Wednesday, December 31, 2008


By C. LaRene Hall

It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to new beginnings and we all seek to make new goals. Today I also want to reflect and see if I accomplished those things I set out to do this past year.

Did I write something every day? Did I finish any stories? Did I submit the stories that I wrote? Did I attend any new conferences and classes to learn something about writing? This year I can answer yes to all the above questions.

Besides writing goals, I wanted to improve my personal life. I wanted to let others know that they helped me in some way, and I tried more often to thank those around me for the little things they did. I’m sure I still fell short and I hope to improve this coming year.

During November, I realized how important the two small words, thank you, could be. Since August, I have helped my sisters take care of my mother, but after months of caring for her, she finally started to say those magical words. After hearing this for many days, I found I didn’t mind doing the things I had to do. I actually looked forward to spending time with her. This coming year I’m hoping that I’ll have the courage and courtesy to say thank you more often to those who help me.

For many years, my first goal every year is time management. I can’t function without having a plan. Besides the usual things – keeping a daily log – and prioritizing, I will diligently look ahead to the up coming primary lesson. It’s been a while since I had a weekly lesson to give, and with all my other responsibilities, I can see this part of my life becoming complicated. My plan is that every Sunday afternoon after church I will read next week’s lesson. I will not leave it until Saturday night. I learned many years ago that if you do this, you have all week long to get your thoughts and ideas organized for the upcoming lesson.

It’s not always easy to organize my time but when I do plan, things always go more smoothly. I recently received a stake calling to be the music chairman. This is going to be new to me. Although I have lots of music background, I’ve never been the ward music chairman and wonder how I can do this with no experience. I guess this came my way because I thought I had held every church position that a woman could hold. I’m going to be more careful about the things I think about from now on.

My upcoming yearly goals are
1. Plan every single day, and prioritize what I have to do.
2. Prepare primary lesson early.
3. Fulfill my stake calling to the best of my ability and attend all the meetings required.
4. Be more kind to other people.
5. Say thank you to someone every day.
6. Write something every day.
7. Continue to submit the things I write.
8. Finish writing some of the stories I’ve started.
9. Attend writing conferences.
10. Try writing in a new genre.

I hope you will each make a list of your new goals for the upcoming year, but also take time to reflect on this past year. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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