Assessing Goals, New and Old

keep-calm-and-set-new-goals-257x300[1]This year hasn’t gone by quickly for me, although it has been eventful. I had two main goals in 2018 and neither of them had to do with writing. One was to finally move my mother into assisted living (the decision involved many discussions and was both physically and emotionally draining). The other was to sell Mom’s condo (which required lots of repair). The first goal was achieved on July 29, the second on Nov.  2nd.

Rather than wait for the new year to begin, I’m starting to think about new goals. I’m a big believer in goal setting. It’s the difference between getting something done and plodding along, leaving heaps of half-finished novels in piles.

I do have a number of big, ongoing writing goals that started a few years back. A few of those goals have been met while others are still in the works. Each year I edge a little closer to the finish line.

I probably won’t meet my reading goal of fifty novels this year. I just finished number forty, but I’m not sure I can read ten more books over the next two months. I’d also planned to get the sixth Casey Holland Mystery, The Blade Man, ready for my editor, but I’m behind schedule there as well. I’m just finishing draft #7 and while the book’s much better than it was with draft #6, I need another read-through before handing it over.

There are other writing projects that are not as far along as I hoped, but as you can imagine, real life family issues took priority and will take priority again as my mother’s health slowly declines. So, do I continue to make writing goals? You bet. I’d rather try and fail than not try at all.

The thing about goals is that they can be adjusted, and time limits aren’t always necessary or helpful. The point is to have at least one that matters, so I’m going to be realistic, as I decide which writing and household projects to spend time on over the coming months. Before this year is over, I just might have new goals ready to go for 2019.

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Year-End Reflection

new-years-day-1886358_640[1]With 2018 soon arriving, it’s time to reflect on this year, and to consider what I learned and to focus on what still needs to be learned, finished or accomplished.

The three major goals I set for myself twelve months ago were achieved, but only due to hard work, patience, and perseverance. Two of the three goals involved book publishing. There were timing obstacles, which meant that the books were released only one month apart. Promotion ventures were kind of crazy and not as fully developed as I would have liked. I’ll try to account for timing glitches when I next publish a book!

For various reasons, I also had to update legal documentation, starting with a legal name change (a minor change the provincial government required). I won’t go into details, but it took many hours, more than a few bucks, and visits to the local police, a notary, and Service BC offices, twice! Lesson learned: make sure I always fill out government forms using my full name or it’ll come back to haunt me years later. I’m never changing my name again.

Smaller goals were achieved and our family has started a new one for 2018. We’re in the process of moving my mother into an assisted living environment, hopefully in the spring. This coming year will focus on her needs, although I’ll still be writing. Writing has always kept me grounded through difficult times and changes. I’m optimistic that everything will work out just fine.

Meanwhile, my husband and I are taking a trip in late February to Mexico—travel is a rare occurrence for us—to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. My son will also graduate from university, so I’m thinking that there are plenty of good things to look forward to.

Meanwhile, I wish you all a very happy 2018!