Considering that it is nearly April, I am admittedly getting a late start on reviewing my 2021 goals. However, as a mom of a 4-year-old and a 7-month-old, I have very little time to myself. When I do find a few moments here or there, blogging is about the last thing on my mind, taking a backseat to things like sleeping, eating, showering, savoring a bit of peace and quiet...you get the picture. So, the tardiness of this review has more to do with a lack of time to reflect on my goals in writing and less to do with my ability to complete the goals in the first place. But, enough excuses...let's get to the review so that I can get back to changing diapers, making snacks, preparing for swimming lessons, and cleaning...well, everything. 😊
To start, here is my original list of goals for the year:
Professional Goals Review
#1: My most ambitious professional goal was to publish The Train Rolls On, and I am beyond proud to have checked this goal off the list. The book was published in late May, with the public launch taking place on June 1st. I barely made the deadline, but I'm officially a published children's book author! Check!
#2: I didn't technically achieve this goal, but I did my best and am satisfied with my efforts. I did write drafts for two new picture books, and I started a third book before the end of the year. Unfortunately, I got stuck on that draft and have yet to finish it. I'm currently waiting for inspiration to strike again on that manuscript. In the meantime, I have been enjoying a creative streak on other picture book projects, so I have already written two new manuscripts in 2022. In addition, I have developed several ideas for new stories. Now, I just have to find time to write them...😊
#3: In October, I submitted a rhyming picture book text to the annual Writer's Digest Poetry Awards. I did not win an award, but I'm proud to have submitted my work and at least given it a chance. Check!
#4: In June, I pitched one of my picture book manuscripts to agents and editors via Twitter. Again, nothing came of my pitches, but that’s okay. Everything is a learning process, and I've got to start somewhere. The goal was to learn about pitching picture books and to participate in a pitch party, thereby putting myself (and my writing) out there. I accomplished that, so let's check that one off as well!
Additional Professional Goal
Halfway through the year, I set a new professional goal…to sell 500 copies of The Train Rolls On by December 31st. I didn't have any idea whether or not that was realistic, but I'm happy to report that we achieved it...and then some! Thank you to everyone who has helped me spread the word about the book- I couldn't have achieved this goal or, more importantly, shared this book with as many kids and families without you!
Personal Goals Review
#1: I had no trouble reading six books. In fact, I reached this goal before the summer ended. (It's a good thing too because, once Nolan was born, reading for fun ended up even lower on the list than blogging.) Check!
#2: It's a miracle, but I actually sent out Christmas cards last year. I've intended to do it for several years, but, whenever Christmas comes around, that project always gets pushed to the back burner. Well, not in 2021! I was bound and determined to send them, and, by golly, I did it! It might be the only year that I send them, but I accomplished the goal! Check! 😊
#3: After making a slight modification to this goal midway through the year, I'm happy to report that Avery and Nolan received significant face-time with both sets of grandparents last year, easily achieving this goal with months to spare. We are one lucky family! Check!
#4: Pregnancy undoubtedly had an impact on this, but I definitely consumed less than twelve ounces of coffee per day last year. I might be making up for lost time now, but hey- it's a new year. Check!
Additional Personal Goal
As of last June, I was 30-weeks pregnant and living a sedentary lifestyle so as to prevent premature labor, and my body was feeling the effects. Fortunately, I am in much better condition now. Although I am not back to my pre-pregnancy fitness level yet, I am significantly closer than I was last fall. I have been stretching, running (albeit slowly and not very far), and generally living an active lifestyle, plus I've been lifting weights (a 20-lb. baby!) every day. While I still have a ways to go, I am very happy with my progress so far. Bring on sand volleyball season! 😊
Not perfect, but not bad! All in all, I'm very satisfied with everything that I accomplished in 2021, and I am well on my way to achieving this year's goals, which include publishing a second book in The Train Rolls On series, decluttering the house, and reading a 900-page book about food science. Call me crazy (or nerdy), but it's going to be a great year! 😊
How about you? How did your 2021 goals go? Did you complete them? Did any of them change throughout the course of the year? How about your 2022 goals? Have you recorded them somewhere? Are you making progress on them?
If you haven’t set (or made progress on) your 2022 goals yet, there is still plenty of time. For strategies that you can apply toward achieving your goals, check out my blog entitled New Year, New Goals: Strategies For Getting Started & Achieving More. Otherwise, you can read more about the next book in The Train Rolls On series here: What's Next For Young At Heart Publishing?