I told my writer friend Stephanie that I'd mostly manage to write 1,000 words per day this week. She kindly complimented me and then asked what the difference between this week and other weeks had been. I thought about her question. What was the difference? I finally realized I had made a determined decision to bump the writing part up my daily To-Do list. And then I made a specific plan about how that writing would happen. What time would I write? Where? What did I have to ignore to get it done?
I'm a big fan of To-Do lists. In fact, tomorrow's column is devoted to the topic. But I'm beginning to realize that identifying what you want to do isn't enough. You have to make a plan. You have to make a How-To list.