Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Source: PowerPoint
A new year is like the blank page of a new project. So, are you a pantster or a plotter when it comes to your life? Do you give thought to what you want to accomplish or just wing it?

Some years ago, a lady at church made a rather profound observation about goals. She said a goal that cannot be achieved isn't a goal at all. It's a dream. You know about dreams, right? Those things we spend time thinking about but never actually doing anything about?

I know many people who don't like to do New Years resolutions, and I can kind of understand it. These resolutions have gotten to be a bit of joke, where people set them and by February 1st they've given up on them.

This begs the question then: why do resolutions so often fail?

I think it may go back to that statement by the lady at church. Are we setting resolutions that are really dreams, things we think might be fun to accomplish but for which we're doing nothing to prepare ourselves for success?

A goal (resolution) must be achievable. If my goal is to take a vacation in Hawaii yet I make no effort to save money to pay for it, I won't ever be going to Hawaii. If I want to write a book but never do anything but edit the first three chapters, then it can never be anything but a dream.

So what if I choose a goal that's too big to achieve? Break it down into steps that can be achieved. Maybe you don't have enough discretionary income to save for your trip to Hawaii. So, perhaps it's time to look at ways to get rid of that debt, cut some things you don't really need. Maybe you don't know how to finish your book, so attend some writing conferences, become a member of a critique group, sign up for Camp NaNo.

The bottom line is this: DO something.

Some of my goals:
* Keep track of the books I read
* Do my first writing presentation (twice)
* Attend LTUE
* Attend the ANWA conference
* Attend Storymaker
* Survive the launch of my first book this June
* Finish editing my NaNo project (writing it was one of my 2012 goals) by the end of this month so I can submit it to my critique group with the plan to submit to my publisher later this year
* Spend Christmas on Kaui'i (with my daughter who lives there)

What are your plans for 2013?


  1. A goal is serious - a dream is wishful thinking.
    You will survive the launch of your book. However, your life will never be the same after that. Trust me.
    My plans - third book released, A to Z Challenge, and a decision to make.
    Happy New Year, Donna!

  2. A lot of great points, Donna.

    Happy 2013.

  3. I tend to be more of a plotter--at least in theory. An awful lot of things can happen to throw off one's plans!

    Sounds like you've got an interesting year ahead of you. :)

  4. Wonderful goals, Donna. This is the year I will finish my novel, send it to betas, revise, and hopefully begin the query process for the first time. All while consuming massive amounts of chocolate :)

    Happy 2013!

  5. Such wise words. I read another post earlier about setting SMART goals. Your are very specific...I think those are the best kind! Have a happy new year and I look forward to reading about all your successes this year!!

  6. Happy New Year, Donna.

    I think one of the reasons resolutions fail for so many people isn't necessarily that the 'goals' are unattainable, but that they're set with no clear idea at all of what it means to get there. Even something as simple as 'lose some weight and get in shape.' There are so many different ways you can do this that I think people get paralyzed.

    Resolutions should really be arrived at after careful consideration and understanding of what it's going to take to get there, I guess.

  7. Yeah resolutions are crap, goals work though, and other than get more books out and blogging not sure on any other ones.

  8. As with my writing, in life I tend to do both. Sometimes I get burned, other times it works out just fine. You've got a great list there. You can add me to the list of critters for Jori's story. Can't wait to see what you've done to the poor man.

    Writing, and publishing those stories, used to be a dream. The last four years it has changed to a goal and I set out steps needed in order to accomplish that goal. With any luck, that dream will come true by the end of the month.

    Good luck with your goals Donna!


  9. Happy New Year!

    I do think having goals and actually writing them down is a big step toward achieving them. I guess I'm a list person. I like checking off the things I've gotten done.

    And woohoo! to 2013 being the year of your book's release. :))

  10. You look like you have a busy 2013. The book and the trip to Kaui'i sound wonderful. I think every family should have representatives move to sunny and warm places.

  11. This is awesome Donna. I think a lot of time people set resolutions, wanting them to happen, but not wanting to work hard for them. We have to remember that they don't happen on their own. We have to do something and it takes perseverance!

  12. Load of luck and success as you work toward those goals.

  13. I used to set resolutions that were just too big and I would feel discouraged because I didn't make them. This year, I'm focusing more on lifestyle changes and already am happier :)

  14. You'll survive your launch and do wonderfully! Great goals :)

  15. This is a fabulous post! Great goals and happy new year to you~ I always try to keep my goals/resolutions realistic, but I let my dreams go where they will :)

  16. So many of my goal failures amount to either laziness or chicken-hood. I'm very good at talking myself out of getting things done.

    So my goal for this year is to break out of the glass castle since it is, after all, glass. I started by putting another book out for perusal by a publisher.

    Next I have to get another of my 16 or so books polished enough to send out, instead of starting new projects. I think my Sci Fi book, A Terrible Majesty, is going to go out next.

    Then I'm going to finish my book Letters For Steps and hopefully take that to convention to pitch. If I don't finish in time, it'll be Majesty.

    My life is NEVER boring.

  17. As for you surviving your book launch, I can't think of another person more likely to survive...;o) Just make sure to include lots of chocolate and a good life raft (And matches and a knife).

  18. way to make goal setting easy!
    great goals, esp the hawaii one! you better go girl!

    and pretty new header =)
    happy 2013

  19. I don't make New Years resolutions. I always have goals and dreams and I work at them all the time, regardless of the time of the year. As for your June release, don't worry so much. Romance is huge and there're a lot of outlets to market for romance. You're golden!

  20. Oh, Donna, I LOVE that observation! Here's to setting GOALS not dreams. I think you've got a fantastic list going there. Here's wishing you accomplish all your plans this year!

    2013 feels good to me~ :o) <3

  21. I just registered for LTUE. Excited! This is the year to make things happen. Watch. Things are about to happen! :)

  22. Happy New Year! What great goals! Here's to a fabulous 2013!

  23. Awesome plans. Specific, too. Happy New Year!

  24. Some great goals there Donna. And I couldn't agree more with your assessment of dreams vs. goals. I've got to get my self organized so I can turn some of those dreams into worthy and attainable goals.

    We do share one. Keeping track of the books I read this year.


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