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.”
It sounded like a vow, she thought, panic making her heart beat faster. She didn’t want to believe him.
But on this one thing, she realized she did. Of course she did. Even though she hadn’t wanted to, she’d trusted him not to kill her after they’d made their bargain for the scissors. He’d earned it.
She swallowed, her mouth dry, and lifted her water bottle to her lips again, giving herself a distraction from the intensity in his green eyes.
He sighed, then took another drink.
Andi closed her eyes briefly, girding herself, and capped her bottle. The next stretch would be more of a challenge. Maybe this would be where her luck changed.
Two hours later, she panted softly, her heart pounding hard as she put one hand on the nearest tree trunk and dropped her head to pour the rest of her lukewarm water over the back of her neck.
Straight up the side of the mountain, and he was still not doing more than breathing hard, the bastard.
She felt her backpack shift, and glanced to the side.
“Getting you another drink.” He tugged a bottle out and then rezipped her pack.
She mumbled her thanks and chugged down half the bottle in one go. Then turned in time to see his throat working as he swallowed the last of his bottle. His skin glistened with sweat, muscles beneath shifting and making her want to touch. With her fingers, her tongue.
About the Author
Elizabeth Andrews has been a book lover since she was old enough to read. She read her copies of Little Women and the Little House series so many times, the books fell apart. As an adult, her book habit continues. She has a room overflowing with her literary collection right now, and still more spreading into other rooms. Almost as long as she’s been reading great stories, she’s been attempting to write her own. Thanks to a fifth grade teacher who started the class on creative writing, Elizabeth went from writing creative sentences to short stories and eventually full-length novels. Her father saved her poor, callused fingers from permanent damage when he brought home a used typewriter for her.
Elizabeth found her mother’s stash of romance novels as a teenager, and-though she loves horror- romance became her very favorite genre, making writing romances a natural progression. There are more than just a few manuscripts, however, tucked away in a filing cabinet that will never see the light of day.
Along with her enormous book stash, Elizabeth lives with her husband of twenty years and two young adult sons, though no one else in the house reads nearly as much as she does. When she’s not at work or buried in books or writing, there is a garden outside full of herbs, flowers and vegetables that requires occasional attention.
Didn’t do to well with achieving my goals for 2015! But I’m still working and woke up this morning so I’m ahead of the game! 😉
I did well on some and not so good on others. There are always things that need improvement. I have found that it is easier to make small steady steps
Got a good start in 2015 I’ve lost almost 36 lbs
Wow, it sounds like most of you are already on the same plan to reaching your goals.
Pamk, congratulations! One of my non-writing goals this year is weight loss, and I’m a huge exercise hater from way back, so I’ll have to be creative. lol
Jeanine, I totally agree. Trying to take on too much at once is almost a guarantee for me of failure. :-/
And good point, Linda. lol As long as we’re up and (semi-)coherent to start the day, it’s a good start. 🙂
And, since it looks like no one else is coming to play with us, I’m pulling up RandomResult.com right now.
And the ebook winner is Pamk! Congrats! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your preferred ebook format, and I can get that to you. 🙂
Happy New Year!