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February 2019 Goals

Before we get started, allow me to do just one quick thing…

THE PATRIOTS WON THE SUPERBOWL!!!



Okay. I’m done.
(Narrator: MJ was probably not done. But you probably knew that already. She apologizes if you either hate football and/or the Pats and will try to keep her glee to a minimum. She also apologizes if she kept you up with her endless screaming at the TV.)
All right, so this is my first post of the month, which means it’s time for me to set some goals. I had a fairly productive January (at least for me), so I’m hoping to keep that momentum-like thing going this month.



1. Complete first draft of the Terrible, Horrible No-Good, Bad Romance novel.

I’m close to being done with this. I know I have said this before and it’s proven to be nothing more than a big, fat lie, but I think I might mean it this time. And I know I have said that about this before and it’s proven to be nothing more than a big, fat lie, but it’s different now. Probably. If you follow me on social media, you may have seen that I’m now working on the very last scene: the happy ending. This is as close as I have ever felt to being done with this project. So close that I’m actually a little pissed that I couldn’t get it wrapped up before January ended. I mean, I don’t know about you, but it felt to me like January lasted approximately nine million days. Nine million days, and I still didn’t manage to finish this draft.

This happy(ish) ending will be the death of me. May February be the month I manage to cross over that finish line.

2. Read four books.


I’m proud to say that I’m already behind in my 2019 reading goal, and I don’t expect to catch up anytime soon. This month, I am looking to not fall any farther behind. I suspect this may be aided by the fact that football season is over and baseball season has not yet started.

I was going to make another Patriots-winning-the-Superbowl
reference here, but I found the above gif, which looks exactly
like Fat cat, so I decided to go with this instead.

3. Walk at least three miles every day or a total of 84 miles for the month.


This is the one goal on which I am actually ahead. I hope to keep it that way. I’ll have to work a little harder now that I won’t be pacing during playoff games, but I’m sure I can find something else over which to fret.

And you know what? I think that’s it for goals this month. Or it could just be that I’m currently too distracted by

THE PATRIOTS WINNING THE SUPERBOWL


to think clearly at this time.
So I’m going to stop here.
Tune in Wednesday when I may possibly be down from my Patriots-winning-the-Superbowl high
(Narrator: Yeah. Good luck with that.)
just in time to talk about my latest writing insecurities.
Oh—one last thing: congratulations to my boyfriend, Julien Edelman, on being named the Superbowl MVP. You certainly earned it, but I think we all know who the true MVP is of this post-season: my couch.
You were a very fine couch, couch. Your sacrifice this season will always be remembered.
Oh—one last one last thing. Did you see the Avengers: Endgame trailer last night? Can’t wait for April!

The One With The Goals

Here it is: the post for which you’ve been waiting. The mother of all goal posts, AKA my 2019 To-Do list.

Usually, this is a two-part post. The first part is where I review the previous year’s goals and tell you how well they went, but as I only managed to accomplish one thing on that list last year I didn’t really feel the need to devote an entire post to it.

But here’s the thing. The one 2018 goal I accomplished was to publish Second Nature, which was my number one writing goal for last year. And as that goal goes, so goes my year. So the fact that I didn’t manage to do anything else I had wanted to do doesn’t bother me as much as it normally would because I did this:

Which means my 2019 goal list will look awfully similar to last year’s list…with one notable exception. I can’t wait to find out what the new Number One Goal will be.

 

The Writing Goals


1. Publish the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Bad Romance Novel


I’m currently about three months behind where I wanted to be with this WIP at this time, so I may be setting myself up for a big, fat failure here but I’m going to attempt to do this all the same. Go big or go home, right?

Right.

In the plus column, I may have actually hit upon a possible workable ending. I know I’ve said that before, but I think I may mean it this time. Fingers crossed!

2. Publish Retail Rhapsody

This is the collection of sarcastic haiku I wrote about my day job. It fell by the wayside last year (too many other things going on) and that may well happen again this year, but I’m still going to try.

3. Complete the first draft of Full Circle


Full Circle is the third book in my fantasy series. It’s kind of in a state of limbo right now. I feel like the original plan I had for it no longer works, but I don’t yet have a new plan in place. Which means, right now, this is a big, fat mess. Anyway, I’d like to finish the first draft this year, but I think I would really be okay if I only managed to figure out what that first draft should be.

The Reading Goals


I would like to read 52 books this year. I was a good ten or eleven books short of this goal last year,  but I’m sticking with the same number this year. One book a week doesn’t seem like it should be too difficult.

*gives self suspicious side-eye*

The Fitness Goals

1. Log 1500 miles


This can be in walking, running, biking, kayaking, whatever. It will most likely just be walking, however, because despite my best intentions I never do any of the others.

2. Get back into the yoga habit


I firmly believe that yoga can help with my chronic back issues. I just need to stop being so damn lazy about it.

3. Attempt to establish a somewhat normal-ish sleep schedule


My sleep schedule/patterns/whatever was/were obliterated in 2018 because…reasons, and I believe it really screwed with my productivity. I know. Imagine that, right? So in 2019, I would like to attempt to correct this issue. Or figure out a way to just manage my time better. Whichever’s easier.

