However you feel about New Year’s resolutions, hard data backs up the fact that those who write down and refer to their goals throughout the year are more successful in keeping them. I spend enough time reading up on psychology and marketing that I know it works, so that’s why I’m doing it. YMMV.
Note that the list below includes only things that I can control. So I’m not saying I want to “sell 25 stories!” or “sell 85 novels!” or “hit the New York Times Bestseller list!” because these are are things I largely have no control over. Oh, I can certainly help those things along by writing great books and stories, connecting with lots of people, and touring, but down that road lies madness. There’s too much luck and personal taste involved.
So instead I’m going to resolve to complete some things that I do have control over. The rest will follow in time.
One of the big problems I had this year was including time for fitness, reading, and other hobbies besides writing. Writing and the ups-and-downs of the crazy corporate job world and my increasing anxiety made life pretty tough this year. All that’s been pretty much resolved now, though, so I feel confident in striding into 2016 in a far better place that I was in 2015.
And hey, if 2015 was the year I was a total nut yet still managed to write three books and launch a Patreon and write a bunch of short stories, imagine what I can do now that I’m sane!
- Complete one short story a month for Patreon backers (create a quarterly short story calendar, much like my day job content calendars, outlining the four stories I want to write each quarter in ADVANCE so I’m not scrambling at month’s end)
- Finish THE BROKEN HEAVENS by October 1st (revise outline first week February)
- Outline and start writing my second SF book for Saga Press after October 1st
- Complete one new book/series proposal
- Complete and pitch one new novella or novella series
- Complete one short story for an anthology
- Get my website updated!
- Get an accountant
- Rely more on my assistant to help with projects (create schedule for her first week January for the quarter)
Health & Fitness
- Exercise for 20 minutes every Monday morning and 40 minutes every Sunday
- Stand at my standing desk at work for one hour in the morning and one hour int he afternoon 5 days a week
- Use my treadmill desk for 1 hour every week
- Bike to work one day a week
- Stick to eating processed carbs just one day a week (brown rice is OK)
- Get my A1C back under 7 (it’s at 7.3 right now, down almost a full point from its worst point earlier in the year. Getting a less stressful job and anxiety meds helped more than anything and renewed exercise will help further)
Hobbies and Downtime
- Read 2 new books every month (preferably one nonfiction and one fiction)
- Complete 2 new pony mods this year
- Weed and plant the garden by April 30
- Weed and mulch flower beds by March 30
- Take at least ONE vacation of AT LEAST 5 days that’s NOT related to a writing convention
- Practice French for ten minutes two days a week
Being a Better Human
- Seek out and promote new-to-me writers in the field (I started doing this a couple years back, but want to make it a continued effort)
- Check Twitter and schedule tweets for ONLY 20 minutes five days a week (the toughest resolution of all!)
- Send out holiday cards
- Send thank-you notes to colleagues when projects drop
- Invest in paying off more debt (pay off last student loan this year)
So, there it is: my goals for 2016.
I will be 36 this year, which may not sound old to some people, but for me it’s a reminder that I’m on the other side of thirty and headed into my prime. I want to be a better human before the time winds down, so it’s now or never.