of the goals you'd like to accomplish by the end of 2012. Put them out there and let's work toward making our goals into reality.

Kathy Ivan is currently hard at work on her next romantic suspense set in New Orleans as well as a paranormal novella set in the Colorado Mountains. For information on contacting Kathy, please click on the tab above—more on the PP girls!

23 comments:

Sylvia said...

Hi Kathy, I love goal setting. I do it every year and have tried for years to get my husband to do it with me. So here are my goals for the rest of 2012:
1) Write at least 20 new pages a week.
2) Upload at least 6 more books to online bookstores.
3) Finish first draft of new novel.
4) Finish edits on three more novels.
5) Do something fun once a month.
6) Save X amount of dollars. If I just save that's always a positive.
7) Lose 10 pounds
8) Reconnect with friends. (I've become a writing hermit lately.)
9) Exercise five days a week.
10) Clean one room a month thoroughly, closets, drawers etc.

I love goal lists and try to periodically check them to see how I'm doing.
Sylvia

Kathy Ivan said...

Good morning, Sylvia

Ah, you're like me, the infamous lists. I tend to make lists all the time. Just wish I was as good at finishing all the tasks I outline on the bloody things as I am at making them.

Your goals sound manageable, good luck with them.

Liz Lipperman said...

First of all, congrats on all that weight loss. You look marvelous, as Billy Crystal would say. As for me, I am right up there with you as the Procrastination Queen. We'll have to fight for that crown!! Here are my goals for the rest of the year.

1. Finish the book that is due October 1st.(I am on P.103)

2. Put Shattered Dreams up on Amazon.

3. Get the new ghost story plotted--(that's where I need all you princesses!!)

4. Lose 20 pounds by Christmas.

5. Sell the house and move to a new one.

6. Finish recording my book on tape for the blind and handicapped.

7. Network while I'm at the conference in Italy and connect with the German publisher who wants my self-pubbed book.

8. Reconnect with my DARA friends.

Liese said...

Good luck everybody with your goals!

Mine:
1) Finish my next thriller by the end of the year
2) Find a home for my holiday novella
3) Keep the faith!

Pamela Stone said...

Whoa, Kathy. You touched on something I've been putting a lot of thought into.

At work, I set calendar reminders so I don't forget to do what needs to be done. I used to never need a list of reminder. I was the queen of organization and getting more done than everyone else. Then, well, hmm, I got older? My brain turned to mush? Sandwich generation with more responsibilities for my againg mom and aunts, yet still trying to help my kids out with their kids. And work the day job. Can you spell overload and stress?

But alas, the good news is that I'm taking an early retirement offer the end of August and the grandkids will be back in school. Time to start another phase of life.

1. I won't be able to relax until I get the financial detailis worked out. So that's the first thing.

2. Take a couple small trips.

3. Spend some time with my hubby who has stress of his own.

4. Set writing goals and get back to what I love.

5. Reconnect with friends at DARA and Plotting Princesses.

6. Update my website.

7. Deep clean and organize my house.

8. Spend more quality time with Mom. She lives with us, so I see her all the time, but we need quality time.

9. Write a minimum of 4 hours a day.

10. Catch up on the ever changing publication industry. I'm so out of touch.

11. Lose another 15 pounds. Get back to a more healthy diet and find some sort of non-impact exercise.

I'm sure there are more, but that's it for now.

Elizabeth Essex said...

Oh, the dreaded to-do list.

I get discouraged just making the list because it always seems that the undone things outweigh the accomplishments.

I am in a rut where I feel like I'm just barely treading water in my writing career—using all my energy just to meet deadlines, so that I'm missing a ton of other things on the business side of this industry.

So that's my goal—to get better at the business without driving myself crazy. Not really sure how to accomplish that though. :)

Kathy Ivan said...

Hey Ms. Liz

Nobody takes my crown, I am definitely still the reighing Queen of Procrastination. LOL

Your list kinda looks like mine, but you know we are here for you, always ready to brainstorm ideas and story plots. We'll get it done.

Kathy Ivan said...

LIese,

Looks like you have some achieveable goals on your list, fingers crossed that you can get them all accomplished.

