Setting Goals

Breaks are a good thing

Well, mostly. Broken bones aren’t great, but giving yourself a break is. That’s what I’m doing.

If you’ve been hanging out with me a while, you know that I’ve been writing like a crazy woman. I had a revelation this year that almost knocked me on my ass. Yeah, it’s only been a week since I proudly declared my goals.

Guess what? I’m changing them already.

It’s hard for me to admit when I was wrong. I’m not sure if that’s a female thing, or if it stems from having two kids who think they’re always right. Which means I’m always wrong. My kids are great kids, but I think hubby and I did too good of a job teaching them to think for themselves. They challenge everything we say, and like to argue and tell me I’m wrong, even when they’re trying to agree with me.

Anyway, I was wrong.

That was tough to say. But it’s true. I decided to write eight books in 2018. One release every six weeks. For months I’ve been debating backing off a little. Releasing fewer books. Giving myself more time to do all the little things that come along with writing (you know, like marketing and editing and cover design, little things like that). I resisted because I was scared.

You know I’m a big chicken.

I’m getting personal here. I hope you don’t mind.

In 2015, I was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Six months, six rounds of chemo, a bone marrow biopsy, and lots of stress later, I finished treatment. Two years later, I’m a year in remission, but I haven’t stopped living with the fear.

Fear of death. Fear of life. Fear of not having enough time. Fear of not finishing what I want. And yes, fear that it’ll come back and somehow I won’t notice. Again.

I’ve been writing like crazy to try to get everything done. I didn’t want to miss out. I didn’t want to leave this Earth with stories left to tell. I’ve learned that’s likely to happen no matter what. But a new fear has started to take over.

I’m watching my life fly by. I’m not living it.

I push myself. I take on too much. I rarely say no. Unless it’s to myself. I’m really good at telling myself no.

So I’ve decided to tell myself yes. Yes, I’m going to focus on my health. Yes, I’m going to take weekends off. Yes, I’m going to enjoy watching TV at night with my hubby. Yes, i’m going to enjoy snow days (like today) with my kids.

So I’m backing off. I’m giving myself a break. I’m still going to release new books. But after May 1, they will be eight weeks apart instead of six. And I won’t release anything around the holidays.

As always with me, this could change. I might decide I hate it next year, but I’m feeling relieved about it right now. I already feel less stressed out. If only it was that easy to lose weight!

What are you going to give yourself a break about this year?

Looking Forward to 2018

Every year, I set goals. Personal goals, professional goals, even family goals. I feel like setting goals is a roadmap for my year. I choose a word for the year and set goals and move on from there. I love it.

My word for 2018 is productive. Maybe that seems like a weird word, but I have a lot going on in 2018. A lot that needs to get done. Which means I need to be very productive in order to make it all happen. I also need to be organized and focused and not procrastinate.

Aside from writing, which I hope to move forward, I’m an officer for my local writing chapter, co-chairing a contest, and always have personal stuff going on. Setting goals allows me to keep things in order.

So what are my goals?

  1. Publish 8 novels and 2 boxed sets
  2. Pay off debt
  3. Eat, exercise, and lose weight
  4. Publish audiobooks and app
  5. Develop 3 workshops
  6. Stick to a budget
  7. Save

The first one is fairly easy for me. I know I’m going to do it. I still have it on my list because I always want to make sure I’m paying attention to how much I’m putting out there.

We all have debt, right? My husband and I struggle with long-term money. We’re quick to spend, not so quick to save. So items 2, 6, and 7 all work together. Pay off debt, stay on budget, and save. If only doing it was as easy as writing it down!

Speaking of not so easy, I think losing weight is always on my list. My husband joked that he’s going to make one of his New Year’s Resolutions to gain 50 pounds. I said I should do the same because then I’ll be more likely to lose weight since I always do the opposite. I still couldn’t bring myself to put it on the list, but I thought about it!

Audiobooks and an app. Are you getting excited? My app is mostly done with a few tweaks and changes. Audiobooks are a whole new adventure that I’m looking forward to.

I’ve been thinking for a while about teaching workshops. I have my first two this year, but I want to develop more to include that option in my offerings. I want to share what I know and what I can do with other authors. I’m really excited about it!

I know more will happen, more will come up, in 2018, but these are the things I will focus on. The biggest things for me. The most important things. The things that will help me get the life I want to have.

Do you set goals? Any you want to share?

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