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    New Years Resolutions 2002: A Goal Setting Plan for Writers

    Each year, it comes again and again. That dreaded day of bubbly when most average people set a goal of some sort, however feeble in intent, for the New Year ahead. And each year, as it approaches, we writers regress with no small amount of trepidation as we know it is coming right at us, ready or not.

    I don't know about you, but I am a Diehard mom. I have four children, ages 12, 7, 3, and 2. And I can handle the sight of blood and other messy bodily liquids, can outrun a screaming toddler at the speed of light (or so I'm told), can enjoy a meal even if the temperature is something just above freezing, can, after making my deadline on an upcoming article clean the house in twenty minutes flat in time for my husband to get home from work, have dinner on the table, and can remove every kind of stain imaginable and bake a decent pie crust to boot.

    But I am also a diehard procrastinator. And, while I do make deadlines and handle my freelance career better than ever, I used to have a little issue with goal setting.

    "Goal setting," one of my favorite motivational speakers, Anthony Robbins says, "is the key to getting everything in your life you ever dreamed possible."

    And he's right, you know. A goal is like a roadmap of where you are trying to go, and the innate power of our brain is such that if we just set it in motion by giving it a clear direction in which to go, it will, almost like a plane flying on autopilot, get you there. You just have to program it and set it on the right heading.

    In 1998 I began a study of all the motivational speakers popular throughout history in an effort to find out what works against procrastination and career ineffectiveness. I did this because of a thing I repeatedly heard in childhood from my father. Dad used to have a saying, "If you ask three people a question and two of three times, you hear the same thing, it is usually true. And having lived my life, suffice to say, not quite as fullfillingly as I'd wanted to in terms of my writing career up to that point, I knew there was something out there I didn't yet know and wanted to.

    "If you hear the same thing..." kept ringing in my ears as I read and took course after course, and began the long road of modeling after those people who went before. I figured that if I was at least able to save myself some mistakes then the journey through other people's lives and work was worth it.

    And boy, was I ever right.

    But then in retrospect, I realize that I probably didn't need to take a course to figure out that the success of all those people for all those years in so many different areas of life had a pattern, or a method to their madness that led to incredible success.

    And neither do you.


    Copyright © Carolyn Burch

    Carolyn Burch is a fulltime freelance professional writer, columnist, and author and mother of four from Phoenix, AZ. With a background in addition to writing in marketing, sales, time management, and human resources, she has written for five national and three international print magazines and journals, several newspapers, and more than a hundred online ezines and sites, and is the lead instructor for 2001-2002 at the Cornerstone Creative writing workshops. Her writing archives can be viewed at

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ

    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

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    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)


    The Journaling Life: 21 Types of Journals You Can Create to Express Yourself and Record Pieces of Your Life

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