Friday, January 7, 2011

The Top 5 Priority List Times Two & Professional Goals for 2011

On Wednesday I realized I needed two top 5 priority lists. One list for my personal life and one list for my professional life. At what point did that change? There wasn't one point. There were tiny steps made along the way and they built into a mad dash. What started as a dream five years ago has slowly evolved into more than a dream. 

It is my reality.

What is your dream? What steps will you take to make it become a reality? I've shared my ways and the lessons I've learned from other great mentors. I credit Cheryl Richardson's LIFE MAKEOVER book for helping me to focus on the core of my dream. I challenge you to find your core this year. Find a way to make your dream become your reality. Start taking those baby steps. And please share them with me. Remember, what is working for me won't necessarily work for you. But the deal is to figure out what will work for you and live your life with intention and purpose.

This year's top 5 lists for the quarter and my affirmation statement are:

I enjoy being organized and streamlined as I focus on pursuing my professional writing career, personal, and family life goals. 

Top 5 Family Priority List for 2011/First Quarter (Jan.-March)

1. Continue building a healthy lifestyle through exercise, diet and fun.
2. Darling Teen's extra-curricular, education and college preparation under control in areas of online courses, parking, room fix, school trips and testing.
3. Household chores streamlined and a grid made to which all will adhere to help me keep house clean and under control.
4. Create a Comprehensive Schedule based on career and personal obligations to incorporate goals and life events.
5. Build a social community of friends which will enhance our family and marriage as well as bring joy into our lives.

 Top 5 Career Priority List for 2011/First Quarter (Jan-March)

1. Write every day and work on four book series with emphasis on first book.
2. Schedule built to incorporate writing, volunteer, marketing, building brand name, and business objectives.
3. Professional development through querying, submitting materials, entering contests, learning technology, building brand name, ongoing craft classes.
4. Maintain online workshop information/courses, develop personal and prof. blog schedule, send one newsletter article in per month to HOD Newsletter editor.
5. Attend at least two chapter meetings per quarter regardless of chapter to maintain positive writing connections.


*clean and organize office to get ready for the new year
*Finish discovering 4 book series and characters
*Write 5th book 1st Draft and Revise
*Start work on 6th book in 4 book series/Discover/Draft/Revise
*Query 10 agents a month
*Revise 4th book full and resend to agent
*enter 4 contests at a minimum with at least 3 manuscripts at all times including the GH
*Attend Moonlight & Magnolias
*Attend RWA National Conference
*Pitch at both conferences
*Revise 1st book for fun
*build name bible of all names I’ve used in my books
*maintain personal and guest blogs
*continue learning about WordPress
*build my brand name via social media, newsletters and workshop
*work on retreat idea with writing friend
*get an Agent
*get a publishing contract
*find a professional mentor
*streamline writing and business of writing with proper schedule
*Review digital and e-publishers for submissions
*take at least two master classes in craft
*judge at least two writing contests
*set Top 5 Priority Lists and review every quarter
*coordinate online workshops for HOD
*read for fun
*continue learning and growing in my craft with online courses and craft books.
*attend at least 2 chapter meetings per quarter
*send in one article per month to my HOD newsletter editor
*be courageous, strong, and focused in pursuing my dreams and goals.

The last goal is my favorite. Be courageous, strong, and focused as I pursue my dreams and goals

I wish you all the same as you pursue your goals and dreams. Be courageous. Take risks. Fly. Soar. Be strong. Build a network of support. Gird yourself with knowledge. Be focused. Put your dream first and make it a reality. 

And know that one's definition of reality is personal and fluid.

May 2011 be your year to shine!


Ellen Brickley said...

I loved reading that list, every step sounds so positive and exciting!

Best of luck in your endeavours Christine, and I look forward to hearing about your journey along the way :)

Christine said...

Thanks Ellen. I hope you also have a fabulous year!

Gwen Hernandez said...

Great list, Christine. It really helps us prioritize our writing time if we've determined where we want to focus. The only goals I'd take issue with are "Get an agent" and "Get published", only because you don't have control over those. You only have control over the steps that make them more likely to happen.

I'm not saying they shouldn't be on there somewhere, since those are the ultimate end goal that everything else points to, but I wouldn't put them on your to-do list. I'd put them on the "reason for the list" section. They are the reward. ;-)

I haven't read Life Makeover, but the book that really helped me was WISHCRAFT by Barbara Sher.