Kathy Ivan said...

Pam, I used to be the same way, I could remember things and get them accomplished in a timely manner. But the brain goes bye-bye as I'm getting older, so it's getting harder.

I agree we need to take the time from our busy lives to spend quality time with the ones we love and reconnect with the people who are important to us.

Kathy Ivan said...

Ms Essex, I agree sometimes writing everything down that needs to get done takes almost as long as making the list. I agree too that I need to make time to keep up with the changes in the publishing industry. The changes are flying fast and furious and sometimes I feel like I'm running around with my hands thrown up in the area, shouting "Somebody help me!"

Sylvia said...

Why is that women writers all have incredibly long lists of goals, plus managing the house and family? Aren't we suppose to be the women who sit around and eat bon bons and toss out book ideas? Boy was I born at the wrong time.

Kathleen Baldwin said...

Oh no, you aren't going to make me do this, are you? ARGH!

1. Get my life in balance. Which is the topic at DARA this month - thank goodness - because I am so very VERY out of balance.

2. Finish the rewrites on this YA because my agent and editor had lunch yesterday and assigned me a deadline.

OK I have to stop there. Because obviously I need to go write - well rewrite.

Kathleen Baldwin said...

Oh, and I can SO relate with Pam Stone and Liz Essex. Overwhelmed. That's me.

But I just keep thinking I can do more than I really can.

Like Pam, when I was younger I could. but now... sigh.

Kathleen Baldwin said...

Great article Kathy!
A very important topic.

VICKI BATMAN, said...

Hey, Kathy: Lists--sigh.

I have all kinds of sticky note lists/reminders in front of my screen and x out and throw away all the time.

But the biggies-yikes.

1. Get Store Wars launched
2. Get Twinkle Lightes launched
3. Put up another 3 story (see friend who is very busy for help).
4. Sell my other two stories. or self-pub.
5. Sell my books.

That said, don't hold be accountable after 3. lol

Phyllis said...

Blogger is playing with my and my phone. I will write more when at my computer, but enjoyed your comments. Makes me think!

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Kathy,
Thank you for the post! It made me think. I have a ton of to-do lists (like vacuum, etc.) but don't usually do big goal lists. However, here goes:
1) figure out a way to hide in Liz's luggage and go to Italy (ha!)
2) finish my edits
3) finish the urban fantasy I'm trying to write
4) finish the 3rd in my Draconia series
Hmm, guess I should go write now! :)

Kathy Ivan said...

Sylvia, I'd love to be a lady of leisure and sit around all day sipping champagne and nibbling chocolates. Alas, the evil day job, the evil diet, and evil exercise (or as I call it the axis of evil) take most of my day. LOL

Kathy Ivan said...

Kat, finding that balance is so important. Maintaining a happy and healthy outlook on things helps me get through each day (or at least I try to think happy thoughts).

I'll crack the whip, too, and say get busy on finishing up that YA. We need more of your books out there.

Kathy Ivan said...

Vicki, good luch with Store Wars and Twinkle Lights. Having 2 new books coming out will definitely keep you on your toes. Plus, get that 3-story one out ASAP. People are waiting to read your funny, witty stuff.

Kathy Ivan said...

Phyllis, I so get that with Blogger. I tried commenting on Vicki's post Tuesday something like 4 times and never could get it to work right (she probably thinks I was ignoring her, but I promise I wasn't). LOL

Kathy Ivan said...

Karilyn, you can't hid in Liz's luggage, we won't both fit and I have first dibs. :-)

Yes, definitely finish the next Draconian book, I'm anxiously awaiting release of #2, so you better get hopping on #3. Plus urban fantasy, I love urban fantasy. I'm sure you'll be great at it.

Phyllis said...

Okay, I guess I’ll respond on an Office Doc and transfer---

Anyway, I’ve made some decisions on what direction I’m focusing my goals.

I am backing off so many extra things and devoting much more time to my writing and sharpening the craft.

So: my goals are simple:
Write
Work
Write
Submit
Write
Get published
Edit
Edit
Edit
Write.

I will fit life in there somewhere.