Well, it has taken more than one week to write down my goals for 2012. I find every year starts with so many expectations to be fulfilled. Then, the year is gone and just a fraction of my expectations seem to get realized. In considering my goals, I found I also had to consider what prevents me from accomplishing them.
On my list was prioritizing my projects in order of deadlines. This year, I have much writing to do with my wonderful blog. Then there are my 3 columns for The Wilkes Gazette online newspaper at http://www.wilkes-gazette.com/. In addition to writing Living On A Budget and Restaurant Reviews, I am particularly passionate about my column Jeanne's Travels. In this column, my dog Red and I visit pet-friendly places around Western North Carolina. We made a recent visit to the beautiful and environmentally-friendly Western North Carolina Visitor Center located off Rte 421 in North Wilkesboro, NC.
I also need to plan out and write articles for Examiner.com. My column is entitled Winston-Salem Frugal Living Examiner which ties in nicely with my Living On A Budget column. I have found so many ways to stretch budget dollars and I am very happy to share these tips with my readers.
More recently, I have begun writing Hubs for HubPages.com. I am researching and writing articles about vintage items. In particular, those that can be found on Etsy.com on which I have a vintage shop, Wilkes Vintage Finds. The shop takes many hours of time with research, copywriting, customer emails, and shipping. I have learned to offer sales throughout the year and editing item descriptions can take up many hours in a week.
I quickly saw two weeks ago, that time management is crucial. I have had much training in the customer service and administrative assistant positions that I have held in the past. Customer inquiries that needed to be answered in a timely manner, performing background checks, typing documents, submitting reports, etc. that all had deadlines to be met, or ideally, exceeded. Many of those jobs also included answering phone calls and emails. Time for those tasks also had to be included in the mix of each day's agenda.
I am grateful for the many wonderful managers and co-workers who assisted me with time management planning. Some of that assistance came in the form of attending seminars and watching videos. My goals this year will only be met if I remember and apply all of my useful time management training.
A calendar and a daily planner are crucial. I mentioned in my last post the need for me to write mainly in pencil. Things that must remain constant such as deadlines for articles, time periods to hold Etsy sales, necessary paperwork and tax returns all require ink in the planner. The ink is for me to remember to keep focused on the exact amount of time that I can give to certain tasks. Other things may have more latitude in which to to work with as far as time constraints are concerned.
I have a weekly goal of 1 article per week for my 3 columns in the Wilkes Gazette. I have a daily goal of 1 article for HubPages. I have a goal of 3 articles per week for the Winston-Salem Frugal Living Examiner. Again, these articles will each take time to plan out and research. If photography is needed, then even more time must be given to those particular articles.
I have personal weight and diet goals that include my finally giving up soda. I have a particular weakness for Mountain Dew and Coca-Cola. However, the carbohydrates (sugars) and the calories are not conducive to my losing weight. In other words, the soda is not beneficial to my new diet regime. I am not particularly fond of fruit, although I am very fond of vegetables. I particularly like the green vegetables such as kale, spinach, peas, green beans and more recently, baby brussel sprouts.
I also have exercise goals for walking and muscle-toning now that I am over 50. Much of my past walking exercise has been in towns on city sidewalks. Now, that I am in the country again where loose dogs are quite common, I am looking into other forms of exercise and muscle-toning.
I know, to be successful with my goals and agenda this year, that I will need to be balanced. Exercise and a good diet are two of the basic components for being balanced. Also, I learned in the office world, short breaks can do wonders to clear one's head and keep one focused on the tasks at hand.
Over the next few weeks, I will continue to post about how things are going with my strategies for success. February is already half over and there is no time like the present to get started. I am happy to say in this past week, that I was able to work on my Etsy shop, write an article for Examiner, write this post, and finish my last bottle of soda...for now. What do they say, "Baby steps!".
Until my next post...
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- Valerie Jeanne Hynson
- Wilkesboro, NC, United States
- My interest with writing began by composing poems about nature in my childhood. I also co-wrote a play in my 4th grade class when I lived in New Rochelle, NY. It generated enough positive feedback that my class put on the play in the school auditorium. I was fortunate to have a lead part. After my high school graduation, I entered the working world. For over 30 years I have been steadily gaining writing, editing and digital publishing skills. I began by composing letters and emails to company clients. I contributed to articles written for The Commuters Register based in Windsor, CT. Since 2009, I have added social media, digital publishing and blogging here in Wilkesboro, NC. Since 2010, I write ad copy for the listing descriptions for each of my 3 Internet shops open at Etsy.com. In 2012, I entered a poem about my dog Red in the World Poetry Contest. The poem was chosen for publication. I have written articles for the Winston-Salem Frugal Living Examiner and Hub Pages. In 2012, I acquired The Wilkes Gazette digital newspaper that was renamed the Wilkes County Gazette in 2014. I write under both my own name and my pen name, Jeanne Armonk.