Summing up: my goals achieved (or not) in 2016 (#SFWApro)

Wow. Looking back it seems a)incredible 2016 is over (setting aside any questions about how good a year it was). Where did all that time go? b)It seems like a very busy 12 months, full of stuff that used up time. Short stories. Snuggling with TYG. Lots and lots of puppy care. Traveling to San Diego in the summer. And working on my goals for the year, of course.

I was initially disappointed that I only accomplished around 55 percent of my 2016 goals. Then I looked back at this time last year and saw for 2015 I only managed 18 percent. So this year is 300 percent better. Not that I was 300 percent better or more efficient, but Now and Then We Time Travel hogged a lot of time (ROFL!) in 2015, more than I’d expected. It did this year too, but there was less work on the book to do, so the effect wasn’t as bad.

My monthly average is actually better, 70 percent. But that reflects that I include lots of little goals each month that aren’t part of the year-goals. For example I set the amount of hours I’m going to write based on all the other activities (vacations, TYG’s schedule, contractor visits, etc.) I have to handle; that’s better done at the monthly level.

Regrettably most of the goals I accomplished were personal, not professional, like reducing my cooking schedule so I don’t have too many leftovers; having multiple irregular social events (i.e., in contrast to my writer’s group, which is a regularly scheduled event); traveling outside the triangle four times; watching films without doing stuff (email, work, whatever) during them (watching all the time-travel movies on the job gave me bad habits); and keeping up a regular cleaning schedule (45 minutes a week, which seems to be the most I can pull off between dogs and writing).


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I did make two of my big writing goals. I wrote another draft of Southern Discomfort and I finished Now and Then We Time Travel. So both of those deserve a huzzah! I wrote four short stories, and kept Questionable Minds out constantly, instead of letting it lie fallow after a rejection. I finished Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast, though it isn’t actually out (via Draft2Digital) yet. And the dogs and I have successfully adapted to a work day where I’m typing most of the time, instead of just watching movies (and therefore have hands free to pet them).

I wanted to sell five short stories; I managed four. Which is good, but didn’t let me check off the goal. I also wanted to sell one to a magazine considered a major market, and I didn’t manage that either (no disrespect intended to the magazines that did publish me).

And I really wanted to make more money than I did. I wasn’t fantasizing about a six-figure income, just something comparable to what I earned as a journalist. While I did make some sales for actual cash, I’ll end up with a net loss for the year. Fortunately we’re a two-income family, and I will be able to claim a legitimate loss on our taxes for this year.

The personal goal I most regret not making is that I wanted to bike to the Raleigh trailhead of the American Tobacco Trail again. After we adopted Trixie and Plushie slightly over two years ago, our bicycling time plummeted, and it’s hard to get back in the groove. I thought we’d be more back in it by now, but nope. So I’m putting it on next year’s goal list.

I’ll be back tomorrow with plans for 2017.

1 Comment

Filed under Movies, Nonfiction, Now and Then We Time Travel, Personal, Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast, Short Stories, Southern Discomfort, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Writing

One response to “Summing up: my goals achieved (or not) in 2016 (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: Life isn’t just goals and lists (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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