Looking Back at 2016 and Looking Forward to 2017
I’m not going to dwell on any of the negatives of 2016, but I do want to reflect on what went right, and what I want to improve in planning out my goals for next year.
Generally, I don’t make new year resolutions but I am a big believer in setting goals. These goals can be simple ones like finishing a rough draft of a new book outline in thirty days, or more expansive goals that require several years to accomplish, like becoming proficient in Photoshop (of course every time Adobe upgrades their software I feel like I’m starting over!)
For me, it helps to begin my plans for the next year by reviewing my goals for 2016: Finish book three of Gulf Coast Rescue series (not quite—still several thousand words short of that one); outline book four in the series (check, got that one done); create a writing schedule (yep, while I missed writing every day as planned, I certainly put in more consistent writing than the year before, so I’ll count that in the plus column); update my web site (oh boy, missed that one!); and learn more about social media (attended RWA workshops and Lynda.com online courses so I’ll give myself a plus but deduct points for lack of implementation!); attend several writing conferences (check: RWA National in San Diego, CA, Writer’s Police Academy in Green Bay, WI, and new for me was the NINC conference in St. Pete, FL).
Okay, not bad, but I see things I want to improve in 2017. So here are my goals for next year:
- Write every day (yes, a repeat, but I’m not giving up on this one—I’m also including writing longhand, not just on my computer since that helps me write past blocks or play the “what if” game with plot changes).
- Publish book three of my Gulf Coast Rescue series.
- Complete the first draft of book four of my Gulf Coast Rescue series (I’m hoping to actually finish it in 2017, but I’ll leave that for my mid-year update).
- Learn something new every week (I consider myself a life-long learner, but I want to become more rigorous and actually schedule my online training courses. If you’re not familiar with Lynda.com you might want to check them out—things like Photoshop, creating web pages, using social media, formatting e-books, and marketing are all available in short video segments you can view anytime you want. Available with monthly or annual subscriptions too).
- Hit the road more. Hubby and I bought a small toy-hauler (for
our motorcycles) with living quarters (when we evacuated from hurricane
Matthew) and I want to travel and experience new places and people next year!
- Attend several writing conferences (RWA National Conference in Orlando, FL and probably NINC and the Police Academy in Green Bay, WI—new for 2017: attend regional conferences, not just national ones).
- Break my goals into monthly, weekly, and daily goals for better results. And make them SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound).
- Revise and update throughout the year!
Okay, those are my goals for 2017. Not all inclusive, but it gets me started on the right foot for a productive year. So what goals or accomplishments do you want to achieve next year? What did you accomplish in 2016?