Goals backward and forward

I have a habit of setting new goals for myself every year. They’re not resolutions. Resolutions are “I want to get an agent.” That’s what I want to happen but not something I have much control over. Goals are my roadmap for getting me as close as I can get under my own agency.

These are my own uses. Some people flip them. Whatever term you choose, just make it work for you.

New years and birthdays always make me evaluate what I’ve accomplished, where I am, and where I want to be. What have my goals been? What has worked and what do I still struggle with?

Last year, I was ambitious. More ambitious than I either realized or intended. I wanted to create something every day–even just a meal for my family. Pretty sure I managed it if not every day then damn close. Because really it was less about getting myself to make more and more about recognizing the creative things I already do. I lost track of it after a while, but it got me into a mindset that followed me all year of counting as creative work things like making meals, or decorating the house for holidays and birthdays, or building a baby doll out of blocks at the request of my two year old.

Most of the time when I set goals, I want to build a habit. Like visiting the library and/or not spending money on new books. That was such a resounding success I’d forgotten I set it last year. The library is now one of my daughter’s favorite places to visit.

I wish blogging had become a habit. That’s one I’ve been trying to cultivate for years with sporadic luck. At least it gives me something to work on?

This year, I’m focusing on getting out of my own way when it comes to my story writing. Thinking of that tired adage about hindsight, I want 2020 to be the year that I lean into all that accumulated hindsight and put into practice what I’ve learned. Like I need to be kind to myself and set realistic goals, but lowballing myself doesn’t push me as far as I need to be pushed.

Case in point: 2019 I set a lowball goal of querying my Tokyo-based urban fantasy novel three times. Which I did. Then I let my focus shift and never dragged it back. I know I can do more so in 2020 I expect more of myself.

And pride? Oh, I have some issues with pride. But those are destined for another post.

I love hearing about the goals people set themselves. What habits do you want to form? What will help propel you into living the life and being the person you truly want to be?

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