Carol Collett

Life as I know it

Archive for the category “Goals”

2016 Goodreads Challenge

My year in books-2016. For a full list, click here.goodreads2016challenge

I read some really, really good books this year. A couple not so great ones, too.

The War That Saved My Life was my favorite read of the year. What a book! One of the best I’ve ever read.

The Slow Road or Adjusting on the Fly to a More Realistic Goal

So on October 2 I started out on the #FirstDraft60 challenge started by Kaye. You can check it all out on her blog. The planning month went okay-I wasn’t too far behind, really.

But when Kaye and I met for our weekly writing session last Thursday we both admitted that neither of us was comfortable with the November 30 deadline to complete our drafts. This gave rise to an adjusted challenge.

Welcome to #FirstDraft120.

Sigh…big, huge sigh. This, this is doable.

Sunday, Kaye posed some questions for reflection. They made me think. One thought was that my answers might be a little too much for a simple comment on her post. I think these are good questions for any goal adjustment, not only writing. Just tweak the questions to fit the situation.

So here are Kaye’s questions and my answers.

1. How was your writing going before the challenge’s end date was extended?

Honestly, slow. And difficult. Not flowing at all.

2. If you weren’t going to meet the original end-date goal and knew you needed more time, but had that date of November 30 hanging over your head, how did that make you feel?

Stressed and defeated. That simple.

3. Now that we’re taking more time for this challenge, how do you think that will affect your writing-both your writing time (work) and your writing craft (story)?

I think my writing time will be more relaxed which typically leads me to be more productive and creative. Hopefully this will help the story come to life a little more in my mind.

4. What are you looking forward to most about having more time to write? What do you think will be the most challenging about the extended deadline?

I’m looking forward to less stress and more relaxed writing. The pitfall for me will be, as always, procrastination.

Do you have a goal or deadline that you know you’re not going to meet as originally planned? Do you have the luxury of giving yourself more time? How might you tweak these questions to help you explore that option?

Sunday Reflection on #FirstDraft60

Every Sunday Kaye posts some questions for reflection on her blog. You can check out today’s post here.

Today’s questions made me think hard about this challenge/project and about what place I want writing to have in my life. So I thought I’d share my answers here.

What are your key responsibilities that cannot be put aside for writing? 

  • Marriage
  • Day job
  • Pet care (although I do have help with this-I get home before Daniel so must take the dogs out and feed them-that takes 30-45 minutes as soon as I get home)
  • Housework (again, I have help, but Daniel can’t do it all, though he will willingly do more)

What priority does writing take in your life? 

Writing is important to me. Has been for years. But for so long it has scared me, so I pushed it to the back of my life even when I said I was working. But now I’ve released all those old expectations. Now I just want to write for the sake of writing. So writing is important to me, but not the most important thing.

What would you be willing to give up, for just 30 days, in order to have more time to write?

  • Riding the train (I learned over the summer I don’t write well on the train-my good intentions fail miserably-I often doze off or read on the train)
  • Mindless TV watching (you know how you turn on the TV just to have background noise but end up binge watching old episodes of Law and Order SVU that you’ve seen 300 times already instead of doing what you intended to do)
  • Getting home from work earlier (so giving up the train would get me home about an hour earlier-tested this out last week-what if I take that hour to sit at Panera close to the hospital and wait for traffic to thin out a bit and write)

What are some obligations and commitments you currently have that you can reprioritize and/or reschedule in order to build more writing time into your daily schedule and give your writing the priority in November?

  • Easier meals and/or weekend meal prep
  • Write at least two hours per day while we’re on staycation the week of 10/31-that should get me a good head start

One thing I’ve recently realized is that I’m okay if my dream of being a traditionally published novelist never happens. I used to think I would die if that never happened. But I have no control over that. What I can control is my work, my writing. And I’ve realized that writing for its own sake is worthwhile for me. But a haphazard approach is not. Therefore, I’m taking this #FirstDraft60 challenge seriously, putting myself into it, and learning to enjoy the journey instead of looking toward the destination.

Fab Friday

Changing it up a bit from Friday Favorites to Fab Friday. Why? Just feels right.

Bought the Simplify and Intentional Life Planner downloads from Abby at Just a Girl and Her Blog. She does amazing printables. While she offers many printables for free on her site, she does do some paid downloads a couple of times per year.

I’m working on goals, and how to get to where I want to be in ten years (or less). I don’t want to be at retirement age with no way to retire. Honestly, I’d like to retire from traditional healthcare early and enjoy life for a while.

So check out Abby’s blog. Check out her printables. See what you think.

How are you staying on track with your goals? Do you write them down with detailed plans? Do you have a vision board? What’s your scheme?

Midyear Review 2016

Using Lisa Jacobs’ guide that you can find here, I spent a couple of hours this morning looking back over the past six months. Though the exercise is designed specifically for a creative business, something you could market on Etsy, I chose to use the exercise as more of a life plan check up.

It was eyeopening.

I was brutally honest with myself. I admitted that all I want to do is to write, not make jewelry, not weave chainmaille, not really anything else. I know the odds of making it as a writer. I’ve heard them all my life. That’s why I quit writing for so long. Why fight the odds? Why battle the fear, the procrastination, the anxiety?

