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I have been meaning to finish the novel I started in college since, well, since I started it in 1998. That’s a whole lot of time spent thinking about it, fretting over it, and ultimately not doing anything about it. It seems there is always something more important to do or something easier and more enjoyable.

Last year I made it a goal to finish writing a novel. Sure, it still was not the story I started back in college, but I was bound and determined to finish writing something. But there was still a hurdle in the way, and I am willing to bet that it is the same hurdle that many of you face when looking up at a goal from the ground floor.

Where will I find the time?

Right about the time I was wondering that, I read a blog post that had a novel idea. Put aside one hour each day and use it to be productive. No interruptions for 60 minutes. Don’t check email. Don’t go to Facebook. Don’t answer the phone.

Every day. 60 minutes.

So I gave it a try. Every day after work I spent 60 minutes writing. It was not much each day, but after a month I had written 20,000 words. By the end of the summer, I was up to 70,000 words.  In November, I made it two hours and completed 50,000 words in that month alone.

The novel stands complete. It’s just a rough draft and needs a lot of editing, but I can see the 400 page manuscript sitting on the table and know that I accomplished my goal.

That’s the power of an hour.  Don’t try to accomplish your goals this year all in one sitting. Take bite size chunks out of it. Do a little each day, every day, and you will be amazed at the results at the end of the year.

Good luck in 2013. I hope you hit all of the goals you have set!

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