End of the Year To Do List

Damaged portrait of Elizabeth I of England, To...

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I should be freaking out.

It’s November 20th. Thanksgiving is in four days. Christmas comes in a little over a month. The New Year comes about a week after that.

Instead, I’m breathing.

At this point, I have ten days to finish NaNoWriMo and to break 50K, I have to pull in about 3,400 words daily. In the past, I’d have felt defeated.  Not this time. And on top of it all, I’m feeling encouraged to think about what else I’d like to do with the rest of my year.

My blogger friend Elizabeth at Mirth and Motivation posted her year-end-to-do list, and since I’d been thinking about what I’d like to accomplish before the end of the year so I can dive into 2012 without feeling like I’m trying to get caught up…I think I’ll join her in making it public.

1.  Finish National Novel Writing Month over 50K.  NaNoWriMo is going to end at 11:59 p.m. on November 30th whether I have 50,000 words under my belt or not. I’d like to chalk one up in the “win” column.

2.  Box up books and music I’m not reading or listening to and find a good home for them.  Odds are that book I bought 5 years ago that “sounded good” and yet never opened is not going to be opened any time soon.  Someone will enjoy it. And I’ll have room on my shelf for something new.

3.  Redesign and rebuild my web site and blog.  I’d originally planned to keep this blog separate from my business site, but I’m feeling more confident about merging the two. There will also be the addition of a business page on Facebook, and possibly even *gulp* a Twitter connection.

4. Post once a week during December with a Christmas story. I’ve loved Christmas as long as I can remember. All the shopping will be what it will be, but the Spirit of Christmas is infinite and beautiful.

5. Continue to cultivate the professional and creative relationships that began this year. I haven’t been as interactive as I would like with my fellow bloggers and creatives. Why wait till the new year to do better?

6.  Take my daughters out. Just out. Not sure where. Maybe the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art followed by lunch. Maybe I can get my mom to call in sick to work and join us.

7.  Develop new classes and a five-year plan for my freelance business.  I enjoy teaching as much as I enjoy learning.  Every class I’ve taught through Owens Community College’s Workforce and Community Services program has been so much fun and I’ve met some terrific people as a result. I want to construct more learning opportunities for writers and storytellers, and over the next five years, I want to add podcasting and webinars to my web site.

I’d add a general “declutter” to this list, but I don’t think I can get that done before year’s end.  Started, yes, but not completed.  But I can purge old catalogs and magazines; shred multiple copies of documents I no longer need; and, of course, the aforementioned book and music purge.

There are things that are totally out of my control. I have to give those over to God and let Him manage it for a while. There are things I can take care of.

I’m on it.

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16 thoughts on “End of the Year To Do List

  1. I know I’m late checking in here on this blog post, but I love your list. I didn’t do NaNoWriMo, but I did write during November and got to 15K. I’m slow but I keep going. Yes, the holidays are upon us. May yours be merry and bright and full of restful moments.
    Enjoy always, T

  2. I have some similar things on my list as well – go out somewhere with my kids, purge books and music (as well as other stuff), work on my site… I think I should keep my kist to those 3!

  3. Elizabeth, this is a great list! You definitely have me thinking about my own projects, too! I’m also working on updating my website and being more consistent with my blog. Lately, I’ve been taking note of the websites that I like to figure out my aesthetic and researching Web designers. Unfortunately, I don’t have a technical bone in my body. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your list. It’s totally inspiring!

    P.S., I’ve always loved visiting museums with my mom. I think that’s awesome!!

    • Hi, Margarita! I’m just paying the inspiration forward – Elizabeth at Mirth and Motivation lit a fire under me. 🙂 I’m looking forward to merging the blog and the biz, and reaching out to more people. I’m kind of middling tech myself and am becoming more comfortable with the idea that I don’t know it all. I plan to “seek professional help” for my site too. Good luck with your site makeover – can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  4. I love your list…and it makes me think I should a list too, but lists like this never “work” for me…they just frustrate me. But…BUT? It can’t hurt, right? In fact, I’m thinking that maybe it’s the stuff I put on lists that’s all wrong. Hmmmm..you’ve got me thinking!!

    • And it doesn’t have to be 7 things, or 10 things, or 3 things…maybe there’s only one thing you really want to knock off that To Do list before the end of the year. Kind of like those old weight loss and fitness goals – a challenge, but not impossible or so lofty it’s frustrating. Something that would really make you sit back at the end of the year and think, “Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.” 😀

  5. Roxane Linnell says:

    GREAT list! Very inspiring. You go, girl. Now I must sit down and think about these things myself. We always think in resolutions to start the year, but yes, why not end the current year in a solid, successful way that truly brings peace and joy? Looking forward to your Christmas posts!

    • Thanks, Rox! I’m kind of pleased that I didn’t think, “Aw, man! Where did the year go? How am I going to get all this done?” Instead I’m thinking, “Okay, I have about six weeks – what’s reasonable to accomplish by then?”
      I know exactly where the year has gone – I got to do some pretty cool and unexpected things. And if that meant ignoring the To Do list, that’s all good!

  6. This is a wonderful and ambicious list of things to accomplish before the year ends.
    I think number 6 is superb. Spending time with your daughters and at an art situation can be a memory they will treasure more much later in their lives but a memory it will be.
    I love number 4 because I think Christmas is about the story of not about the glitz and presents.
    I praise you for number 2. It is difficult for people to let go of possesions even if they are not using them. I am constantly weeding out things I don’t use every three months. There are so many needy who have nothing. We always adopt a family for Christmas and supply food and a small treasure for them. It fills our hearts with joy to see them happy and thankful.
    Your list sounds like a different way to approach everyday life before the year ends. Get all the loose ends pulled together and organized so the new year is begun with a new slate. I hope
    it goes smoothly for you. I hope the ones that are out of your control and in God’s hands are tiny ones because He has decided to send only joyous ones.
    Blessings,
    Isadora

    • Thanks, Isadora! I’m looking forward to the clean slate myself.
      My daughters are 8 and almost-15 and the Museum is the one place we can ALL enjoy. We’ve been in the portion that houses the paintings and sculptures, but the Glass Pavilion is a separate building. The Museum really is one of the city’s gems.
      I think big versus little is a matter of perception. Sometimes I see them as “big” things and they might be pretty minor, and other times I think “no big deal – I can handle it” and it turns out to be incredibly stressful. In this case, however, some of the problems are broad with no immediate resolution – I don’t have any answers, and this may not be the time to answer them. So I put them in one of my declutter boxes and hand them to God to store for me until He can show me how to deal with them.
      Have a lovely Thanksgiving, my friend!
      Elizabeth

    • Thanks, Angelia! I have to admit, I’m kind of looking forward to these stories myself! I’m not sure what will happen yet – if they’ll be fiction or nonfiction – but we shall see.

    • Thank you, Elizabeth! Back at you! Yes, only so many hours in the day and Professor McGonagall wouldn’t give me her Time Turner. 😉 But I’ll make the best of what I’ve got!

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