Updated: Aug 24, 2021
Believe it or not, 2021 is nearly halfway over. So, I thought this would be a good time to take a look back at the goals that I so eagerly set in January and see how I’m doing in terms of accomplishing them. If you ambitiously set your own personal and/or professional goals for 2021, you can do the same. Are you with me?
To start, here is my original list of goals:
My Professional Goals Update
#1: Despite not having looked at this list since posting my blog about it on January 16th, I’ve done a pretty good job of sticking to the goals that I set. (Yeah!) Of course, earlier this month, I was able to complete the biggest (and most ambitious goal) of them all, which was to publish The Train Rolls On by June 1st. Check! Boy, does it feel good to have that one crossed off the list!
#4: At this point, I have also completed Professional Goal #4. Last week, I participated in my first-ever Twitter Pitch Party (#PBPitch). After taking a course to learn how to effectively pitch a picture book in 280 characters or less, I wrote two pitches for one of my picture book manuscripts and pitched them to agents and editors via Twitter. It may not sound like much, but I learned a lot about writing effective pitches, and I worked up the courage (it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be) to put myself out there and pitch my creative work in a public domain, fully knowing that the odds of receiving an offer from an agent or editor were NOT in my favor. In the end, nothing came of my pitches, but that’s okay. 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 both of those goals, and I am very proud of that. Check!
#2: So far, I have only written one new picture book manuscript in 2021. I wish I could say that I've written more, but I’ve been so pre-occupied with finishing and launching The Train Rolls On and fulfilling the related crowdfunding reward packages that I haven’t dedicated much time to writing this year. I hope to get back to it now that the "big push" is over. I am, however, excited about the one manuscript that I’ve completed. (For more details on that, check out my blog entitled What's Next For Young At Heart Publishing? here.)
#3: I have not yet submitted a manuscript to a writing contest in 2021; however, now that I have published The Train Rolls On, I will be on the lookout for opportunities to submit a manuscript to one or more writing contests. I am confident that I can accomplish this goal before the end of the year.
My New Professional Goal
Since the launch of The Train Rolls On, I have set a new professional goal for 2021…to sell 500 copies of the book by December 31st. At this point, I don’t have any idea whether or not this goal is realistic, but I’m going to do my best to make it happen anyway. Wish me luck! 😊
My Personal Goals Update
#1: I am currently reading my 4th book of the year (not including picture books), so I am well on my way to finishing six books before December 31st. Three out of the four books that I’ve read so far have been publishing-related, so I’m hoping that the next two will be for pleasure rather than for work. Any recommendations? Comment below with your suggestions!
#2: I have not made any progress toward the Christmas card goal as of yet; however, I have plenty of time to make that a priority before the end of the year. (Yeah, right…I tell myself that every year. Then, all of a sudden, it’s Christmas, and I’m too late. We’ll see if I can do better this year. 🤞)
#3: I have made a slight modification to Personal Goal #3 since January. Instead of striving to see each set of grandparents at least once every six weeks, we’re going to strive to see each set at least eight times throughout the year. After all, the timing of the visits is not near as important as the total face-to-face time that Avery has with each set. At this point, we are on track to make this modified goal (it’s much easier now that COVID-19 concerns are waning).
#4: Last but not least, I am absolutely smashing my goal of consuming less coffee. (Admittedly, being pregnant for the entire year has made achieving this goal much easier than it otherwise would have been.) Still, I have drastically reduced my caffeine intake, so I am counting that as a win!
My New Personal Goal
I am approaching 30 weeks pregnant, and my body is feeling the effects. Although I'm grateful to have made it this far in the pregnancy, my concern for going into premature labor (like I did with Avery) has kept me pretty sedentary this year, and my body can definitely tell. So, I am instituting a new personal goal for 2021. That is, once I deliver a healthy (and hopefully full-term) baby and am medically cleared to resume normal physical activities, I am going to make a concerted effort to get back in shape. I’m not going to attach a target weight to the goal. I simply want to be more active and gain back the strength and mobility that I had prior to pregnancy. This will be a long, ongoing process, but the goal is to get started in 2021.
Your 2021 Goals
How about you? How are your 2021 goals coming along? Do you remember what they are? Have you started working toward them? Have you completed any of them? Have they changed since you made them six months ago? Comment below with your progress updates!
If you haven’t done anything yet or feel like you are behind in accomplishing your goals, there is still plenty of time. Take out your list, review your goals, and update them if you need to. Remove goals that don’t make sense anymore, modify existing ones to fit your current life, and/or add new ones, as needed. Make your goals work for you…and then, most importantly…get after them!
For strategies that you can apply toward achieving your 2021 goals, check out my blog entitled New Year, New Goals: Strategies For Getting Started & Achieving More. Or, for something a little different, read my last article that shows the complete evolution of the first 3 spreads in my book. It's called Behind The Scenes: The Evolution of The Train Rolls On.