 

And on that note, I’m outta here.

Happy Monday, everyone. Have a great week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Go Big or Go Home (2018 Goals)

Happy New Year, everyone! May it somehow be better than last year.

So, it has become my habit to set a series of goals on the first of the year to be completed by the end of the year. These are big, bold goals, or occasionally very silly things. One year, I set a goal to eat more donuts. Don’t ask me how I intended to measure my success with that goal, but at least I had a reason to eat a lot of donuts.

Because, you know, I need reasons to eat a lot of donuts.

But there shall be no donut goals this year. Instead, I am laying out my biggest, toughest, boldest (possibly stupidest) goals yet. And yeah, there’s an excellent chance that I shall outright fail, but I like to think that there’s also the outside possibility that I might not. Or perhaps I’ll fall somewhere in the middle. Regardless of where I end up come December, I feel like bold is the way to go this year. To paraphrase a line from an episode of The West Wing (and you shall receive super ultra mega bonus points if you can name the episode), if I’m going to run into a wall, I’m going to do so at full speed.

So…just remind me of that when, in six months’ time (or six days’ time…), I’m hiding under my desk and crying into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Let’s begin…

 

The Writing Goal


This is the goal by which my entire year is always measured. I don’t care if I achieve everything else on this list. If I haven’t accomplished what I wanted to do here, my year has been a failure. Which is, perhaps, not super healthy, but it is the truth. That said, here are my truly insane writing goals for 2018:

1. Publish Second Nature. If for no other reason that I’m so sick of having to write out this goal every January. And I’m close. Just so, so close. I hope.

2. Publish Vinnie & Ellie (working title). This is that (potentially crappy) romance novel I’ve been playing with off and on for a while. I’d love to have it available for this big book fair I have coming up this year, so it’s on the list. And yes, I realize this means I’ll have to come up with a much better title for it. And, you know, finish it.

3. Publish book of work-related sarcastic haiku. I’d love to have this available for the same book fair as mentioned above. I have half a plan for this book, and I’m looking forward to working out the rest. Including a title. The working title is Retail Rhapsody, but I think I need something better.

4. Complete first draft of Full Circle, otherwise known as Book Three of my fantasy series. I’m really looking forward to finally getting into this story. I mean, there’s a scene where my characters are happy (Well, happy-ish. For a couple of paragraphs, anyway…All right, fine. Maybe just the one paragraph. Or the first half of that paragraph. Still, they’re happy. Ish.) and that’s just so weird. I can’t wait to find out where this story will end up because I know it’s probably nowhere near where I think it will end. I mean, I am totally in control of my characters and what they do.

 

The Reading Goal


I create one of those Goodreads challenges every year, too. Last year was 40 books. This year, I’ve decided to go with 52. Because I don’t already have enough planned for this year.

 

The Fitness Goal


As I reached my 2017 mileage goal with relative ease, I’ve decided to up this year’s goal as well. Instead of running, walking, or biking at least 3 miles each day, I’m aiming for a yearly total of 1500 miles, which comes out to approximately 4.10 miles each day. I know I won’t actually log 4.10 miles each and every day, though. Unless I get one of those treadmill desks. Well, maybe not even then.

The other part of my fitness goal is to start doing yoga again. I fell out of the habit a while ago, and I really want to get back into it to see if it can help with my chronic back issues. I plan to start off with two yoga workouts a week with the intention of moving up to three someday.

 

And I think that’s where I’m going to cap the goals this year. There’s more than enough on that plate, and I’ll drive myself crazy enough as it is.

Wish me luck! (or just call the men with the giant butterfly nets to come and take me away now because I have so very obviously lost it…)

Did you set any goals and/or resolutions for 2018?

Maybe This Time

Happy New Year, everyone! May it be somehow better than that dumpster fire known as 2016.

This is my now-traditional start-of-the-year post in which I lay out my big goals for the coming year. (note: these are just the broad, ultimate goals. The breakdown as to how I might actually accomplish said goals does exist, but for brevity’s sake, I don’t share it in this post.)

Usually, this post begins with a recap of how well I did with the goals from the year before, but we’ll be skipping that portion this time around. Mostly because I have a lot of the exact same goals. Mostly because I failed to accomplish them the first time around.

But it’s okay. I’m totally cool with it. Really.

no-it-not-okay-gif
Well…maybe not.

Onto the goals! First up, as always, is…

The Writing Goal

Publish Second Nature.

As it was featured on various social media sites multiple times over the last year, you may remember this picture:

20160101_152815 (Medium)
It was taken on the first of January 2016, and marked the start of my editing process. Turns out, I can post it again today because I. Am. Still. Editing. Part of this is because of the amount of time I was forced to take off last year, but a larger (and much more important) part is that I’m not yet happy with it. I can’t put out a book I’m not happy with, so that’s that.

