Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year: Goals and Focus

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions, as such. People rarely seem to stick to them, and then they feel bad. Phooey.

Goals, on the other hand, I can get behind.

I like lists, for one thing, and you can write down goals in lists. But I also find that if I start the year with a concrete set of goals, it helps to keep me focused as I forge ahead. And let's face it, with everything we have on our plates, it is nice to have a reminder of what the heck it was we'd set out to do in the first place.

I sat down this week and reviewed my goals for last year to see how well I'd done. Not terrible, actually...about 7.5 out of 10, I'd say. (Yes, the list could have been written better, hence the .5)

I tend to divide my goals into two categories: personal, and writing. On the personal side I did much better with rediscovering how to relax and have fun (thanks, Blue Moon Circle!)and pushing outside my comfort zone. Didn't find the man of my dreams, but I'm not sure that belonged on the list anyway. Oh well. Let him find me.

On the writing side, I actually accomplished 4.5 out of 5--finished Pentacles and Pentimentos,the novel I'd started during NANOWRIMO (and another after it), finished the edits for P&P and sent it out to agents, spent more time and energy promoting the nonfiction books (since I had two coming out in one year), and managed my online time better with more blogging and less "social" time. Oh, and I got an agent. WOOT.

Yep, that was the big one.

The only thing I didn't accomplish was to get a book contract for the fiction. So that goes on the top of this year's list. And I have every expectation that I'll be able to put a check-mark beside that goal before too long.

I'm coming up with a new list of goals for this year, both personal and writing. But the biggest goal remains the same: to be my best self, both as a human being and as a writer. Working on that one...check.

What are your goals for the year, and what are you doing to achieve them?


  1. It sounds like you did really well! congrats on completing the book :) My big goal for this year is to write book two of the BirthRight Trilogy now that I got book one up *whew* Happy new year and good luck with your goals!

    The Arrival, on Amazon now!

  2. Congrats on your goals! The man of your dreams will probably enter when you you are not expecting it or looking. Mine did! My goals this year are to do more scrapbooking, blog posting, reading, meditating and exercising. There are so many things I enjoy doing that it's hard to find time to do them all!

  3. Good job on '10's goals. Now for '11's. I haven't set goals in years, not on Jan 1, anyway. Hope you get that novel (or any novel) published. As you know it's a tough world for fiction. All the agents (and presumably the pubhlishers) want a blockbuster every time or, if not that, then some literary masterpiece.

    I have been thinking about goaals for this year. I read tha goals are more effective than resolutions, but that they should be stated in a concerete, measurable way preferably with steps, so you know when (or if) you achieve them, and the individual steps are not so great that they seem overwhelming. My wisdom for the day. Publishing your fiction, BTW, IS measurable.

  4. Like you, I plan out my goals for the coming year. Since my birthday is at the end of the year, I like to make my goals then. Later, for the New Year, I'll review my goals and refine them.

    I've been rereading my notebook for an online class that I took last year titled "Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors" taught by the fabulous Margie Lawson. One of the things I wrote is to set myself up for success by moving forward with joy. With my recent personal struggles, I forgot this mantra. This is something that I'm resurrecting and will focus on for the coming year and definitely include it in my writing.

    Writing should be joyful and if we remind ourselves of that in the midst of challenges, then we bring the joy back to our writing with better flow. It becomes a positive experience to replicate.