Because it’s all I want to do.

I know the stats, and I know how hard it can be.

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There was a lot more to the review. I learned a lot about myself. I wrote down what it is I crave in life. I think most people crave similar things-purpose, joy, hope.

I started a blueprint to help me reach some goals in different areas-financial, mental, spiritual, relational.

Do you have a life plan? How often do you review your goals and how to get from where you are to where you want to be? Are you living in fear like I have been most of my life?

Sunday Round Up and Goals for Next Week

One of my goals for the week ending was to resume blogging. I’ve done that. I’ve written my blog post due dates on my calendar. I posted Friday and today. My schedule will be Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The second was to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. I set up my profile and my project. I joined and became active in a cabin. Yesterday Camp NaNo launched. I wrote. Yay! My goal for July’s Camp NaNo is 20,000 words. Definitely a reasonable number.

I have three goals for next week.

  1. Continue working on my Camp NaNo story. I’d like to have at least 4,000 words by bedtime Tuesday 7/5.
  2. Work out at least four days-aerobic component all four days, weight machine work out on three of those days concentrating on upper body.
  3. Add a blog post Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

Did you meet your goals for this past week? If not what can you do differently to meet your goals? What’s on your calendar for the upcoming week? What project most excites you right now?

 

Mid-Month Check Up

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Time to check those April goals. Where are you on track? Where do you need to catch up? Where do you need to adjust or go a different direction?

Here’s my progress so far.

I added 4293 words to my story last week, well ahead of my goal of 3000. They will be heavily edited, eventually, but that’s okay. Can’t edit what isn’t written, right?

I posted on my blog three days last week. That hits my goal exactly.

I worked on revisions on my short story on Tuesday. That also hits my goal exactly.

So, I’m on track for April.

Doesn’t it feel good to meet goals? When I meet a goal it gives me a little more confidence that I can realize my writing dreams.

So let’s hear it. Where are you with your April goals?

Working the Plan

The first full week of my April goal plan is over. How did I do? Great! I met all my goals for the week-YAY!!

  1. I wrote 3676 words (goal -3000)
  2. I posted three times on my blog (goal -three posts)
  3. I worked on my short story on Tuesday (goal -work on short story every Tuesday)
  4. I decided to enter ICL’s novel writing contest (goal -make a firm decision by mid month)

Did you set goals for the week? The month? Do you have a longterm plan? Are you on track to meet your goals?

April Goals or Getting There From Here

Bright Yellow FlowerYes, I know it’s a weed. I know most people cringe when they see them in their yards. But, I think it’s pretty, happy, joyous even. That yellow shouts “Spring!” And, it makes me happy. Color me weird.

What does a photo of a dandelion in my yard have to do with my April goals? Well, other than the bright, happy color makes me smile, dandelions are tenacious, strong, stubborn. In short, they never give up. Ever. Mow them down? Sure. They are back the next day.

That’s my motto for my goals. So I didn’t meet my goals for March. I learned from them. And I’m still here. Strong. Stubborn.

I carried over my weekly word count goal, but set more concrete dates. I also carried over revising the short story I’m working on. I’m letting go of the nonfiction piece for a couple of months.

  • Add 3k words per week to my WIP due on April 9, 16, 23, 30
  • Blog posts due on April 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29
  • Short story revision-work on this every Tuesday
  • Make a firm decision about whether or not to enter the Institute of Children’s Literature‘s novel contest (entry due by 6/15/16)

Ambitious list, for sure. But, like the strong, stubborn, happy dandelion, I stand on my deep roots, refusing to give up.

Do you have some goals for April? How are you positioning yourself to meet them?

March Goal Update or How I Failed and Succeeded at the Same Time

Short answer to the question Did I meet my March goals? Nope.

But I did learn some stuff.

Recap-my March goals looked like this:

  • 2 days off writing per week
  • Add 3000 words to my story per week
  • Complete the draft of one article
  • Complete the draft of one short story
  • Install a word count tracker on my site
  • Research magazine markets

My March reality looked like this:

  • Most weeks took more than 2 days off writing
  • Added 8229 words to my WIP
  • Did not even work on an article
  • Managed a partial rewrite of a short story
  • Installed a StoryToolz word count tracker on my site
  • Ordered and received Magazine Markets for Children’s Writers 2016, no research yet

So even though I technically failed, here’s why I count the month a success. I set some reasonable goals and tracked them. Every weekend I looked back at the week to see where I was in relation to my goals. I’m going this monthly evaluation. This is more goal setting/evaluating than I’ve done in Y.E.A.R.S.

Takeaways include learning that I’m not really very good at working on several writing projects at once. At least not yet. I write better, or easier, away from the house. I’m much more easily distracted than thirty years ago. Furthering my writing involves things other than actually writing. I’ve missed reading. A lot. (I’m on Goodreads and participate in the reading challenge-plan to blog about it this week.) Goal setting is good for me. Success does not always look like a checked off to do list.

Did you set goals for March? Did you meet them? What did you learn from setting and evaluating your progress?

 

 

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