“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” ~ Steve Jobs
Like many, I awaited the end of 2014 with a mixture of trepidation and excitement. For me 2014 was a blessing and a curse. It was not a good year for me personally with a major foot injury clipping my wings for five months, but I celebrated many successes including being confirmed as a PhD candidate at the University of Tasmania so it wasn’t all bad.
To start me off on the right track I chose a word, incorporating ideas from Christine Kane, Leonie Dawson and Kelly Exeter. My word for 2015 is “Focus”, which I settled on because I want to stop reacting to other’s priorities and trying to do everything concurrently so I can concentrate on less to do my tasks better. And because I feel inspired by pretty things, I decorated a poster for my office during a craft morning with my boys to remind myself to stay focused.
Using the word “focus” as an anchor (rather than listing a heap of unrelated things), I set myself three areas for improvement this year. I thought you’d like to see my mindset around this:
• Aim for single-tasking
• Be more definite about what is needed for tasks/requirements before I commit to them or start working
• Lessen the overwhelm I feel when there is too much going on and, in turn, reduce the amount I procrastinate when feeling that way.
As a result of my focus I intend to look back on this year to see I have reached my goals, set new ones and reached those too. The goals I have started playing around with are mainly concerned with my study and writing pursuits, as these are the areas I need most focus:
1. Finish data collection for my PhD thesis
2. Write my thesis introduction
3. Finish my methodology chapter
4. Conduct my research interviews with journalists and editors
5. Write and submit two articles to academic journals
6. Write a crowdfunding ebook
7. Write a media kit ebook
8. Build a MOOC-like course from Make Me a Star!
9. Write short stories and flash fiction regularly
10. Continue with my novel manuscript.
To make all this (and more) happen this year I will be organising my office properly with the gorgeous stationery I got for my birthday last month. I am also making my to do list doable and questioning why and when everything needs to be done, including asking whether I am the best person to do it (ie I could outsource it). My desired result is more focus and structure around my work/study time and less stressing about what hasn’t been done.
Have you set yourself a word for the year? Or do you have another way of taking stock and goal setting for the year ahead?