January 2016 Goals!

PIC1068506062Bring on the New Year! It’s time to get down to business. I have lots of plans for making 2016 the best year yet. But it’s going to take a lot of work, a lot of perseverance, and lot of prayer. No worries, I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

In evaluating my accomplishments and struggles from last year, I’ve determined that I lacked a serious support system. I mostly made my goals myself, but nobody held me accountable and nobody pushed me if I was slacking. Turns out, I don’t have much will power when I get into a overwhelmed or defeatist mood.

Changes to my Approach

Some things I’m changing/improving to help me achieve more in 2016:

*I’m partnering with my good friend and fellow fantasy author, J.L. Mbewe, to hold each other accountable with our goals–both business and personal–using monthly video chats and weekly check-ins via Facebook.

*I’m going digital! This is the first year that I will have everything related to organization online. Google Calendars will hold my family calendar, writing calendar, project calendar, and menu planning (possibly cleaning) calendar. I’ll continue using ToDoIst for my to-do list, while expanding categories and use within the program. Both Google Calendars and ToDoIst can be used across devices, so I can update from wherever I am.

*I’m planning my schedule with “time boxes” in mind. (See more about this and other productivity methods here.) With time blocks, I’m giving myself permission to focus on just this ONE task/project for a set amount of time. Because I know the time is set, I don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the project as a whole (if it’s a bit one) but will be making progress; plus, I allow myself not to worry about “other things” because I know I will get to them in their time block. Best of all, it will keep stuff like social media and e-mails from being giant time suckers!

I’m combining this with a couple of other productivity methods, like 15-minute sprints (for cleaning, meal prep, e-mails, etc.) and anti-procrastination philosophies.

*Most important, I’m bringing God back into all areas of my life. I know this may sound hokey or weird, but I’ve found myself pushing God to the back burner, not waiting for or heeding or sometimes even seeking His guidance. That’s why this is a God-first year! More prayer, more listening, more Bible study to bring me into a place of close relationship with Him again.

With those 4 items in my arsenal, along with not biting off more than I can chew or taking my health for granted, I have high hopes for this year!

My Goals for January

  1. Re-install quiet times in the morning and make church a priority. I will start getting up at 6 a.m. to ensure I have time for Bible study and prayer before I start my work day around 6:30 a.m. I will also start preparing for church on Sunday the night before so that I have no excuses for not going unless someone is ill.
  2. Work with my doctor to start making lifestyle changes to improve my health. I have a doctor appointment today, the first one in over a year, with a new doctor. I need to go get my blood sugar under control as well as ensure that nothing else is out of control.
  3. Prepare Bellanok Part 3 for publication the first week in February. I need to finish writing/revising it by Jan. 10; get it back from my critiquers the following week; finish final revisions by Jan. 24; and then get it out to my proofreader/formatter. Whew! (This is what happens when you fall behind over the holidays.)
  4. Put out my first official newsletter to e-mail subscribers. (Sign up now if you haven’t already!)
The sweatshirt I'm wearing this morning!

The sweatshirt I’m wearing this morning!

Yes, I’m pushing myself this month. I need to. I need to see what I’m capable of with this new attitude. Like I said, I have high hopes for the year to come, and that will only happen if I’m healthy and wise.

What are a couple of your goals for January?

Let’s share and keep each other accountable! (If you leave your goals, I will put you on a list, which I will be praying over all month long. In next month’s goal post, I will list your name and goals at the bottom of the list and ask to see how you did! Won’t it be nice to share struggles and achievements?)

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  1. Great goals, Ralene! And it’s not hokey or weird to want to put God first. It’s vital. I’m also guilty of this. My word for this year is Renewal. We’ve been living with my MIL who has dementia for a year now. It’s time to get back to being me. I’ve adjusted. She’s adjusted.

    My first goal is to create a writing space in my bedroom. I’ve been writing/editing at the diningroom table and it’s distracting. MIL knows we’re here, so it shouldn’t be a problem for me to work in the bedroom, out of her sight.

    Next is to pull out all the notes I made on my novel revisions and finish them so I can send it out. I’m accountable to my group, so I’m planning to keep them posted.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Yea! Love the block method. I kind of do that from 8-10 to do my work, but sometimes I allow distractions to slip in during that time. Perhaps the training now will help me when I have more than 2 hours four days a week to work on stuff. More power to ya!

    I think I have my word for the year….but I want confirmation. hahaha!

    • Yes, the block method WITHOUT the distractions. Of course, I can’t do anything about 3 particular distractions, especially when Daddy isn’t home. LOL!

      I can’t wait to hear about your word for the year!

  3. I have edits on my YA book 1 to implement. I’m going to shoot for two chapters a day on average. Once that’s done, I need to shop my completed suspense and do initial edits on book 2.

  4. If I push hard. I’ll have to do extra chapters on days I can’t get to it.

  5. It is really helpful to set goals for the new year because it works motivational when see which are your main priorities. It is good that you are planning to take a better care of your health. I think that this must be the priority of all of us. One of my goals is to plan better my time and schedule the cleaning and organizing routines. A cleaning calendar is definitely going to be very helpful! Thanks for sharing your goals and good luck! 🙂

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