Hello 2023!

I do believe in setting goals and making resolutions for the New Year. It gives me a focus for the year and a way to measure my progress.

There is a difference between a resolution and a goal that most people tend to miss. A goal is a concrete achievement. It’s very specific. One of the things we teach in our professional development courses is how to set a SMART goal.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Timed

For example, if I’m setting a weight loss goal, I would say something like “I will weigh less than 215lbs by June 14.” I set a specific target, one that is measurable on a scale, and that involves a reasonable amount of time to achieve, and that has a deadline.

I left out relevant, and that’s because ‘relevant’ relates to a resolution.

Resolutions are not as cut and dried. They’re messy, hard to measure, and tend to be broader. For example, “I resolve to live a healthier lifestyle in 2023.” You see how that is not a SMART goal? But it still has meaning.

My goals must be relevant to my resolutions.

So here are my resolutions along with some goals for 2023.

  1. Be kind.
    • Go out of my way to greet people
    • Help others whenever the opportunity presents itself
    • Swallow my pride
    • Forgive offenses
  2. Be healthy
    • Weigh <215 by June 14
    • End all heart meds by June 14
    • Exercise 1 hour 3 times per week
  3. Be appreciative of the efforts of those around me
    • Praise freely; criticize sparingly
  4. Expand my horizons
    • Learn a song every week on the ukulele
    • Record and post one each month
    • Learn a new language
    • Finish my arcade controller
  5. Grow as a writer
    • Complete 52 short stories by Dec 31.
    • Complete 4 novels to final edit by Dec 31.
    • Publish collection of the best short stories by Oct 1.
    • Submit to 12 open call anthologies by Dec 31
    • Submit to WOTF every quarter I am eligible
    • Submit to both Baen contests
    • Record and publish 12 audio stories
  6. Love

2022 in Review

Looking back over the last year

It’s been an interesting year.

Today is Dec 31, 2022 and for me, it’s a day to look backwards to see where I’m coming from and where I’ve been. I assess the things that worked, the things that didn’t, and use that to lay out my goals and resolutions for the coming year.

2022, was a year of beginnings for me. For the first time, I started treating writing seriously,as something more than “Oh, that’s something I’d like to try. Following some great advice I got at the tail end of 2021, I wrote and sold a story. Since then, I’ve tried a few more, but nothing else has sold.

And that’s okay; I’m still learning this author gig.

I stepped outside of my comfort zone, and did some things differently. Lissa and I went to several conventions this year, and instead of focusing on having fun, I began to emphasize learning more about the job and craft of writing fiction. That journey culminated in 20Books Vegas, where I met some amazing people and learned exactly how much I need to learn to make this a success.

I recorded an audio version of my story and sent it out to a fe volunteers who listened and gave me some very encouraging feedback. I’m incorporating their suggestions in the final edit, and will post it on Amazon soon.

For the coming year, I’m setting several ambitious goals for myself, and I’ll share those tomorrow.

There are plenty of regrets and lots of things I wish I’d done differently, but the only thing I can do about those is learn, and do better moving forward.

And that’s what tomorrow’s post will be about!