As of this post, I have nine scenes across five chapters still awaiting my attention. Four of which I have absolutely no idea how to improve to my satisfaction. (There’s a woman in my critique group who believes I have some kind of manuscript dysmorphia. Which is probably a blog post in itself.) The other scenes are, in theory anyway, easier fixes. Just time-consuming.

At any rate, finishing these freaking edits once and for all is Priority #1.

Then I’ll worry about the rest of it. (Except that’s kind of a lie. I worry about everything all the time.)

I’m aiming for a May 30th release. I know that’s only five months away. And I know I’m probably just going to end up watching as it sails on by, but I have a book fair event scheduled for the start of June, and I would really love to have Second Nature ready for that event. Again, I don’t know how realistic a goal this is (It’s not. At all.) but go big or go home, right?

The Reading Goal

Read 40 books this year.

This goal just keeps shrinking and shrinking. I used to set much larger reading goals, but keep on falling short. Last year, I only managed to read thirty-something books. Low thirties, even. Not my best showing. I must improve in this area.

The Fitness Goal

A few years ago, I was actually in a good fitness routine. Regular work-outs, actual willpower when it came to oversized baked goods, that kind of thing—and I was healthier and happier. (I think. It’s been a while.) And then, something happened. I don’t remember what the something was, but I fell out of the habit, and it’s gotten worse since I’ve been living in this ridiculous, entirely-too-warm, swamp state Florida. (I do not like to go outside in Florida. I like to sit in front of my air conditioner and weep.)

Hence, my goal is to get back into that fitness routine. Some way, some how. Probably not jogging, though…

Ann on Jogging

The De-Cluttering Goal

This is probably pretty self-explanatory. There’s way too much clutter in certain parts of the house (i.e., the rooms I happen to inhabit. I don’t know why.) and I would like to change that. Or, at least improve on it. We’ve been in the Florida house for almost two years now (whimper…) and I still have a bunch of stuff in boxes. Which means I could probably get rid of all of it. Most of it. Well, maybe just some of it.

Anyway, it’s time to get organized and whatever. This goal, I like to think, will become Priority #1 once Second Nature actually makes it to the proofreader. I’ll need something else on which to focus then…

We’ll see how it goes, I guess.

Well, except for the books and weaponry, of course...

Well, except for the books and weaponry, of course…

And on that note, I am outta here. Those edits will not complete themselves. I should know…I’ve certainly waited long enough for that to happen.

Did you set any goals for 2017?

The Year of Doing Better (The 2016 Edition)

Happy New Year, everyone!

This is my now-traditional post where I lay out my goals for the brand-new year. I have a lot planned for this year, partly because I like to set myself big and challenging goals, but it’s mostly because I had a pretty terrible 2015, where goals were concerned.

I now feel the need to make for that.

So here we go…

The Writing Goals

1. Publish Second Nature.

If you follow me on other social media sites, you may have already seen this picture:

20160101_152815 (Medium)
That is my manuscript—all 841 pages, and 325,000 words of it. I’m aiming to edit approximately 60 pages a day (Naturally, I’m already behind) with the hopes of getting it into the hands of the beta readers in February (Do you hear that, beta readers of mine? I’m coming for you…). After that I don’t know. There’s just darkness and some dragons (Name! That! Reference!) but should we get through the darkness and the dragons, we’ll working toward publication.

2. Complete first draft of Full Circle.

Full Circle is book three in my fantasy series. There’s currently no real plan for it because the events of Second Nature blew the original plan to smithereens. So this year will be about figuring out a new plan and getting the damn thing written. I honestly don’t have a lot of faith that I can accomplish this goal this year, given the other writing goal that’s in play, but I’m going to be working on it anyway, so why not make it a goal?

The Reading/Blogging Goals

1. Read 50 books this year.

I really dropped the ball on the reading goal last year. I had a goal of 60 books, and only managed about 32. My personal worst, by a long shot. This year. the number is set at 50 in order to accommodate that whole “publishing a book” goal I have. I will admit, though, it kind of makes me feel like a slacker.

2. Be better about reviewing the books I read.

I used to do this all the time, but for some reason I fell out of the habit of doing so. I need to correct that. There’s really nothing more to be said.

3. Be better about updating this blog.

My reading and reviewing were not the only things to be neglected last year. My Pet Blog was woefully ignored, so I’d like to get back to my old blogging schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday, with Fridays being set aside for guest posts. So if you’re an author out there with a book or two or twelve that you’d like to promote, please let me know! Otherwise, I might have to talk about all the TV I watch.

The Fitness Goals

1. Walk, run, or bike at least 750 miles this year.

Another goal I neglected last year. Don’t want to do it again. I’m not off to a very good start, but I can totally catch up. Probably.

2. Eat healthier.

I add this goal to the list every damn year. I have yet to accomplish it. But perhaps 2016 will be my year. Probably won’t because I have zero willpower where cake is concerned, but it makes me feel better if I at least say I’m going to attempt it. But stranger things have happened, so who knows?

I do. I know.

And on that happy note, I’m going to sign off for the day. I still have a good 700 pages to read and edit. I wonder how many highlighters and red pens I’ll go through. Place your bets below!!