Welcome to 2016, everyone!
I’m not really a ‘resolutions’ kind of person. They’re great if that’s your thing, but as people usually resolve to do things like “eat better” or “be mindful”, they don’t suit me very well. I like to have achievable goals that I can actually measure–and not ones that I’m likely to fail by January 2nd. My goals are always things that will stretch me a little, but not to breaking point. There seems no point in setting a goal that I’ll reach by January 10th, and equally no point to a goal that I’ll burn out trying to reach by December 31st.
With that in mind, here are my 2016 goals:
- Finish the current WIP novel
- Write another novel
- Write at least one novelette or novella
- Send a novel out on query
- Sell a piece of fiction for money
With my usual levels of productivity, the first three should be doable by the end of the the year. The fourth is a follow-up to last year’s big goal: send a piece of fiction out for query or submission. Originally, that was supposed to be a novel, but I sent out several short works to magazines so I’m counting it. This year, I have to send out a novel on query. It’s time.
The last one is the one I have no control over, beyond sending out my best and trying to hit the right editor/market at the right time, but it seems like something that should be achievable. One of my pieces got into the final round of a good magazine, so it should sell this year, right?
And if I don’t achieve this one, then next year’s goals will include a self-publishing goal. I’ll get there eventually.
- Read at least 75 works including books, novellas, and collected graphic novel volumes.
- Read at least one new-to-me classic
- Read at least two non-fiction works
- Read stuff I enjoy, put down things I’m not enjoying
The second goal has that qualification because otherwise I could just reread Persuasion or Pride and Prejudice every year and it would count. I failed at this goal in 2015, but drat it, I’m going to make sure that I don’t this year. I’ve had The Woman in White sitting on my shelf all year for this.
The last one is a reminder to myself that I don’t need to slog through books I’m not loving. I’m trying to break out of the mindset that something must always be finished. My time is not infinite, so why should I lose some of it to book that I’m really not loving?
My reading challenge on GoodReads can be found here.
And my thread on the LibraryThing 75 books in 2016 group can be found here.
- Maintain my current fitness levels
I know, it’s the one vague goal on my list. There is actually a reason for that. I have a couple of chronic illnesses that make goals like “eat clean” or “lose/gain weight” a bit pointless. My weight could be a little higher, but I’m happy with it. I’m currently able to eat healthily, but if my IBD flares, my specialist puts me on a low residue/low fibre diet and a high dose of steroids, so that goal gets trashed.
At the moment, I’m able to meet my steps goals (thank you, Fitbit) and get several session a week on my exercise bike. If my spondylitis flares up, my exercise goals change dramatically to help me cope, so any goals here get trashed.
Maintain my current fitness levels is, to be honest, the most realistic goal that I can set, and it’s not one that I’ll burn out trying to achieve if my health issues flare up.
The fiddly bit at the end
So, those are my goals. Writing, reading, and fitness, which seem like the right thing to have priorities about.
Have you set any goals for 2016?