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 …