Random cat having an adventure in Kuala Lumpur’s train station.
It’s that time of year: looking back on my goals for the previous year and then setting goals for the new year.
First, let me preface this by saying that 2018 was mostly a good year. I went to India in January, Iceland in March, and Thailand and southeast Asia in June. I started a job that I love, with coworkers that I’ve really connected with because they have the same passion for the job that I do.
But then, starting in about August, some sucky stuff happened. Other people’s personal problems because my personal problems, causing me to have to take a pause to rethink my life plans. I’m still rethinking them, three months later.
Here’s how all that came together with my 2018 goals.
1. Better time management.
For the whole year, I’ve tracked my daily activities. Not as detailed as Vikings QB Kirk Cousins who apparently uses spreadsheets to track his day in 10 minute increments (which I totally understand; I think in spreadsheets), but enough to know what I spend my time on and what I need to work harder on for next year.
2. Publish to Medium at least weekly.
I published 27 stories on Medium in 2018, plus two lists of related stories. Of those, I think only three had previously appeared elsewhere. A lot of the stories I posted were microfiction (less than 350 words), but still, I’m proud of myself for getting so much out there – even if I haven’t posted anything new since September.
3. Publish a stand-alone novella or short story collection quarterly.
I did not do this. However, I did finish a novella! I’m currently editing it and hope to get it off to my publisher in the next month or so. I’ve already started on the second in this series, and with the push I’m getting from my writing group to finish these, I hope to crank several more out soon.
4. Grow my reader base by at least double.
Facebook goal: 600. Actual: 309.
Twitter goal: 1500. Actual: 860.
Medium goal: 200. Actual: 302!
Mailing list goal: 3000. Actual: 1760.
Maybe if I actually posted more to social media, or came out with more books, or sent out my mailing list more than every couple years, I’d get more followers?
5. Post to my blog at least twice a week, and promote those posts to get more traffic here.
I was doing well with this until I wasn’t.
6. Read 100 books.
I ended the year with 81 read. I didn’t really have time to read at all during the past couple months, due to being swamped with Etsy orders. But 81 is still pretty damn good.
Overall in 2018
Nothing much to say. Just like every year, I set my goals too high. But whatever. I was still pretty productive.
- Publish to Medium at least weekly and Patreon monthly. There’s really no excuse for not writing at least one 300-word microfiction short every week. Plus one of my Patreon rewards is a new short story each month, which I can then publish to Medium the following month. Assuming I ever get any patrons, I need to be able to meet this reward.
- Finish my novella series. As I mentioned above, I’ve been working on this over the past few months and getting feedback from my writing group, who love the characters and plot. I love the story too, which helps motivate me to write it (as well as the urging of my group). I plan on having 7 books total, which is doable if I make myself hit a word count every day or week.
- Increase my networking. Whether by commenting on more people’s blogs, interacting more on social media, or whatever. Maybe if I’m more visible or supportive, I’ll get more followers of my own.
- Read 100 books. And of those 100, I want a sizeable percentage to be nonfiction.
- Keep going with my trauma-informed care/school social work writing. People in education are really receptive to this concept, and I have a lot of information to share in a way that non-academic people appreciate.
- Have more adventures. They’ll probably happen through travel (most of mine do, like that time I was detained by Canadian immigration, or last summer when Visa froze my debit card and I had to ask a random German family on the Thai/Malay border for money to get to Kuala Lumpur), but they definitely won’t happen if I don’t give them the opportunity.
Like most years, I probably won’t meet most of this goals, but I definitely won’t meet them if I don’t try.
If you’ve set goals for yourself, what are they? How do you plan to accomplish them?