Underwood_no5This is a Talking Typewriter Production – Which means this blog post has also been turned into a video. So…you can read this post below or you may watch the video version at You Tube, above. It’s the same stuff. It’s your choice.

This coming year, month, week, or whatever time period is going to zip by, fast. Everything will suck up its own level of time and if we are not really smart and prepared, there will be no time for our projects. We really don’t have time to spare.

One source of wasted time is setting and working on the wrong resolutions. Wrong resolutions come in many shapes.  The most well known shape are  goals that are wildly general with no backbone of steps listed to accomplish those goals. You hear a lot around New Year’s Day on how to rectify this mistake by being much more specific and taking the time to map the steps.

However, there is another shape of wrong resolution that is less mentioned. Probably because it takes a bit to explain. These are resolutions that are off- target.  Off-target in the sense they don’t match where we are in: our creative development or development as producers of creative output.

These resolutions have us jumping around, jumping way ahead, jumping out of what should come next for us, jumping sideways, or jumping into the less important.

They pull us away from what we could be doing to get where we need to be going.  Wrong resolutions, waste time and carry costs. They can cost us opportunities lost, energy spent, and discouragement earned.

Right resolutions, if we follow through and actually implement them, produce results that run deep and wide and serve us everyday or almost everyday. They make us stronger, smarter, more creative, and more productive.

How to Get Your Resolutions On Target

Answer the questions below honestly and carefully, and you will have three resolutions that will keep you on-target:

> Resolution: Pick One Important Way to Be More Productive

  • Start from the ground up. What basic, small method of productivity, if mastered could make a large difference in your productivity?
  • Hints: Working 15 to 30 minutes everyday; setting a daily target such as a word count; meeting with an accountability partner by phone once a week; setting weekly goals. This is your resolution number one.

> Resolution: Pick an Important Skill in your Field That You Need to Master

  • What skill within your craft, have you been putting off learning well but is an important part of your future work? This is your resolution number two.

> Resolution: Pick a Project That You Are Certain You Can Achieve

  • Which of your projects fits this description? The emphasis here is achievable. Let’s hear that word again: a-c-h-i-e-v-a-b-l-e.  Achievable is considered to be 90 to 100% certain that you can do it if you put your energy and time into it. Achievable for you and where you are in your creative development, now.  Not a project that should be within your grasp, or that would be great if you got done, but a project that is achievable for YOU, NOW. Be realistic about where you are in your training, knowledge, practice, etc.
  • The goal here is not only to get the project done, but provide you the opportunity to learn more about how you work and where there needs to be improvement in that process. Keeping it achievable allows you to have enough room to step back and observe yourself in action and to make notes. Projects beyond your capacity rarely allow  the opportunity for objective self-examination because the project’s daily needs are just too demanding.

> STOP:  You are done.

  • No more than 3 resolutions, please.  Hey, if you get these done in two months, make some new ones but don’t go over 3 at any given time.

I admit that these resolutions are not as exciting as many other resolutions you have made or friends tell you about, but they do have these things in common:

  • They are closely customized to You.
  • They are all about You developing as a stronger and sharper Creative.

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