Another year has come to a close, so it must be time to reminisce about the year we’ve left behind and look forward to the year ahead. It’s also when a lot of people begin to make plans to once again get their weight under control, eat better and exercise more… anything and everything to be a healthier person.
Don’t get me wrong, if all of the planets were in alignment and you built a chain of the world’s people, from healthiest to unhealthiest, that stretched from the Earth to Pluto (yes, Pluto is a planet), I’d probably be hovering somewhere between Saturn and Neptune. But I’m fine with that. I don’t need to exercise two to four hours a day to be happy. Life isn’t about how many years you live, but what you do with the years God gives you that counts, and I simply choose to spend that time on other efforts.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to focus all of my resolutions this year on discipline and efficiency of time. Earlier this year, I couldn’t understand why I didn’t seem to have as much time to write as I would have liked. Yes, I’m still busy building my business, but it seemed like I was losing time that I used to have when I worked for another company. Bottom line, I was getting a heck of a lot done, and yet, I felt I wasn’t getting anything accomplished. So over the last few months, I’ve been tracking my efforts and how I spend my time. What I found was a lot of procrastination, time that could be better spent finishing my new novel, marketing my work, networking and making richer connections to help me become a better writer, a better author and a better all around business person.
The proverbial ‘they’ say we all have the same twenty-four hours in a day; successful people simply know how to best utilize that time. So in an effort to exponentially grow my success in both business and writing, here’s my plan, effective January 1, 2016 (the year of my 20 year high school reunion! Ack! Where’s the ice-cream?!?)
Develop efficiency in my day
Around September of this year, I started outlining each week depending on the work I had scheduled, networking opportunities and necessary responsibilities. But as the months waned down, when I compared my scheduled tasks to the actual tasks I accomplished, I was losing an average of over 5 hours a week doing menial unrelated things that had nothing to do with what I had scheduled. What suffered most? My writing, which, unfortunately, became the lowest priority on the totem pole. I hope to change that mindset in the new year, but for that to happen, I have to stay disciplined when it comes to getting things done within the time I set, and only doing activities in the specified time frames. Of course there will always be unexpected events that will force me to rearrange my schedule, however, if I remain disciplined with my time management, these unexpected detours shouldn’t affect my progress and my schedule as bad as it has been.
Read more independent authors
Reading, it turns out, has also fallen by the wayside when it comes to priorities. I read a whopping one and half books last year, which is a travesty! (Especially for a writer!) That’s also going to change in 2016. I’ve decided to read at the very least, one book a month. But, as an independent writer, I know how hard it is to get noticed, much less build a fan base in an industry where thousands of books are published each month. So, I want to use this resolution to support more independent authors. I’ve already chosen the first handful of books I’m going to read this year, but I still have half the year to flesh out. To do that, I’ll be giving independent authors a chance to request I read and review their books throughout the year. I’ll be posting a separate blog with full details about this over the weekend, so stay tuned.
Begin my newsletter
Ever since starting my business two years ago, writing a newsletter has been on my list of things to do. It’s high time I make it happen. It will be a monthly publication and include sample movie and book reviews, tips and tricks for design, writing and video, updates on my novels, updates on work I’ve done, short stories, company and author spotlights, special offers and discounts, and other fun stuff I think everyone will enjoy. I have a decent recipient list thus far, but I’ll also be posting the newsletter online for anyone to read and enjoy.
Improve my social media presence
Thanks to the wonderful ladies at Cover Story Communications, I’ve learned a lot about how to navigate social media channels. I’m hoping to use the knowledge I’ve gained to continue utilizing my social media channels to boost my online presence, find new clients and readers, and grow my business and writing career even further. I am looking to write more blog posts on the craft of writing, promote others more often (by retweeting and sharing), provide more updates and content on Facebook, and post more on Instagram and Twitter (which is actually really hard to do when you don’t have a smartphone or iPhone that has you constantly plugged into the Internet), bbut do so as efficiently as possible.
I was blessed this past year with a surge of growth in my business and the addition of many followers on my social media channels. But my writing, even with the publication of a brand new novel, was stagnant. That’s my biggest goal for the new year, as the plan to publish my new novel, The Spirit Of… at the end of the spring is still on track. But it won’t be if I continue to mess around and waste time. So, I’m afraid I must now sign off.
Thank you all for reading, following and supporting me. Here’s hoping everyone has a terrific 2016!