New Year’s resolutions offer a fun way for me to dream and imagine an improved future. In the past I had trouble keeping resolutions, so a few years ago I decided to make step-by-step action plans for my resolutions and goals to check if that worked better for me. After all, John Wanamaker said, “One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time.”
Several years ago, my resolution was to better succeed at reaching my goals. My professional goal was to be a published children’s author. This seemed like a mountain, and I needed a step by step climbing strategy. Some people are skilled at making drastic life changes, but for me personally, small, simple steps are easier to handle. Each month, I scheduled time to write, revise and get feedback on my writing. Once I got used to the new schedule and had an established writing habit, the next step was to become more prolific (and write more). So two years ago I set “write 12 new picture book stories a year” as my goal. For support, encouragement and accountability, I sought help from others. I joined a writing critique group and professional writing organizations (SCBWI & 12x12). Turning to others for help kept me committed.
My new step-by step approach worked! Highlights High Five published one of my poems in September 2017 and my debut picture book, TEACH YOUR GIRAFFE TO SKI, is slated for publication by Albert Whitman & Company in Fall 2018.
This year I have a new resolution – to enjoy the present more. However, I’m struggling to find a good action plan for this. So far, I have only written down one step: remind myself to breathe, appreciate the moment and believe that everything will work out by saying “breathe and believe.” This is particularly important when life feels hectic. For example, mornings with the kids can get crazy. Everyone’s running around, someone can’t find their shirt, someone else spills milk all over the place, and when everyone’s finally ready to head out the door, somebody has to use the bathroom. Often, I find myself feeling rushed and frustrated – but one day my kids will be grown and I’ll miss these moments together. I would like to enjoy these moments instead of feeling rushed.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to think of other steps for this resolution, so if anyone reading this blog post has some good ideas, please share!
The best method I’ve found for reaching goals and keeping resolutions is to create step-by-step action plans for them. Hopefully this year’s resolution is one I can keep too – once I’ve found the right steps.
I wish all of you the best of luck with keeping your resolutions & successfully reaching your goals this year. Perhaps a step-by-step method will work for you too. As Jeanne Marie Laskas said, “You plant a garden one flower at a time… you write a book one word at a time, clean a closet one shelf at a time, run a marathon one step at a time. If you feel defeated by some large task, get your spade, and dig the first hole.”
TEACH YOUR GIRAFFE TO SKI by Viviane Elbee illustrated by Danni Gowdy
Albert Whitman & Company, Fall 2018