Three Words to Begin 2017: Past, Now, and Future

JUGGLING THE PAST, NOW, AND FUTURE

Confessions are good for the soul so I confess now I am not a good juggler. Sometimes life presents us with a juggling act which seems outside our abilities. And often the start of a new year does the same.

The questions I asked as I wrote this post were:

  • Where did 2016 go?
  • What does 2017 hold in the way of goals?
  • What about now–the present, today, even tonight?

WHERE DID 2016 GO?

Wherever it went, it dragged by. I felt this year would never end. My days were ones of sitting and lying down to relieve relentless, intense pain. A short break in the early fall led me to believe the journey was almost over. Then a setback occurred.

I am still attempting to reach the end of the journey created by a fall last January. Things are so much better I am able to write a few hours a day on this blog and my book review blog. One good result from my immobility is a stack of books finally read.

Another accomplishment was accepting that some degree of pain will always be with me as a result of a fusion. I’ve also accepted that walking with a cane does get doors opened for you.

WHAT DOES 2017 HOLD IN THE WAY OF GOALS?

A top priority for me in 2017 is the hope of more therapy helping me to reach a higher level of activity. This would allow me to engage in daily activities without the need of pain medications. If I am told I need to take one pill a day, I can handle that. The narcotic haze is not something I enjoy nor do I want it interfering with my creative life.

Other than that, I have decided I am not establishing any set-in-concrete goals for 2017. My plan is to do something different this year. The concept came to me as I searched for a suitable graphic to include with this post. Not finding one, I set about creating my own which is inserted above. The word “now” was not easy to find in the company of the words “present” and “future.”

Days with therapy or doctor appointments and home exercises create a need for flexibility. Working those things around my writing life means there has to be a give and take. That leads us to the “now” option.

WHAT ABOUT NOW–THE PRESENT, TODAY, EVEN TONIGHT?

The word “now” is defined by Dictionary.com as “at the present time or moment.” In my opinion, “at the present time or moment” can mean today, this hour, or a variety of other phrases. It means I have the flexibility of moving something from today to another day. It doesn’t mean I can forget about anything forever. Things go better as long as I get something done and don’t leave it hanging ad ifinitum.

Last week I picked up something from Jamie Raintree, writer and blogger at JamieRaintree.com. I was reading a post by Jamie on time blocking and productive time. I’m not a rigidly organized soul, and my writing proves that when I confess I’m a pantser. This resulted from almost 40 years working for attorneys unwilling to track billable time. Their cry was “it doesn’t let me create the pleas and arguments I need to win!” If I’m worrying about when or how I’m going to get everything done on today’s schedule, I’ll never get it done.

Jamie has created a Time Blocking Worksheet. About her system, she says:

The idea is that you schedule your days in chunks, marking off large time periods for certain types of work, but leaving the details of what work you’ll accomplish more open.

Based on that statement, I decided to download Jamie’s worksheet and give it a try. If you’re interested, you can see an image of Jamie’s worksheet and download it here.

I like the idea of categorizing creative and personal priorities and assigning days. I currently use a similar time blocking tool. Yet, it lacks the flexibility of Jamie’s system. Thank you, Jamie!

CONCLUSION

What about 2016? I am disappointed. I struggle with losing time on my manuscript and maintaining my blogs and newsletter. But truthfully, there wasn’t much I could do about it.

What about 2017? I don’t know yet. We’ll see what comes down the path.

What about NOW? I’m going to use it to the best of my ability as I’m able. Really can’t do more than that can we?

WHAT ABOUT YOU? WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING OR 2017? SHARE WITH US IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.

For 2016: Resolutions? Goals? Neither?

AN ENDING AND A BEGINNING

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve pondered many things. Life, mine in particular. Family relationships and friendships. My relationship with God. And the ending of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, which calls to mind resolution making, goal setting, or maybe neither. I’ve decided on the neither group, and I’ll tell you why a little later.

2015’S GOALS

Last year instead of making resolutions I set goals. My decision to set goals instead of resolutions is found in my history of not keeping resolutions. As for last year’s goals, I didn’t carry out many of them. Rather than send myself slogging down that path again, I decided last week to focus on the positive and not the negative in my life, including those goals. That also includes some difficult familial relationships, some friendships, and our friendship here in the NW with the sun, a relationship dreadfully lacking in harmony for too long and highly problematic for those of us suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, i.e. we would not make good moles.

ONE WORD 2016

Taking note of the time to select my One Word for 2016, I pondered that for a few days. Several words made it to my final list–committed (sounded like a journey to a home somewhere), persistent (fits in with my current reading of Jordan Rosenfeld‘s book, A Writer’s Guide to Persistence), dedication (meh!), and then it came to me.

*Drumroll, please.*

INTRODUCING MY ONE WORD FOR 2016 ~~ INTENTIONAL

Don’t you like the sound of the word “intentional?” I do, and here’s why. It has nothing to do with the real sound. It’s the definition. Intentional, according to Dictionary.com, means:

1. done with intention or on purpose; intended: an intentional insult.

2. of or relating to intention or purpose.

 

Unlike resolutions, it doesn’t necessarily include a promise to do one specific thing or a longer list of things. Unlike goal setting, it doesn’t set a bar I must strive to reach for several things. Or as my husband said, “It means when you set your mind to something, you get it done.” I can do that!

RESOLUTIONS, GOALS, OR NEITHER

And now you know why I have chosen the neither group. I’m going to spend 2016 making up my mind to do that next project–after all I have several “leftovers” from 2014 and 2015–and when I’ve finished it, I’ll do the next one. Each one done with intention. Easy peasy, huh?

My intentional self also plans to address many things with this “can do” attitude and with a positive attitude. I’ll keep you posted along the way.

For the near term, I will be finishing up my Timeline Story Series in the next couple of weeks, adding some new memoir reviews you are going to enjoy reading, and lots of other items on the horizon, including a free ebook of motivational quotes for writers from writers coming soon.

But before any of that, I have good news to share–an inclusion in an anthology. Book launch is Friday, January 8th. You’ll be hearing more about it then.

What about you? What are your thoughts on resolutions, goals, or neither? Have you been pondering anything spectacular for 2016? Selected your word yet? Let’s talk over coffee, OK?