Monday, January 4, 2016

What? I Set Goals Last Year?

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a pleasant kickoff to 2016, whether that meant staying in or going out. I stayed in, like last year. We were watching Walking Dead when the fireworks began on Pikes Peak. The kids were zonked out, but we woke them up so they could watch. My son just rolled over and went back to sleep, but my daughter watched them.



I inadvertently took a break for Christmas and New Year's. Despite the fact it was unplanned, it was nice to give myself time off, which not only included not blogging, but also included setting aside volunteer work for two weeks (for the most part.) There's been a lot going on, and I was reaching the point of being overwhelmed. A two week break was magical.

But I'm glad to be back!

I couldn't remember if I set goals for 2015, so I went back to January 2015 and checked it out. Lo and behold, I did! Not only that, but I did a fairly solid job of fulfilling the goals, even though I didn't remember having set them.


  • Finish revising my YA novel and get it ready for submission. I touched on it by post-outlining, but have done nothing more with this novel this year.
  • Finish my Urban Fantasy novel. Did it!
  • Revise my UF novel. Halfway through revising it.
  • Continue writing, editing, and submitting short stories. I kicked this one's ass!
  • Place several short stories for pay. Did it!
  • Start working on articles again. Mmmm...not really.
  • Journal. Nope.
  • Continue to experiment and enjoy collaborations and projects to expand my horizons. I've done plenty of experimenting with my writing this year, and look forward to trying more.
  • Continue with the horror reading/review challenge. Still on it.


I feel pretty good about this! Not half bad. So I'm going to set this year's goals, which I will promptly forget, but hopefully magically manage to fulfill anyway. (Really, the goals I set last year were in line with what I wanted to do through the year, so I may have forgotten that I wrote them down, but I didn't forget I wanted to do these things.)

Last year, I mentioned that I set goals knowing things change, sometimes drastically, over the course of the year. Any goals I set are to steer me in the right direction, not to give myself another reason to stress out or beat myself up when I don't accomplish them. With that understanding, here are my goals for 2016:

  • Finish first revision of novel #2 (UF above).
  • Do a second pass through on novel #1 (YA above).
  • Start novel #3.
  • Continue writing short stories, revising them, and submitting them. One per month would be fantastic, and give me time to focus on my novels, but we'll see.
  • Finish all short story revisions pending.
  • Submit those short stories once revised.
  • Have one of the novels (#1 or #2) ready by April, so I can query an agent at PPWC.
  • Continue experimenting with my writing and finding the joy in it.
  • Get back to my photography (what? I just slipped in a non-writing goal...)
  • Continue with the horror reading/review challenge

That's more than enough, BUT they're things I want to do this year, whether I write them down or not. My photography has fallen by the wayside. I haven't taken a photo just for fun (scenery vs. my kiddos) in months. So I'm throwing that in there, too. I figure exploring other creative ventures I enjoy is a good way to inspire my writing, as well.

What about you? Did you set 2015 goals? How did you do with them? Are you setting 2016 goals? Do you set them so they're hard to attain, or do you set them minimally to steer your year? Or do you skip them entirely? Most of all, what are you proudest of this year?

May you find your Muse.

Image by OCAL, clker.com

33 comments:

  1. You did well with your goals last year. I know you were working hard with submitting short stories.
    We never go out for New Year's Eve. Too many crazy people out there. And I like my comfortable home. Why leave it?

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    1. We agree. Neither of us has any desire to go out and party. No way I want to be on those roads.

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  2. You did awesome! Maybe the trick is to write the goals down then forget about them? :) I do like the idea of using them to steer our lives, not dictate our lives. Good luck in 2016!

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    1. Ha, exactly! Don't bother remembering the goals. Just move forward. Way less stressful that way.

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  3. Since my wife and I were traveling across country at the time, we turned in early on New Year's Eve to get an early start back on the road New Year's Day. That was fine with both of us.

    I have to admire your discipline in making and meeting goals. Much better than I. Best wishes for the coming year.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Good way to avoid the drunks on the road, too. I hope the travel was pleasant.

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  4. Yes! That is a lot of goals for the year. I wish you the best getting to them all. Happy New Year!

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  5. You did a lot in 2015! That's wonderful. May 2016 be as successful

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  6. You're so awesome. Congrats on the goal reaching.

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  7. I posted a 2015 writing creedo, don't think I did much with it though. I was too depressed most of the year to care. Hopefully this year will be much better. Well, it already is, regardless of goals :)

    Good luck with your new goals, and congrats on the progress of the last ones. I've found setting goals that are "in line with" my normal thinking works to get most done. Outrageous goals just depress me.

    Happy New Year Shannon. Thanks for all the links you provided during 2015.

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    1. I'm glad to hear it's better already. Here's hoping it's far better.

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  8. A break is a wonderful thing, but like you, I'm glad to be back. I set goals each year and this year I achieved all of them but one. Of course that's the first one on my list for this year!
    Happy New Year - and may you achieve everything you desire!

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  9. I always have goals. I don't make special ones just because it's a new year.

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    1. I always have goals, as well, but I like to start the year looking at what I'd like to achieve in the next year. Helps me to have those longer term goals.

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  10. You did accomplish a lot last year. My husband slept through the New Year like he usually does. Good luck with the new goals.

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    1. Haha, my husband usually stays up with me New Year's, but not always. He's a way earlier sleeper than I am.

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  11. Glad you had a good break. Congrats on all your accomplishments in 2015. I think, taking photographs can inspire writing so click away and have fun with it. Happy New Year and I hope 2016 is filled with fun and laughter.

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    1. I do miss photography. I'm looking forward to getting back into it.

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  12. I wish you the best in 2016 and with your goals!

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  13. Happy New Year! Wow, I'd be afraid to look at my previous year's goals...best not to look back in my case;)

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    1. I was wary, too, considering I'd forgotten whether I'd made any.

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  14. You did do pretty well hitting those goals! All the best for another great year ahead.

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  15. I more have a plan rather than goals and the plan is to keep writing as much as possible. You did well with your goals!

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  16. You kicked 2015's ass and I'm like, pretty sure you're going to do the same this year. I don't think I have the exact same (or outlined) goals other than writing as much as possible and trying for more story competitions.

    Good luck to you and happy new year!
    C.G.

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    1. Good luck with your writing and those competitions!

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  17. Wow, Shannon, you done good! :) Best wishes for a great 2016

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