Sunday, December 28, 2014

Setting Goals, Not Making Resolutions

I love this week of the year. The frenzy that is Christmas is over, but the lights are still up so you can take a breath and enjoy the season. And it's not quite New Year's. It's the one week of the year where I reset my internal clock, wipe my desk clear of unfinished projects, and set new goals for the next year.

So, how is that different from making resolutions? It's a known fact that people who make resolutions to join health clubs, lose weight, eat better, finish that book, give up in February or so, since we quickly become overwhelmed with what we've set out to accomplish. Goals are more relaxing, in my mind. You have an entire year to accomplish what you've set out to do. If it doesn't get done in January, or even started, that's okay. There are still eleven months.

Of course, goals need to be worked on during the year, and mustn't be ignored until December. But for some reason, when all the lists of resolutions are balled up and thrown away, I look at my set of goals for the year and keep plugging away on it.

Since you've now listened to my line of rationale, I think it's only fair to share with you my goals for the year. Here they are:

1) This one's non-negotiable, since I'm under contract to finish the last two books in my Cotillion Ball Series, one in June and the last in December. A Widow's Redemption features Pepper, the eldest in the Fitzpatrick family. Her husband dies at Ft. Sumter, during the first battle of the Civil War, and after a year of mourning, she begins to volunteer at a local army hospital and meets a doctor who is as wounded as the men he's attempting to repair. The Forgotten Debutante is about the youngest in the family, Saffron. She comes of age during the Civil War and all the men who should be courting her are off fighting in the war.

2) Finish the rewrite of my contemporary, Barnswallow Summer, and hand it off to my agent.

3) Write the second book in my contemporary series.

4) Get better with social media.

5) Volunteer more hours to my RWA chapter, and make our conference a huge success.

6) Figure out a way to afford the RWA conference in New York City.

7) Take at least one vacation for pleasure rather than to do research for my next book.

8) Spend more time with my family.

9) Lose the cane and walk without aid. (This one should be easy.)

10) Finally start to write Raoul's story.

I'm going to be busy this year, but can't help but think more will crop up than I've thought of. If you can think of anything I've left off the list, please let me know. And let me know what your goals are for the year.


  1. I tend to break resolutions so don't make them. I like your idea of setting goals. I have several. The book is more of a mission than a goal. Must stay stringent on that. To get stronger so I can travel NYC with you and your new hip. Also to get more focused on my life. I've let too many people and things take over. I need to get back in control. And to be happy.

  2. Sounds like a great set of goals, Barb. Hope to see you long before NYC, tho.

  3. Hi Becky, I also like the idea of goal setting instead of setting resolutions. It sounds like you have an excellent set of goals for 2015. Two of my books will be launched in the spring and summer. Most of my focus will be on promotion. I also intend to start and complete at least one other novel. Improved wellness is also a priority. Happy New Year!

  4. I also make plans for the new year, which is akin to setting goals. This year I plan to finish book 3 of my current series and develop a new series. I intend to complete one book of the new series and be started on the second by the end of 2015. There are also some small projects around the house I plan to accomplish.

    1. Zen, It sounds like you've got a busy year coming up!

  5. My goals are simple this year: 1) Write First (before going online), 2) Write at least five days a week.

    I've spent too many years working on lofty goals that I never made so this year things will be easier. I have a list (so far) of 24 short stories in various draft stages to work on. I want to work on a series of novellas from a few of my previous and great NaNoWriMos projects. If I keep my write first and write often, I should do much better this year than in the past.

    Good luck to you with your goals.

    1. Good luck on keeping those goals, Pat. I think writing first is a great idea. You can so easily get sucked into social media and before you know it, the morning's gone.

  6. I agree with you, Becky. Resolutions do not work for me. I am going to put specific goals in a business plan for 2015 that include stepping up to three books per year, taking full advantage of social media for a set amount of time each day AND not answering email until my word count is met. There, I've said it I must follow through.

  7. I like your goals, Christy. 3 books a year seems do-able, and email after word count is done is also great. Hope to see you at more chapter meetings this year, too.

  8. I set goals for my writing life. For my personal life, this year, I tried setting words. Play, Create, Restore, and Nurture. I hope to do something in every category every week.

    Hope you're feeling good.

  9. What a creative idea, Lynn! Hope you're recovering as well.