Friday, January 8, 2010

"What If...?" Challenge: How Was Your First Week?

We are one full week into Year 2010, so it's time for a progress update on the "What If...?" challenge. As with any new venture, there is a lot of excitement in the beginning, and perhaps that's partly why this has been such a good week. Whatever the reason--adrenaline, commitment, a favorable alignment of the planets, or the grace of God--it has been very encouraging. Often, it's just little things that mean the most. This week I have been thankful for, or glad about, the following:

1/1 -- being able to enjoy on TV the full two-hour broadcast of the Tournament of Roses Parade after missing it the past several years;
1/2 -- that my NaNoWriMo writing buddy wants to continue being writing buddies throughout the year;
1/3 -- that my daughter and son-in-law made it safely home through the storm that dumped over 3 feet of snow on us today;
1/4 -- for our wonderful maintenance crew who worked tirelessly to shovel us out; that my daughter was able to retain a snow removal service for my mom's property--huge relief;
1/5 -- for Eagle Brand replying so quickly to my inquiry asking if None Such Mincemeat was gluten-free: it is! Also, for calls from my son and one of my daughters; that four more people are virtually fostering dogs through Save A Dog on Facebook ( in response to my invitation to join me in sponsoring; and for delicious, frozen gluten-free meals for when I'm just not up to cooking;
1/6 -- that the items I'd ordered for friends came today so I could wrap them (the items, not the friends) and send them on their way;
1/7 -- that I was able to get my hair cut, and that another writer has agreed to do a guest post on my blog when his new book is released in the spring.

As for my goals for this year, I have broken them down into doable steps for each month, week, and day. My major goals for January are to (1) begin revisions on my WIP (work in progress)--started on 1/4, (2) declutter one day a week--started on 1/7, (3) join two off-line writers' groups--not yet, (4) mail package off to brother and sister-in-law--not yet (different from package mentioned above).

So, how was YOUR first week? Did you devise a workable plan to achieve your goals or resolutions? Were you able to find at least one thing each day for which to be grateful? If you struggled with either or both of these, how can we support you in getting back on track? Post your goals, gratitude list, or struggles in the "Comments" section.

For help in setting realistic goals, check out these resources: -- Mary Jane Ryan--life coach, change expert, speaker, and author of such books as Adaptability: How to Survive Change You Didn't Ask For; This Year I Will; Happiness Makeover; and Attitudes of Gratitude. -- Explains how to use the S.M.A.R.T. acronym to set achievable goals. -- List of articles with tips for keeping New Year resolutions.


  1. I've had a fairly good week. Working towards some of my new years goals (both written and unwritten). I finally went through 2 boxes of "stuff" that we had in our bedroom just collecting. Got that down to just a few things we're keeping and the rest I'm bringing into work to put on the "free table." I've been trying to be better about watching my portions and eating healthier foods. I did well until tonight when I ate 4 popovers! Although only 70 calories each, it was still too much! I am finally working towards the networking certifications that I wanted to get and will be taking a class through work to help towards that goal. I'm both nervous and excited about that. We booked our trips that we wanted to take this year.

    So far so good. I always start out strong but then taper off as the year progresses. Hopefully not this year. I still have a few more goals I need to work towards and start, but again with the patience, I'm trying to pace myself.

  2. Sounds like you have a good start on your goals, Sarah, and pacing is key to achieving them. I've found that when I try to do everything at once, nothing gets done because it's too overwhelming. This year I set fewer goals and broke them down into smaller, achievable parts to divide among the twelve months. Some, like decluttering, will be ongoing; others, like book revisions, will have a definite end date (though it may not seem like it at the moment). At the end of each month, I plan to evaluate, make adjustments, then set goals for the following month. Each time I complete a goal, I'll write down the date of completion so I have a written record of progress. Let's try to keep each other motivated.