New Year plans? Don’t just set a start date

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Creative professionals start the year open and excited to new possibilities and to moving ahead to what is next. In recent days I’ve heard from creative pros who want:  “to transition into …”;  “to establish …”;  “to consider options;” “to seek a new job and career that fulfills me;” “to know how best to present myself. I have ideas, but don’t know where to start.”

It does help us to have a trigger to get us started on new projects.  Especially for a lot of creative pros who have learned to live and die by deadlines. 

No deadline approaching = no progress?  Sound like anyone you know?  If there are no real, outside-imposed deadlines: kick off meetings, launch dates, air dates, openings etc then how will we know when to stay up all night to get it done in time?  So we set ourselves deadlines to get started on our personal next steps. “I’ll start after Labor Day,” we might say.  “I’ll work on it while I’m away” (does that ever happen?)  “I’m waiting till the Spring.” After New Year is a biggie – along with those other resolutions we make. Whenever you put it on the calendar is good.  It’s never too soon and it’s (almost) never too late to get going on the next thing.

Yes but wait – what’s missing from this picture is when you will get it done. It’s one thing to set a start date – but what about a completion date?  And what will completion look like? Answer those questions and you’ll have all the deadlines you need.

So back to these wonderful folk who reached out to me.  Well done them for getting it on track.  Every journey starts with but a single step (hey come on – the old ones are the best ones!) But don’t just stop at the start – visualize what the results will be and set yourself a due date.  An immovable one.