Thinking Forward and Looking Back

When I sat down and wrote out my goals for 2017, I had no idea what the year would bring me. I had an idea, but in reality I knew all of it was probably going to change. I always feel like I have to keep things constantly in the air and to be ready for changes or set backs. At the same time, I’m a planner who feels comfortable in predicability. I tried to mix my goals with concrete, measurable ones as well as those that were fluid and had subjective measures of success.

In December of 2016 I focused on my new goals on four topics: health, blogging, publishing, and fun. I was going along fine until the publishing one changed and suddenly I was thrust in new roles that completely took over my life. The new world of publishing was one I welcomed into my life, but it changed the rest of the goals.

Today, I’m going to review the goals I set last year and set up some ideas for what I want to do moving forward.

Annual Goals

Let’s start with health- the goal was to bike 6 miles a week, for about 300 miles over the year. I did that easily and it kept me going to the gym for 3 days a week to accomplish it. There were a few challenges. First, my original gym (where I had been going for six years) closed in May and I had to find a new one. The new location and new training schedule has forced me to change my habit. It hasn’t been easy to find a new groove, but I’m doing better than I have in past years. I am much healthier this year.
As I look to goals for next year, I need to think about new metrics for my health. I need to think how to show progress in more than weight, especially as I develop more muscle (which has been a huge increase this year).

While the blogging and publishing goals were two separate categories, I think they now need to be combined. The blogging has become part of the publishing plan and goals, especially in terms of connecting with my readers and those I would like to make into readers. This blog is clearly becoming about my experiences as an author. The goals were about numbers, as if an increase in those would signify engagement. For me, I am enjoying making this blog a deeper level of experience for readers who want that. You get more about the books and more about my life as an author. Finding the right focus was one of the goals and I think I am really close to that. The other two goals were about numbers of followers on the blog and newsletter. Those weren’t goals I reached, but I feel like the newsletter is the one to focus on next year. The blog and newsletter have different functions for connecting with readers. I have been working to define the purpose of each social media platform and the goals next year will focus on reader engagement specifically.

With the publishing goals, I was really looking to set benchmarks to help me in the future. I didn’t know what to expect and I’m not sure, if things had gone as planned, if I ever would have. The change to becoming my own publisher gave me more insight into how the book was performing. The goals I set for Phi Alpha Pi will be heavily influenced on what happened with Modern Persuasion. Not only do I have a better idea of what works for me, but where I should focus my time (and money). I’m even better organized, putting my new project management skills to good use.

Last there were the fun goals. These were the ones related to knitting, reading, and traveling. I did SO much traveling this year and saw a few new places like Montreal and Los Angeles. Next year has a lot less travel, but two really big planned trips (India?) that are priorities. Knitting and reading took a bit of a hit. As writing took more attention, the other two fell by the wayside. I didn’t do as much of either as I expected. I don’t think much will change next year with them either. I like to be stupidly ambitious with these types of goals because it’s not a big loss if I fail.

What’s on my list of goals for next year? That’s for another post!


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