thin red notebook
My favourite notebook


True, if slightly embarrassing, confession:

This is one of the times of the year when I kinda geek out with planning. January 1st always feels like a fresh start to me, and living in Ottawa there’s usually (lots of) fresh snow on the ground which makes the world feel unspoiled.

A brand new year with no mistakes in it – it’s a heady feeling! [cue soundtrack]

I’ve lost count of how many planners and planning systems I’ve used over the years, both in my professional life and my creative life: FranklinCovey, Full Focus Planner, BestSelf Planner, Unbound, you name it. Oh, and Day-Timers and FiloFax! (I was going to say something about how completely retro these last two feel now, but I just went to the FiloFax website and now I want the Domino Patent A5 Organizer in Hot Pink. It’s a sickness, folks.)

And it gets *so* much better when I throw in some Post-It notes, page flags, gold star stickers and not gonna lie: COLOURED PENS, my friends! My planning process is a dream for kindergartners and stationers alike.

This past year in my work life, we’ve finished up our 5-year Strategic Plan and we’re about to start on our annual plans and I LOVE it. I’m going to Asana the heck out of my days next year. (Don’t even get me started on productivity apps and podcasts; we could be here til February.)

#writinglife goals

Of course, I had writing goals for 2018, primarily around focus, consistent practice and finishing up one specific manuscript that has just been hanging around for too damn long. And I feel fairly good about my progress on those fronts.

But I made a really big error…

Just before this time last year, I did an online assessment of my life and then made goals and sub-goals across 8 “priority” areas, from fitness to finances, resulting in – wait for it – 31 specific sub-goals.

I kid you not. And every single one of them was SMART.

I still can’t play the flute.

What I learned from how I approached my planning process in 2018 is this: DON’T DO THAT AGAIN. Clearly, right?

Predictably, I made the most progress on the goals that meant the most to me, and very little on the ones that in the end I just didn’t care that much about.

This year, I’m doing it differently. And I’d like to invite you to join me.

On Saturday, December 29th from noon to 2pm (Eastern), I’ll be hosting a free online workshop to help prioritize and plan your most important writing goals for 2019. If you think that might be helpful for where you are with your writing right now, here’s some detail on the agenda:


Saturday, December 29th, 2018  Noon to 2pm Eastern

We’ll gather together online (via Zoom) to:

  • Have a look in the rear-view and assess 2018 as we bid the year good-bye
  • Get clarity on writing priorities in just 3 areas: Practice, Projects and People
  • Prepare specific and personalized objectives for what matters most in 2019
  • Make plans for the first 3 months of the year that we can rinse and repeat to ensure real progress

Also: prizes! Because what’s a planning party without some free goodies?

And I’ll provide some PDFs to guide us through the whole process, including sheets you can use to track progress throughout the year.

Sign up here and I’ll send you a reminder email with instructions on how to join the fun.

Hope to see you there!




P.S.  This is a free workshop as in FREE. Nothing to buy, nothing for sale, just a supportive group of fellow writers putting our heads together to make real progress on our writing dreams in 2019. Do come join in live if you can! There will be a recording sent out after the workshop but it will be so much more fun to be there in person.

P.P.S.  Prizes! I won’t spoil it by saying exactly what they are yet, but here’s an introduction to my favourite stationery store, Nota Bene, located in Montreal, Quebec. [wink]



2019 Planning for Writers — Your Special Party Invitation