Productivity is a goal here every day. Writing can be a solitary activity. It is indeed a craft and vocation that only works if you are super self disciplined. I am actually mostly that person. I can focus hard when necessary and get jobs done. But, it is with renewed intent that I am choosing this as a word to guide the next year. Productivity. Here’s why.
People have been asking me repeatedly this week about New Year’s resolutions and really, they aren’t a thing I do. Instead, I choose goals and try to meet them and strive to improve throughout the year. But resolutions, at least to me, are all about masochism and I respect myself too much to beat myself up all year over something I couldn’t finish. Goals are more manageable somehow. And I am accountable to myself mostly, for meeting those goals.
A few years ago I set myself a professional goal of being published in The Globe and Mail and Today’s Parent, because I had yet to be published there. By September of that year I had done what I set out to do. In fact, I was proud. Never once had I articulated that as a goal or resolution to anyone besides myself. My goals are my own and when I meet them, it is golden.
On New Year’s Day, my smart oldest daughter, who reads like I did at her age, and consumes a lot of media, as do most children in North America, woke up and told me two things. “The World is Going to End.” Oh, and she said: “I have 40 resolutions.” (I resisted the smart alecky: “Um if the world is going to end anyways, then why do you need resolutions?”) And I chose instead to reframe. Humm. She rhymed off a few (most of which centred on weight loss – because there are entire industries devoted to self flagellation at this time of year and she hears it everywhere right now.
Let’s all get skinny, have surgery and eat pills to lose weight. Even my seven-year-old looked at me today, holding her calf muscle in her hand asking: (Is this fat? Um no it’s called muscle and you are a 43 pound seven year old athlete.) There was a bit of adolescent girl stuff tossed in amongst the tween resolutions – “I will be the most popular girl in my class” – but together we whittled them down to a couple of smaller more realistic goals. We ended up with we will all try to eat healthier and exercise as much as we are able to stay fit and healthy. These are goals I am happy with every year.
Some of my goals are personal and some professional. More than likely to share the personal with you because this is a blog and blogs by nature are personal.
Anyways this year I have been thinking a lot about productivity and so today when I came across my friend Tara’s blog linky, it prompted a post. New Years in One Word.
This year will be productive. For me, that means, cutting back on what I give away – my time and skills. Because often people think that writers work for free. And writers who advocate also in their spare time, well no end of causes for you…There are still a few causes I will never abandon. Oh, I like a good fight after all. I will still be on the PTA at the kids’ school and I will still help run our non profit The Canadian Coalition of Adoptive Families, but I don’t work for free and I can’t commit to every committee out there.
Today that meant, while home with laryngitis, I hopped into a twitter chat at Mom Central and connected with some friends while forging a few new ones and coloured my hair (see picture above) because that was a commitment to myself – covering up the greys – and back over to the chat. Because 10 minute hair colour from Garnier Nutrisse is a miracle.
After that it was on to lunch, some cleaning and another twitter chat with the great Microsoft Windows techie people on #win7chat. Picked up some techie productivity tips and a prize while making a cheescake with my daughter. Eventually, I threw a quiche in the oven, got a salad ready and ate dinner with my kids before dressing them for martial arts. With a hint of quiet in the house I popped by Tara’s blog and was inspired to post this…
So, here’s to productivity.
It’s going to be a great year.
Unless, of course, the world ends 🙂