Practicing accountability

By Katharine Swan On Thursday, January 03, 2013 At 8:04 PM

My last post was on my goals for the year -- things I plan on doing in 2013 anyway, though of course some of these (such as overhauling my website) have been on my to-do list for a long time, so just being on my to-do list already doesn't mean that it's any more likely to get done than any other New Year's resolution.

I'm going to implement a two-pronged strategy to keep myself accountable this year.  The first thing I'm going to do is to try out an app that seems like it might actually help with those daily tasks -- the kinds of comprehensive resolutions that they say tend not to be successful, like "eat better" (or "work on my novel," as the case may be).  The app lets you set reminders, plus you can check off every day that you meet your goal.  You can also go into each goal and look at the calendar to see what your track record is like for that particular task.  The app is called Achieve It or just Achieve, and is available on the iPhone (I don't know about any other devices, such as the iPad or Android).

The other thing I'm planning on doing is posting weekly about my progress on my different goals.  I'm not sure yet whether I'll post on Fridays about that week, or post on Mondays about the previous week.  Part of me thinks that posting on Mondays will help me refocus for the coming week.  If this app works out, I can use its tracking capabilities to help me review my progress for the previous week; I'm also starting an Excel spreadsheet to track my daily word count on my novels and similar projects.

I've felt very out of control of my own life in 2012 -- although I love my part-time nanny job and I love my pets and horses, I have also felt very overwhelmed by all the demands these things place on my time.  I think the best way to take back control of my life is to get a little better organized, and be more accountable for what I say I'm going to do.  When I have a limited amount of time in which to get things done, I can't afford to waste any of it!

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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