A Year in Review and a Plans for a New Year

March of last year, I set myself some goals. Or, rather, I whittled down the impossible number of goals that I had and tried to concentrate on fewer. Although it’s not been a year yet, it’s easiest to do goal reviews on New Year’s, so let’s have a look at what I have (and haven’t) done.

The Review

1. Conversion. I am actually close to finishing this goal. I have finished my classes and have to meet privately a few more times with my rabbi. I don’t have a time set yet, but I anticipate having this finished sometime this spring.

I’ve been a bit more spotty with my Hebrew study, but when I looked at a portion of Torah recently–as it actually appears in the scroll–I thought, “I can do that.” Once I know which portion I’ll read, some concentrated studying will get me through my first Torah reading.

2. Home Improvements. Yeah, these haven’t happened. Even if we had the money for them, I haven’t had the time. And now that I’m unemployed and have the time, I especially don’t have the money. So scrap that goal going forward.

3. Writing. I had three sub-goals for this.

1) I wanted to finish the edits on Acceptance and submit it to a publisher. I did finish those edits, but I ended up self-publishing it. That took a lot more effort than just querying agents and publishers, but I did finish it. And I’m very proud.

2) I also wanted to finish the edits for The Flames of Prague. Instead, I’ve decided to totally overhaul it and turn it into two separate books. I have not made much progress on fleshing out the first novel, but Acceptance turned into a bigger project than I originally intended.

3) I wanted to publish two more short stories (I had already published The Last Golden Dragon). I did publish a second short story, The Widow, but I fell short of my goal of three for the year.

4. Exercise. Yeah, that was hit-or-miss (mostly miss).

5. Gardening. Nope, still didn’t have the time to do it. I think I better give this up until I either become a full-time writer or I retire.

The New Plan

1. I’m going to make myself eat right and exercise for the month of January. Hopefully 31 days of it will make it a habit, but I may have to make a conscious decision to pursue it longer than that. I still want to hit my two markers of physical fitness: do a pushup and touch my toes. (I doubt I’ll manage either by the end of January, so we’ll call that a year-end goal.)

2. Since I lost my job in November, I have to make an unexpected goal: get a new job. This may or may not require a move. (And, needless to say, if a move is involved, all other goals will be temporarily suspended.)

3. Publish another book and hopefully one or two more short stories. I also want to do enough Bloodsuckers to release a fourth volume (which means dropping my weekly output to a monthly output–something I need to do now that self-publishing takes up so much more of my time).

My current goal is to publish The Flames of Prague by the end of next year, but I’ve been doing a lot of work on my Acceptance Trilogy lately and have been rethinking its publishing schedule. Right now I’m still up in the air, but I may push Flames back a year and do the second Acceptance book instead. (I made the cover for it last night!)

4. Finish my conversion.

So, those are my big goals for the upcoming year. What are yours?

October 21, 2010 – Setting (Life) Goals

Okay, the French podcast I downloaded yesterday is a bit too advanced for me (more an intermediate level), but that’s no problem–I found a couple of different French lessons to download which look like they are more for a beginner.  But even so, I learned enough on the drive home last night to annoy my husband when I got home (which is an unexpected, although amusing side effect). 

I’ve also been indulging in downloading various educational podcasts, including “Common Sense” and “Give Me Liberty, or Give me Death.”  Someday I might actually put music on this thing… maybe.  But at least now I’ll feel better about my commute; it won’t feel like such a waste of time if I’m learning.  Those hour-and-a-half drives back and forth from my parents’ are starting to look better too (especially now that Chattanooga has crap for radio stations; the selection is pathetic). 

All I need now is a podcast entitled “How to get published in 30 days.”  Although this podcast by Amy Tan on being creative might be helpful too. 

One of the self-help podcasts I just listened to (for shits and giggles), talked about the importance of writing down your goals, and it listed several celebrities who had gotten everything they had asked for themselves.  Of course, anyone who doesn’t make it big never gets to tell their story of how their goal-writing didn’t work, but we won’t dwell on that, because it’s a downer.  At any rate, it’s not like it costs me anything but a few minutes of time to do it, so here goes (if I achieve these things, feel free to point this out to me later).

1. Become a published author (and not with a crappy, no-name publisher or vanity publishing either; I want to be published by someone I’ve heard of before).

2. Publish a dozen or more fictional books, and at least two non-fiction books, including one on the middle ages.

3. Buy myself a house in Ireland.  And when that movie deal comes through, buy my husband a fixer-upper castle in France (another reason why I need to learn French).

4. Sell the movie rights to my books and write the screenplay myself (I’m feeling controlling; I want to retain some say over the movies so they don’t get fud up).

5. Make at least $4 million dollars on my books and movies before I’m 40 (nine more years… that’s plenty of time). 

6.  Have Oded Fehr as my personal bed toy.  And my husband will be agreeable to this.

Modest goals, I think (except for Oded, and I just threw that one in there to make the rest of my goals look attainable).  Jim Carrey supposedly set his goal at $10-$12 million.  I don’t need that much money; I can get a cottage in the west of Ireland for under $100,000 and a fixer-upper castle in France is only about half a million.  I have never wanted to be super-rich; just rich enough.  I think $4 million, prudently invested, would be enough to keep me happily comfortable the rest of my life.  And may I have a long, happy life and die in Ireland.