Saturday, May 4, 2013

Project Finish, Goal Setting & Me

This year, I am participating in a project of my own design called Project Finish.

"Finish" is my word of the year. I don't remember who started the "Word of the Year" idea, but it is suppose to be an alternative to new year resolutions. The idea is that you choose a word, and then throughout the year, you think of it and use it to improve your life. I have been using this idea for several years now with words like smile, safety, space and celebration. This year, I chose finish.

For a long time, I have been dissatisfied with myself for having trouble finishing things. Yes, I am smart. Yes, I have a knack for learning, for knowing how to do thing, for sharing and for helping other people see how to do things and finish their own projects! I, on the other hand, usually stop near the end of any mission and never go back.

I sort of feel like I am actually incapable of finishing anything so I decided to prove myself wrong!

I started the year with a few "finish" goals, and I proceeded to learn a lot about what is required to finish. First, you have to be ready to ask for help even when it isn't easy. I hate asking for help. I want to do everything myself, always. I can do everything myself (that is until I can't.) So I have been learning. I also learned that if finishing is the goal, a rigid timetable is only going to be an obstacle.  For example, many people start writing novels during National Novel Writing month. The vast majority of those who do not finish their novels during the month, never finish their novels. They missed the deadline so they figure why keep trying. A third important lesson has been that you can control your actions but you can't control the results of your actions. In other words, you can say that I will finish each day this week having averaged eating only 1500 calories a day. You can't say that I will finish losing 2 pounds this week. The first item you have tight control over; the second is the result of many variables, and may or may not occur in spite of your actions.

So, I have revised my project as I have gone along, I do feel that it has been a positive factor in my life this year. First of all, I have learned how to make money as a writer/editor/research. Not just pocket change, but enough money to make it worth my while even when it isn't easy or fun. And second, I am starting to realize that finishing maybe isn't always that important anyways! (Not that I am giving up!)

This week, I have been taking some time off from being super project oriented, but I find myself itching to return to the project tomorrow. Here is one thing I am changing up at this point. My finishes are going to be simple one week projects. I have discovered that I can do anything for a week. Usually that is enough time to see how it is going and revise if necessary.

Here are my project tasks for this week: wash all dishes at 9:15 p.m. each day (I love waking up to a clean kitchen), wash and hang all laundry everyday, write a blog post everyday, earn $92.40 through my primary freelance site each day Monday - Friday, take a daily walk, follow my Diet Power program each day, "water" my Japanese exercises on Memrise daily, and then on Saturday work on my goals for next week and set about planning the day with my love that I have planned for next Saturday!


  1. Hi Jacqueline! I followed you over here from Facebook. This topic is SO timely for me! I am exactly the person you described as participating in NaNoWriMo every year without ever truly finishing a novel. And this year I've vowed to see my story through to the finish, because I, too, have had trouble with committing to finishing things in the past. And I haven't set a strict time table, either, but I have finally established a weekly writing goal that really meets my needs and I've been able to stick with it, so I'm wildly excited about that. But enough about me - I LOVE that you've picked this word and I sort of especially love that one of the lessons you've learned about finishing is that it isn't always all that important after all.

    Ooh - and if you have any tips for me on that whole making money writing thing, I'd love to hear it!

    I'm enjoying this blog very much - I've always felt like I wanted to get to know you better (and that we were a lot alike in many ways) but wasn't quite sure how to go about it - Facebook tends to be such a surface tool. I look forward to more!

    1. It is so cool that I can reply to a comment easily here now! I use to blog on Live Journal, and it made community so easier with an easy reply to comment feature. I am glad that you are enjoying my new blog. I have been wanting to have a consolidated blog for a long time but kept putting it off 'cause things weren't perfect. (I wasn't sure where to make the blog. I felt I had have to have a custom url. I was worried about sharing too much now that the whole world is online, etc.)

      Anyways, here I am and so far so good. I mostly make money writing copy, writing content type articles and editing through a few regular requesters at Mechanical Turk. To begin with I couldn't make much, but then a few companies decided they liked my writing, and now, I have as much work as I can do. It isn't exactly fun or easy, and I certainly am not getting rich. (I make about $10 an hour.) But for our family, it is the difference between being scared about money all the time and actually paying most bills on time plus having a few extras (and I am suddenly realizing that out extras our probably less than many other's regulars.)

      :D Nice seeing you!