She has so many great tips, my favorite of which is to work your way backwards from a goal until you reach a step you can do today. Then start moving forward. It's so much less intimidating than looking at the big end goal.

Good luck this year!

Kieran said...

I love this and found that when I put end dates after EACH goal, I meet them in an even more timely manner. For instance, "Revise 1st book by March 30, 2011."

Brian Tracy, a time management guru recommended by Debbie macomber, taught me this. Your brain registers that specific deadline subconsciously. It gives your subconscience even more specificity than putting an inclusive "quarterly" or "yearly" title to a group of goals. You still have those lists, but adding that specific day deadline gives your brain an even greater sense of urgency about that goal. Now, you have to also be prepared that you might not meet ALL of them by their specific days. But you can give it a good try, and you'll meet some of them--more than you would have if you had NOT put the dates there!

Just my offering to the discussion. :>)

Thanks for reminding us all to get on track--to align our realities with our dreams!


Kieran said...

Gwen's post didn't come up until I'd already submitted mine, or I would have responded in the other post!

I like what Gwen said about getting an agent and getting published. You have no control over those...but you can rephrase those into do-able goals, as in "Query ten agents by Feb 1, 2011." Or, "Complete manuscript by Feb. 15, 2011," or "Submit completed manuscript to 10 editors by March 30, 2010." Those goals lead up to your desired outcomes--and as Gwen said, you have control over those steps.

I also like what Gwen said about taking backward steps until you reach a point where you can take action toward your ultimate goal.

Gwen Hernandez said...

Thanks, Kieran. Great point about the dates. I just went through and filled in the due dates on my planning calendar yesterday. It really helps me to see it looming for days or weeks in advance.

And, as you know, I'm a huge Brian Tracy fan too. He's another one I credit with fundamentally changing how I work in every aspect of life.

Great topic, Christine. You know everything I say has a hug behind it right? =)

Christine said...

Hi Gwen: Thanks for the comments and input. I agree about the "get an agent and get published" goals, but I put them on there specifically because I want to remind myself that I do have control over the steps I need to take to make those dreams a reality. A workshop I attended suggested doing this despite not having control over the end result. I decided that writing down the "dream" goal was a way of giving ownership to the work I'd need to do to get there.

Christine said...

Hi Kieran: I love the idea of putting a specific deadline on the goals for revising and writing the pages :-). I do have deadlines but I didn't post them on the blog. I base my deadlines on my travel schedule. So the first draft will be done by February 8th. The read through will occur during my trip to see my friend. The revision/s will occur from Feb. 9-March 10. And the revision for the agent will be finished by March 31st. Then I begin work on my next first draft while I let this one percolate. I reevaluate my deadlines based on outside forces that can press in and are out of my control. For the most part, I stick to them like glue (sorry for the cliche LOL).

The contests are my other deadlines. They force me to get things done by a certain date.

Christine said...

I have query ten agents a month on my goal list, too :-)

Katherine Bone said...

Wow! I'm speechless, Christine. Now that's an affirmative action list!

I haven't made a list as organized as yours but I have structured increments that will be focused on writing throughout the year. Life is always going to be there, oftentimes crying out louder than my characters. But I'm bound and determined to meet self-imposed deadlines this year.

Blessings! ;)

Gwen Hernandez said...

Christine: I completely agree they should be on there, I just meant not as "to do" items. I was thinking at the top of the list as The Ultimate Goal, or The Reason Why I Torture Myself So. ;-)

Love the rest of the list, especially this one, which I believe you have already met: "be courageous, strong, and focused in pursuing my dreams and goals".


Christine said...

Hi Kathy: I bet you achieve all your goals and soar this year! I can't wait to see how much you accomplish.

Happy New Year!


Christine said...

Hi Gwen: Oh, that's a good one "Reason Why I Torture Myself So...." But I love the process and the "pain." Guess I'm cut out for this business because I'm an optimistic masochist.

Happy Writing!


Robin said...

I am in awe of your list, Christine! Your dedication and desire shines through and I wish you the best of luck this year! I've got a feeling we'll be hearing about lots of great things from you!

Christine said...

Hi Robin: Thanks so much for popping into say hi! I have a pretty large list, but I've already checked off two items. Yay! I wish you all the best with your writing this year. I think you're on your way with that contest award winning YA novel!

Happy New Year!