Sunday, December 9, 2012
Generally I hate New Years resolutions. There is value to them. They provide a reason for each of us to look at our lives and decide what we want to change. There is great value to that process. What I hate about them is that this should not be something I do once a year. It is something I should do frequently. And I make a real effort to do so.
I saw the Stephen Covey quote above on Twitter recently (thank you Jonathan Gunson) and it stood out to me so I favorited and retweeted it.
I got up this morning with a long list of things I need to get done. I have been working through all of them all day and now that it's 8:00 at night I find that I have barely made a dent. Every morning I know that I may very well end up at the end of the day with barely a dent in the long list of things to be done. At one time this frustrated me and stressed me out terribly. It doesn't any more because I've come to accept the fact that there is just more to be done than I can possibly accomplish in a day.
Tonight as I thought about my writing, and my life in general, the quote above came to mind.
"You have to do decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage - pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically - to say 'no' to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside".
As I think over this day and how Mr Covey's advice would apply to it, I have identified a couple of things in my life that run contrary to it.
My highest priorities are easy to identify - writing and a handful of people in my life. I need to say 'no' to everything that doesn't support either of these two things. As a new writer I am learning at this point. One thing I've learned is that writing is only one part of what it takes to be an author. There is so much more that has to be done to get my name out, create my brand, show what I know and who I am, meet people in the industry. I have to do all of these things while also improving my skills and oh yeah . . . writing.
I also have to nurture the relationships with those people that are in that handful that are really, truly important to me. I am very lucky that these people understand how important my writing is to me and they encourage and support me.
I identified only one part of today's activities that do not fall into either of these categories.
So if (gulp) I must make a New Years resolution it will be exactly what Mr Covey advises. I will continue to thoroughly examine my life and "pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically" say no to everything else.