Between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year I spend several weeks evaluating the past year and planning for the next year. It's part of my year end reflection process. I also take stock of the habits, attitudes and life circumstances. I make a promise to myself to make a conscience effort to increase that which served me and my family well, and eliminate that which did not. Then, on New Year's Eve I write down those habits, attitudes, fears and people which either did not serve to further our happiness, or served to make any of us unhappy. I light a fire, burn some incense, say some words that are dear to my heart, and burn those papers. This short ceremony helps me eliminate negativity, habits, ideas and attitudes which don't directly contribute to the health, success, and happiness of my family.
Some years I also write down those things which served us well and use the paper to fertilize my plants. By contributing to growth of a plant, those ideas also contribute to the growth of my family.
But, before the Burning Bowl Ceremony, I must do some goal evaluation and planning. That's where I am now.
Last year I made a lame attempt at goal planning for my Knight. We talked about his writing and where he wanted to be by December 2012. I comprised a list of writing projects based on his suggestions and I added some of my own. Then, I went through the calendar and assigned due dates to each goal. On my Knight's daily task lists I would say something like , "Begin writing short stories for Name of Ebook. All 12 stories are due to be for editing on May 15."
I used the same process for my own goals, but I am easily able to break large tasks - like writing a 700+ page technical book - into easy to manage tasks. That's not so easy for my Knight. He can break down computer programs and databases like nobody I've ever met. But.. applying that same skill to a personal task can be a challenge. Honestly, it depends on the task, and how much experience he has with similar projects.
So.. this year I am taking the advice of a very prolific writer friend. She plans out exactly when each small task will be completed. So, for example she knows that on October 15 of next year she will be working on X part of Project 4. She does this for all her writing projects, and all of her husband's projects, as well. It is a long and drawn out process. It's difficult and time consuming to complete all this planning for one person. I've combined our work and personal goals into one place so I can plan writing time for each of us accordingly. It's a lot of work, but I think it will pay off for both of us in the end.