If you read my previous post, or my Goals: 2020 post, you’ll know my word for 2020 is MOMENTUM.
Momentum is the perfect word to keep me moving forward in my writing and publishing, and also my personal life and the forward motion I need to achieve my professional and personal goals.
But aside from goals and momentum, I have intentions this year too.
Intentions are things I need to put into place to ensure momentum. But my intentions are not only for narrowing my focus and improving productivity.
My intentions are all about taking a wide approach to the life I want to live. It’s about being intentional and purposeful in all that I do. Something that I think in today’s modern world has been lost.
We are so busy, leading full lives, squeezing the life out of every moment, so that when we leave this world we have no regrets. But so much of what we do isn’t done with intention. Often it’s fueled by FOMO (fear of missing out) or KUWTJ (keeping up with the Joneses) or simply because that’s what we think we should be doing (because that’s what ‘society’ tells us).
2020 is all about changing that through intentions and leaving space and freeing up time to be used more purposefully or not to be used at all, simply to be.
My intentions for 2020
Stop being a slave to social media
None of us like to admit we are addicted to social media, and I wouldn’t say I’m addicted (?) but I would say I’ve become a slave to it.
It’s part necessity – building connections and friendships through/for my writing – which I love, and part FOMO. What if someone posts a picture I miss? What if someone posts an interesting/informative/amazing/important status update and I’m out of the loop? And so forth.
It’s also partly feeling obligated to be on social media and posting images and updates of life, both important and mundane. It’s what everyone else does right? And it’s nice to see those Facebook memories pop up from four years ago, isn’t it?
But no more.
After reading (listening via audiobook) to Cal Newport’s ‘Digital Minimalism’ I’ve decided to slash back my social media and attachment to my devices. That doesn’t mean a clear cut ban or deleting all my social media accounts. For some, that might be the way to go, but for me, it’s more about being intentional in how I use social media.
My intentions are:
- To limit the time on social media to scheduled times during the day
- To be intentional about what I do eg. only posting an update and replying to comments or interacting with those in my circle, or interests.
- To reduce mindless scrolling or getting lost in the rabbit hole of the internet
- To make sure the time I do spend on social media is spent well, fostering meaningful connections with readers and other writers.
- To be more purposeful and personable with my social media posts – sharing more of me and my writing days, the challenges, the highs, and lows. Basically, do it well!
- To have conversations rather than connections with my closest family and friends – in real life, not over social media.
Respect my writing schedule
It’s all well and good to set a writing schedule or daily word count, but sticking to it is another thing. And not only sticking with it but respecting that time as dedicated work (writing) time.
As much as I’d love writing to be my main occupation, it’s not. My husband is a builder and we run a bathroom/laundry renovation business. While he’s out on the tools, my job is handling quoting, accounting/bookwork, associated admin, as well as marketing and promotion. Adding to that, I also manage our AirBnB property as well as take care of the housework, cooking and of course kids.
The mornings are usually dedicated to bookwork and my aim is that by lunchtime I can focus on my writing before the kids get home from school. That’s roughly three hours a day for writing/editing etc.
But, often my writing time is interrupted for one reason or another, but not always an interruption that is a necessary one.
This year, I’m going to respect my writing time as if I was going to work. No interruptions, no procrastination – no excuses!
I’m going to block this schedule out each weekday in my diary and be strict about sticking to it.
Have a plan
While stealing back time from social media black holes and respecting my writing schedule, I’ll also need to head into each day with a plan.
I’m unfortunately one of those people who need to get in the ‘zone’ to write. I need a clear, quiet space and I need to step into my writing head. This often means that the first half an hour of writing time is spent getting in the zone, thinking about what I’m doing, where I’m up to and what I need to get done. If I write five days a week, that’s two and a half hours of time I’m not using wisely.
So, each night I am going to spend half an hour working out where I’m up to in my current work in progress and write a plan for the next day. Then, when I sit down to write, I’ll know exactly what I need to do.
This list will not only include what I’m currently writing or editing, but any marketing or self-publishing related ‘business’ things that need to be done. I’m a list person, so I know this will work for me. And the buzz I will get crossing things off the list each day will spur me on to continue the habit.
Time to be
It’s funny how everybody is busy these days. And in fact, if you aren’t busy, you almost feel guilty for admitting it out loud.
Imagine this conversation
Person A: How are you?
Person B: Busy. You know how it is. And you?
Person A: Ah, no not really busy. Pretty chilled actually.
Person B: *scratches head with blank look*
It’s like busy is the new feather to stick in our cap. Even though we complain about being ‘busy’ in some ways, we choose to be that way because society tells us being busy must mean our lives are full. That we are chasing our dreams, working hard to have the life we want, giving our kids the things we didn’t have. It’s a conversation for another day, but in terms of my intentions, I am going to prioritise time to just be.
Whether that time is spent reading or simply sitting and taking in the outdoors or sitting with my own thoughts. This solitude is great not only for clearing the head but for stress levels in general. It clears the mind, allows your thoughts to process and allows you to recalibrate. Even if it’s only five or ten minutes here and there throughout the day, I’m going to be intentional about making the time.
So they are my intentions for 2020. And along with my goals and my word momentum, I’m looking forward to making 2020 a great year!