Monday, December 29, 2014

Goals - Mine

Remember last week?  I discussed attaining goals and the method to use was S.M.A.R.T which is —

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Achievable
R = Realistic
T = Time Bound

Well, it is that time of year when come midnight on 12/31 we will celebrate, kiss, toast 2015 and make New Year Resolutions.

Last year I toasted, kissed my wife and celebrated the New Year with a few friends.  The idea of resolutions didn't come to me until the next morning.  After some serious thought, I decided what I would do —

1. Lose weight
2. Publish four (4) books
and some other stuff but we won't go into that …

So how did I do for the year?  I actually did lose some weight.  At least, according to the doctor when he weighed me in for an office visit and I was down almost 10 pounds by April.  To be fair, I just checked my weight.  Okay, almost a year later, I am down about 5 pounds.  Is that good?  Sort of.  As my doctor stated, You didn't gain all this weight overnight, so don't expect to lose it overnight.

Hmm?  It took me about 30 years to gain all this weight.  I really don't think I have 30 years to lose it.  Therefore, some drastic action must be taken.  I want to lose 100 pounds.  At the current rate of 5 pounds per year, it will take another 20 years.  That could be doable but really?  Do I want to look good the last 2 or 3 days of my life — considering if I live another 20 years?  Okay, if I shed 10 pounds each year, it would only take 10 years.  Again, good potential but not quite what I had in mind.  And, personally, I don't think that is what the doctor had in mind, either.

BUT, if I could lose 50 pounds this year and another 50 next year … I would reach my goal.

So, using S.M.A.R.T. I have decided I want to lose 50 pounds this year by Dec 31, 2015.  I am being specific, it is something that is measurable.  Is it achievable and realistic?  If I lose 5 pounds each month, then, yes, it is achievable and realistic.  But I'm not being honest with myself:  I'm a diabetic.  I'm old.  I'm very sedentary.  Let's re-calculate and say 25 pounds for the year.  If I can lose more, that's called a gravy bonus.  By changing to 25 pounds, I think I have something achievable and realistic.  Since I have set the date as December 31, 2015, I have locked it into a time table.

Next resolution.  Publish four (4) books.  I didn't.  I tried.  I got the first book published by allowing myself a month (January) to finish the cleanup.  It took until early April.  Way off schedule.  My tentative schedule was to have book 2 done by the end of April.  Okay, I did get book 1 out and it was Pangaea, Eden Lost.  Book 2 was supposedly (working title) Jewyl.  Instead, I put together a how-to writing/editing book titled 52 Weeks of Writing Tips and SURPRISE!  It was published early April (about a week later) with a promotion release date of May 1.  I was back on schedule.  Not exactly the books I'd planned but I had two books out for the year.  I still had time to get Jewyl ready and my next "due date" was late August.  Plenty of time.  Hmm?  I didn't calculate the summer and traveling with grand kids to go camping.  Plus there was the garden, too.  Did I mention lawn mowing?  August was soooo far away — I had plenty of time.

Waste not.  Well, I did.  Like the proverbial grasshopper, I fiddled my summer away and Labor Day was upon me and book 3 wasn't even close to ready.  I thought I had it ready when I caught a major flaw in my story: the heroine was stumbling along, following everyone; not leading.  Wrong!  Major re-write needed.  Plus, it seems Fall must be a magical time for writers since my skills as an editor were called upon and I was suddenly deluged with several well-paying editing projects.  Let's get real here.  I'm retired and on a fixed income.  This was welcome money.  Three edit jobs found me pushing into November which is NaNoWriMo.  I wasn't going to participate.  Day 3 — Yeah, hook, line and sinker.  I was doing NaNoWriMo and finishing up an edit job.  I finished the story, and the month of November, with the promise of another edit job.  December became a month of holidays, editing and no writing for me.

So I only published two books.  Not my goal but still, I did get two books published.  That, in and of itself, is quite an accomplishment.  Just think how awesome it would have been to publish four!!!

Therefore, once again, using S.M.A.R.T. I will attempt to publish three (3) books during 2015.  I still have Jewyl waiting in the wings, plus my Amish novel, and Fire Life is glaring at me.  I think I'm good at three, but I might be able to do four.  Let me see, set a goal of three, shoot for four, and maybe do five.  Now THAT would be quite an accomplishment.  I'll be happy with three.

This blog will be released on 12/29.  What goals are you setting, have you set, or will you set for yourself for 2015?  Share your S.M.A.R.T. goals with me and we'll keep tabs on each other during 2015.  Won't that be fun?  I promise not to shame you during the year.  I'll just make comments during the passing time to help us keep on schedule.  A reminder is always helpful.

Until next I ramble on …


  1. Only published two books? WOW - what a great accomplishment. You put it out to the universe you wanted 4 (which is so aggressive) and you got two - celebrate that! I did a blog this week on Resolutions versus goals, so I'm right there with you on this topic.

    1. Yes, I know, better 2 than none, I guess. I am proud but wished I'm made the four - just me goofing off, I guess.

  2. So proud of you for publishing two books! I am currently working on a non-fiction book. My goal is to have it finished by January 31st. Edited in February. Rewrites in March and I am going to a writers conference in April to seek publication. I have been very intentional on working on it if not daily, weekly. Homeschooling, raising two kids, church responsibilities and holding office in my local writers group has me busy to say the least! I keep on trekking and put one foot in front of the other ;)

    1. Sounds like you have a schedule and goal. I wish you the best with your endeavor.

  3. Well done, Bob! Two books is nothing to sneeze at. It means you had the discipline to keep your behind in that chair and knock them out. For that I would be celebrating. As for next year's goals, it really comes down to what you are truly committed to doing in your heart or hearts. I find most folks declare good ideas at the beginning of a year. Good ideas get you nowhere. Only commitment give you the staying power one needs to accomplish. Based upon two books completed in 2014, it seems whatever you set your mind to, you can accomplish! Go Bob!!

    1. I really did have a worked out schedule for the four books with a timeline of edits, book covers, etc but then I got off-schedule and then re-vamped with a new book. It got too confusing and then my grandkids showed up and PopPop was a lost cause because HE wanted to go camping, too! LOL.

  4. Go for it, Bob! You'll do it. It's the determination to keep at it that makes it happen. Falling short of a goal doesn't lessen the importance of what you did accomplish. All of those goals are still in reach.

    1. As time permits, I am scheduling myself - realistically - for attempting to get the books published. We'll see how it goes. The weight? Boy, that's going to be the really hard one... yes, better chance at 5 books than losing 25 pounds. BUT, here goes!

  5. I find that when I create a S.M.A.R.T. goal and I don't meet the deadline I do learn a lot about how to make better goals for myself in the future. I think you goals were great and I bet you'll meet them in the new year.

  6. A challenging post Bob - needed to hear this. Setting goals for myself right now actually, so this is helpful. Hope you achieve your goals this year.