I want to start by thanking Delilah for letting come play here again with all of you. It’s always a lot of fun to do.
When I started thinking about this blog post, it was still early December, but I’d already been working on my writing goals for next year. Which got me to thinking about all of the things still to do before next year. So I made a short list…
- Take a look back at the old year.
It’s hard to make new goals without knowing how we did on the old goals, right? So what did you get accomplished? I didn’t get as much accomplished as I wanted, but I put a fair dent in my list. I did have some unexpected trips come up in the spring, to visit a very sick family member, and then again a month or so later for a funeral. Did anything pop up to derail your plans during the past year? I do wish I’d been a little harder on myself with regards to time spent doing other things instead of working on some of my goals. I’d be much happier with my results (and myself!) if I’d checked a few more things off the list. How about your plans vs. results? Are you happy with your outcome, or a little disappointed like I am?
- Look at where you are, right now.
I’m not talking about physical location, but an honest assessment of the things and people who require your attention in addition to any goals you might be thinking about. I’ve got a great day-job this year, much better than where I started last year, but I know that there are a couple of weeks every single month where my schedule there is nuts and requires overtime. Then there are the family and household obligations (and, really, things I want to do for both). And I’ve taken a good look at where those things figured into my goals and achievements (or lack thereof) for the past year, so I can realistically decide how all of these will figure into the new year’s goals.
- Make a plan.
Sounds simple, right? But for myself, I want a realistic plan with achievable goals, while still stretching outside my comfort zone–though without aiming impossibly high; there is no sense in setting goals that have no chance of being reached, and doing that just makes you (me, anyway) feel bad.
I don’t make resolutions, just set goals. I took Delilah’s Write 50 Books class again this year (even though work got a bit in my way), so I could work on those ahead of time. And I try to break my goals down into manageable pieces. For me, saying I want to write five new books this year and lose weight doesn’t work. I need to break my goals down further: monthly and weekly–how many pages or chapters, how many pounds. Doing that makes it easier for me to look at the overall list and decide if I have a chance or if I’m setting myself up to fail.
I have to be specific, and maybe that will work for some of you, too. Saying I want to lose weight is great, but I need to decide how much, by when, and how I’m going to do it.
Again, kind of a simple step, in theory. But what can you do now to make a good start on those goals in the new year? If the goal is learning a new skill, know now what kind of study and practice that will require so you’ll actually be ready. If it’s diet and weight loss, start now clearing out the stuff you can’t have once you begin that new plan. Decide on the fitness program you’ll be starting–join the gym now so you can kick off the new year with a workout or personal trainer. How many new books to read in the new year vs. how much free time?
For my writing goals, I’m doing background work now on the two main characters for the first book on my list for the year. If I know them a little bit before I start, starting will go easier. I hope!
Once you’ve done your countdown and all of your prep work, so take a little time now to relax and celebrate the old year, and then to welcome the new year in a few days.
To make that celebrating a little more fun, I’m going to give away an e-book of Hunting Medusa to one commenter (via RandomResult): how did you do on achieving your goals for 2015?
Thanks again to Delilah for having me, and happy New Year to all!
Hunting Medusa: http://tinyurl.com/k7ap35z
When Kallan Tassos tracks down the current Medusa, he expects to find a monster. Instead he finds a wary, beautiful woman, shielded by a complicated web of spells that foils his plans for a quick kill and retrieval of her protective amulet.
Andrea Rosakis expects the handsome Harvester to go for the kill. Instead, his attempt to take the amulet imprinted on her skin without harming her takes her completely by surprise. And ends with the two of them in a magical bind—together. But Kallan isn’t the only Harvester on Andi’s trail…
Andi kept up her steady pace as they trekked farther into the forest. The sounds of the birds and chattering squirrels kept them company, as they had for the past two hours. He didn’t try to carry on a conversation with her while they walked. He was clearly accustomed to physical activity.
Which meant she’d have a harder time than she’d anticipated in ditching him.
Not that she’d imagined it would be easy.
Nothing could possibly be easy about this. Her luck clearly didn’t run in that direction.
She paused to take a sip of water from the bottle she’d tucked into the side of her backpack, and he stopped beside her. Warmth spread up her spine, and she frowned into the bottle she held. Stop it. He was not potential mate material, no matter how happy her hormones were when he was near.
“All right?” He took a quick drink from his own water, his arm brushing hers as he did so.
She shifted her weight onto her other foot, away from him. “Fine.”
He met her gaze.
Her pulse skipped.
“I know you don’t want to trust me, but you can. On this, you can.”