Earlier this week, I failed.

At the very end of October, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, an “event” where you commit to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I started an account. I joined the local Facebook group. I was excited. I had an idea. I was ready to write.

In fact, I was going to write here about the experience of writing a novel.

As I started to read the advice from others, I realized that they had been planning for months. Working on outlines. Character concepts. They had a plan. I only had an idea. I was not ready to write.

No worries, I thought. I’ll rough together an outline quickly. Make some decisions about characters and I’ll catch up.

I never did.

This week marks the end of NaNoWriMo and I have virtually nothing written. My first attempt at NaNoWriMo* was a complete and total failure, although I have a sweet outline and a couple of (very bad) chapters. 

But this failure was one of the driving concepts behind The Advent Resolution. If you aren’t prepared to tackle big goals, they won’t happen. And if you never set aside time to prepare, you’ll never be comfortable setting those ambitious goals.

I’ve got a lot of goals and ideas for the next year. I'm too often guilty of trying to tackle them all at the same time. Right now, I’m trying to work out which projects I will tackle and which ones will stay on the shelf. 

So I’m committing this first week of Advent to thinking about focus. Wondering how to tackle these goals while still being a great dad and a husband. I’m reflecting on the influences in my life that strengthen and sustain me. I'm trying to remember how to focus in a multitasking world.

We’ll see where it leads me.

The Advent Resolution is simple: Prayerfully prepare for the coming year.

* I plan to try again. Next time, though, I'll actually be prepared.