I stopped making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago because they ended up being a waste of time for me. However, as I’ve written about before, I am a firm believer in setting goals. And since goals are somewhat like resolutions, and ’tis the season of resolutions, I thought I’d tell you about the goals I have set for this year and the future.
It is wise to set short-term and long-term goals, and they should change and evolve. You don’t have to be tied to a goal just because you set it. Sometimes we outgrow them. Remaining tied to them weighs us down and causes us to sink, as if they were a millstone tied around our necks. For example, as a teenager, I wanted to be the female Stephen King. But as I’ve matured, especially in my faith, I no longer have that as a goal. I have let it go to free myself to pursue goals which are more in line with where I am in my life and my faith journey.
I know that we can allow goals to intimidate us. But unless we are in some kind of alternate universe where we get tortured for not meeting them, then we shouldn’t allow goal-setting to frighten us. Why? Because only good can come from it. (Unless you are in that alternate universe, then maybe you should be frightened, for more reasons than one. LOL!) In this universe, though, goals give us something to work toward and keep us making forward progress, without any negative outcome if we miss a goal. We can just reset it and keep advancing.
I already know that I may have to reset my June goal because, based on my past speed, I think having my entire novel edited by June is a stretch. But at the same time, I think it’s doable, so I’m going to strive to reach that goal. If I don’t, I’ll just reset it to another point in the future. It is a goal, not a deadline—with a goal being “the result or achievement toward which effort is directed” and a deadline being “the time by which something must be finished or submitted,” according to Dictionary.com. Goals have end dates, but they are not deadlines; they don’t have to be completed by those dates. They are supposed to be helpful, not stress-inducing. With that in mind, here are the goals I have set for 2022.
1. Continue re-writing my novel to incorporate a major change in the storyline, which an agent believes (and I agree) will make it more marketable.
2. Take the feedback I receive from the most recent contest I have entered and further improve my novel.
3. With these new edits completed, enter the Genesis Contest for the second time in March.
4. Incorporate the feedback from the Genesis Contest into my edits.
5. Complete first edit of entire novel by June.
6. Complete final edit of novel by September. (I don’t know how many edits there will be in between. LOL.)
7. Send proposals to at least two agents who have expressed interest in my novel.
8. Attend my fifth ACFW writer’s conference, which will be in St. Louis.
9. Write a short story involving some of my novel’s characters, which will be given out to my subscribers. Known as a newsletter magnet, it is used as a freebie to get people to sign up for my newsletter. But, of course, it will be given out to all of you who have already supported me by subscribing to my newsletter and are members of my “I Knew Her When” Club. Don’t know what this club is? Check it out here: https://www.jjmelson.com/i-knew-her-when-club.
1. Traditionally publish my novel by the end of 2025.
2. Self-publish by the end of 2028, if I haven’t been traditionally published by then.
Now that you’ve seen my current goals, what are some which you would like to strive toward in the coming year? Go ahead and set them now, but cut yourself some slack when (not if) some of them are not met. As long as you are progressing, you are succeeding.
Love you bunches and boocoodles!