Tag Archives: goals

2015 — Reflecting on goals

So last year I set some goals for myself, and I thought it might be fun to check on my progress.

1. Journal/blog more.
I’m pretty sure I wrote in my paper journal more than I did in 2013, but a counting of blog posts reveals that I wrote fewer. However, when you take out self-promotey sorts of giveaways and “hey, look at my book!” posts, it pretty much evens out. So I didn’t necessarily fall behind, but I would like to contribute more to this blog in 2015. Content-wise, I’m pretty satisfied with what I wrote. Some of it resonated with readers, some of it didn’t, but it was all meaningful to me. And I think I did spend less time “blurting” on Twitter and Facebook. One specific goal: write more “Friday Favorite” posts. They’re a nice catch-all review of neat things I’ve encountered during the week. (I already know some things I want to showcase this Friday!)

2. Read more.
GOAL ACHIEVED! In 2013 I read 50 books. This past year I read 72. Hooray! 43 were adult (this includes research books), 12 were young adult, and 17 were middle grade. I did not slog through any work of fiction just because I felt I had to. (I consider this growth from last year.) I really enjoyed my reading. And here are some favorites (starred titles were featured on the blog for “tea and a book”):

My True Love Gave to Me — adorable anthology of holiday romance short stories.
Cold Comfort Farm — I enjoyed the film, but the book is so very clever! And much funnier.
High Rising* — a re-read, but this time it launched me into full-blown Angela Thirkell obsession.
The Signature of All Things* — the most unusual book I read all year.
The Crowfield Curse* — compelling medieval mystery/fantasy.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? — I love The Mindy Project, and this funny memoir showed me just how smart, ambitious, and hard-working Kahling is.
A Stitch in Time* — my favorite Penelope Lively book so far.
The French Lieutenant’s Woman* — a very satisfying re-read.
Remarkable Creatures* — early female fossil hunters!
Miss Buncle’s Book* — my introduction to D.E. Stevenson (I’m currently reading my 4th Stevenson novel).
The Hollow Kingdom — I think of this as the proper resolution to my childhood obsession with Sarah/Jareth from Labyrinth.
Garden Spells* — my introduction to the magically romantic books of Sarah Addison Allen.

3. Spend more time researching and planning my next story.
I do think I’ve improved in this regard. Now must endeavor not to languish in the planning stage for too long.

4. Be more like Elfrida.
This goal was about being a better friend, listener, and comforter (like Elfrida in Winter Solstice). Not sure how to measure my progress, but I probably should have been more mindful of it. Part of the goal also involved inviting more people to my house, and in that regard I failed miserably. I only had two friends to stay in the entire year! No group gatherings or parties of any sort. Specific goal: plan a gathering in my home to take place before May 1st.

5. Be more conscious of living in the moment (and detach self from phone).
Hmmmm . . . not sure what to do with this one. It’s rather vague. More specific goals: take at least one walk each day. Sit in the living room without turning on the TV. Sit on the patio in warmer weather. Put phone in kitchen when working in the office.

Final specific goal for 2015 — make a “to do” list at the beginning of each work day. It’s a simple thing, and it works!

How about you? Any goals for the new year?

It’s 2014 — shall we chat about goals?

We made it through another year!


Let’s celebrate with tea and a good book. 🙂

I’m not going to do an extended recap/evaluation of 2013, even though I enjoy reading those posts from other folks. Instead I will list some goals for 2014:

1. Journal/blog more. This post from Neil Gaiman really got me thinking, and like him, I plan to blog more and tweet/tumbl/facebook less in the new year. I totally understand the allure of interacting with the world in 140 characters or less (or with photos, etc.), but I’m not that good at it, and it’s making me feel strangely fragmented. Anxious, even. I miss the old days of Livejournal. I miss the details, the ruminating, both from my friends and from myself. In the new year, I hope to curb the number of quick blurtings and take more time to express thoughts and share deeper joys. It may be that no one has the time or inclination to read that sort of thing these days. But I’m not blogging to promote myself or create meangingful/practical content for users (or whatever the platform mavens say). My stories are my product. My blog is me. And maybe you’ll come by and visit from time to time? I’ll certainly make a point of visiting you!

2. Read more. I only read 50 books last year. I recall long stretches of time when I was stuck in a particular book, not making any progress, or just between books, and I felt myself getting out of the habit of reading. In those times, my imgination seemed to slow down, too. I must be more intentional about reading! And lo and behold, studies show that reading novels is good for brain function! (Thanks, C, for linking that article.)

3. Spend more time researching and planning my next story. I’m already a planner rather than a panster, but I still get in too much of a hurry somtimes. Since I don’t have a hideous deadline hanging over me, I’m going to immerse myself in the historical context for my next story, and do some deep thinking about character and motivation, before I launch into the first chapter.

4. Be more like Elfrida. One of my favorite novels read in 2013 was Rosamund Pilcher’s Winter Solstice. The main character is a warm soul who offers physical and emotional refuge to friends in crisis. Now, I’m too much of a cranky hermit to be 100% Elfrida, but I do want to be a better friend. A better listener. I need to be quicker and more adept at offering the same sort of refuge to my friends. And darn it, I could actually invite people to my house from time to time. Maybe I should start small, like with a bookish tea party? Something casual and joyful, with lots of yummies? Let me know if you’re interested. 🙂

5. Be more conscious of living in the moment (and detach self from phone). This one is pretty self-explanatory.

What about you? I’d love to hear about your goals.

Useful stuff:

–Dr. Lisa has some great suggestions in The 3 R’s of Successful Resolutions.

–Family lawyer Shel offers 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Couples (without using the word ‘weight’).

–And here is a procedure for dealing with negative thoughts/emotions (from Elephant Journal).

Let’s have a HAPPIER NEW YEAR, friends!