With the entrance of the new year comes the chance to enroll in plenty of new challenges and goals. I am one of the many who enjoys creating New Years Resolutions for myself. I am also one of the few who tends to follow through on many of them.
I can look back on last year's resolutions and tell you I didn't fulfill them all. I had a resolution to:
Work on learning my Spanish every day. I quickly ran out of time and stopped practicing. And it has been many (many) months since I have done any Spanish practice.
Sell 100 copies of Imagine This: From Pain to Possibility. In fairness, this goal was somewhat out of my hands. I can only do so much to market the book. That being said, I have sold around 75 copies.
Participate in NaNoWriMo, edit The Criminal, and send the edited version of The Criminal to agents. These goals I did accomplish. And I accomplished more. This year, I have loftier goals and hopes for my writing.
Read 100 books including 5 books from my "unread" shelf, 3 "classics" and an average of 350 pages per book. Not including comics. In this goal, I fell a little bit short though I did technically read 100 books. Read all about my reading accomplishments this year in an upcoming post!
Having experienced similar results (some goals accomplished and others failed) for a couple of years now, I have come to one conclusion. It all comes down to three things: motivation, measurable results, and maintainable setup. Let's call these the three Ms.
If I am incredibly motivated to work towards my goal (like with the books and writing) I push harder. If it is easier to measure my progress, then I can see how far I have come, decide whether or not I have obtained the goal, and choose to keep on going. And if I set myself up for success with strategies, tools, charts, and whatever else I need to maintain the forward momentum I might start out with, I am more likely to achieve the goal in the end. That being said, let's have a look at some of the goals I have set for this year and how I plan to accomplish them:
There are two main goals I have for writing I have this year: to edit The Criminal again and to finish writing The Beauty. Having received so many negative responses to my queries for The Criminal, I have realized I need to go back to the drawing board. I have recently read a number of writing aid books including The Writer's Lexicon and Description (by Monica Wood) and The Rural Setting Thesaurus was one of the amazing books I received for Christmas. Using these books and others I might find throughout the year, I plan to edit The Criminal with a fine-toothed comb so that I can then begin to query again with a refreshed manuscript that will gain me an agent. Once that is completed, I can once again take up The Beauty and complete the novel. I do hope to participate in NaNoWriMo though I do not know what I will be participating with at this point. I have a lot going on this year and want to ensure I don't put too much on my plate by committing to start the third novel in November. I may work on The Beauty in NaNoWriMo or another novel but it will depend on where I am at in my goal's progress.
I am committing to reading 75 books this year. Why is it fewer than last year? Last year I did technically accomplish my goal, however, a number of the books on my list were actually comics which I had hoped not to include in the count of books. I also have less time this year (despite my graduation approaching in May). With my lack of time, I wanted to loosen the reigns a little. My goal of 75 books should allow me to do so.
What does 75 books include? Well, I plan to read at least 10 writing aid books including The Little Red Writing Book, and I have a number checked out from our local library already (though I am open to suggestions of others to read as well). I also hope to read 15 books from my "to-read" list on Goodreads.
I have already begun The Merciful Crow but there are some other books I plan to read this year. On that list is Reflection (the only book from the Twisted Tales series I have yet to read), the Michael Vey series (which I want to re-read), and the rest of the Curse so Dark and Lonely series.
This goal is more personal so I will only mention it briefly but I always like to work on adding in healthy routines at the beginning of the New Year. One of these routines this year will be trying out new recipes from the cookbook for one my mum got me for Christmas this year. I like to start off the year with an organized and decluttered closet, desk, nightstand, and bookshelves. I spend New Year's eve cleaning and New Year's day resolving. This way, things stay organized and clean and I can keep my life and routines the same way.
This is a very different idea than "resolutions." In past years, I have been less able to distinguish between the two but this year, while I wanted to list my "hopes" for the New Year, I wanted to ensure I didn't confuse them with my "goals." These are things I can't totally control. I can work towards these things and sometimes have an impact on whether or not they may happen but, in the end, it is either others or luck that will result in them happening or not.
Reach 100 book sales for Imagine This: From Pain to Possibility
Maintain 25 consistent readers for blog posts
Get 10 blog subscribers
Find an agent for The Criminal
Get a job in a bookstore