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This quote — in big, bold type — is front and center on the magnet board above my desk. I purposely placed it there to jar me out of procrastination, but it’s now been around so long I’ve taken to ignoring it.

Until Saturday when I sat down to write out my goals for 2011.  I looked up, hoping to avoid my computer screen, and there it was:

To begin, begin.

So I decided to begin by reviewing my list of goals from 2010. There were a few I achieved and a few where I made some decent progress. But there were also several that I didn’t even start.

Problem is, I still care about those goals and want to make those changes in my life. Should I just roll them over to 2011? And if so, how will this year be any different?

When I created this blog, I chose three words to include on the masthead that pretty much sum up what editing means to me — revise, improve and simplify. Now I realize those words are a fitting place to start my 2011 goals. Even better, each of my skipped 2010 goals fits handily into one of those areas.

So that’s where I’m going to begin:

To keep myself accountable, I’ll write more about how I specifically plan to apply these words over the next few weeks.

Here’s to new beginnings. (And old ones, too.)

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Sandy B. permalink
    01/03 10:05 AM

    Thanks Jen! I shall now BEGIN to organize my pantry – as in right now.

    • Jennifer permalink*
      01/03 10:12 AM

      Oh shoot — I also need to do that. Luckily it’s not officially one of my goals so I can begin … later. (However, fitness guru, something akin to your boot camp *is* one of my goals. Dang.)

  2. Jennifer in Washington DC permalink
    01/04 11:25 PM

    Thanks for the great reminder about beginnings, Jennifer. Last year my organization and its board of directors worked hard to identify strategic priorities to guide all the organization’s work. We settled on five and have found that those five priorities have simplified decionmaking, streamlined our team meetings and board meeting agendas and help staff decide where to spend our time when everything needs to be done yesterday. Having those goals is so much more powerful than “resolutions” and more so because of the buy-in and support of our entire team. Sharing your personal /professional goals is worthwhile – it can help keep your work, and your personal life, in alignment. Good luck, everyone with beginning – and your goals!

    • Jennifer permalink*
      01/05 6:38 AM

      That is such a good point, Jennifer — I know (from painful experience!) how much work/buy-in it takes to narrow down those priorities, but once they’re in place, they can make everything better. Sounds as if your org has genuinely adopted them; I’ve been in places where they’ve worked, and others where even printed-off lists posted everywhere throughout the company (even the bathrooms) didn’t help. People just started ignoring the priorities, mostly because there were too many — so wise to keep yours to five.

      My three are already working for me: while returning some post-Christmas rejects yesterday, I was tempted by a few of the 70% off sales. But when I asked myself “will this item revise, improve or simplify my life?” usually the answer was usually “no.” Whew!

  3. 01/06 3:08 PM

    I need to apply something like this to my life! I was thinking I need a “brand promise” for my blog (and probably my life!), it’s one of my favorite ways to focus an effort. Love the idea of picking three words as a lens for decision making . I certainly get distracted. I have yet to make my list for the year, which admittedly is more about projects than resolutions though I have some of those too, because I’m too distracted by Scarflettes! Got to get to it before too much time passes and I’ve missed a boat! good luck!

  4. 01/13 6:54 PM

    Jen, You’re an inspiration! That’s all I have to say.


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