Monday, April 23, 2012

Life Goals for 2012...Better Late than Never

New Year's Resolutions. Bah. Who has the time on Jan. 1? With the kids out of school, and still decompressing from the holiday whirlwind, I barely have the mental fortitude to make a grocery list, let alone list out my life goals for the coming year.

You didn't make any either? Don't worry....

According to a New York Times article, a third of the people that made New Year's Resolutions will break them by February, and by July more than half will have abandoned that hangover-induced list.

I prefer Mid-Year Resolutions. Better known as goals.

Want to join me in putting more Happily in your Ever After? It's simple--follow these 3 steps:

  1. Pick five areas of your life to improve.  More than that, you lose focus. Check out this bit on Oprah's website. I structured my goals around the "Absolute YES list" which has made it easier for me to say NO to all the things that don't relate to my goals.
  2. Use S.M.A.R.T. goals--
    • Specific: Don't just put "Lose Weight", but put "Lose Twenty Pounds", or better yet, "Lose 3 Pounds a Month." Studies show the more specific your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them.
    • Measurable: Break your goal down into measurable steps. For example, one of my goals is to achieve PAN status with RWA. As my publisher puts out the royalty reports each quarter, I can track how my promotional events are working for me in my efforts to sell my book. Then, I can adjust (or sob over a glass of wine) accordingly. 
    • Attainable: Pretty obvious, but worth repeating. Make goals that stretch your limits, but are achievable with solid effort.
    • Relevant/Resonate: This is where most goals fall flat. Visualizing that goal should give you a tingle of excitement. Three years ago, my goal was to get a publishing contract. I visualized my book-signing party, where I was swanning around in a designer gown, champagne glass in hand, as I greeted my guests on the front lawn of the Pink House (a historic, reportedly haunted Victorian in my hometown, which you can see here) . Well, I did get that contract and champagne (yay!) but no designer gown and Victorian landmark signing party. Maybe when I hit my five-year goal: appearing on the NYTimes Bestseller's List. Someday I'll have that drink on the Pink House lawn!
    • Time-Bound: Have an end-time for your goal. This helps you avoid goals like "Exercise More Often," as this is a life-style change, not a goal. A fitness goal would be "Get Fit Enough to Run the Disney Marathon by January."
  3.  Post Your Goals for Accountability! Publish them on Facebook, on your fridge, bulletin board, bathroom mirror. Everywhere. Even your blog. ;)

Without further ado, here are my goals...

By the end of 2012, I do solemnly resolve to:

  1. Achieve RWA PAN level through royalty earnings by increasing my online presence (see goal #2), speaking engagements, and marketing efforts.
  2. Establish online brand (Website, Facebook, Pinterest, Blog, GoodReads) and have tools in place (Smart phone, iPad) to ensure weekly updates that further my writing and life's goals.
  3. Inject more fun into life by doing at least one activity with my daughters and/or husband that is different from the normal routine on a weekly (and when larger--monthly) basis.
  4. Scrapbook one page per week that captures our crazy, beautiful, blessed life so my family has a tangible way to reflect on all that makes us perfect and flawed. 
  5. Get an agent or publishing contract for paranormal romance "Despite the Fangs", or my young adult paranormal novel, "Cassandra's Awakening" by submitting to two agents/publishers per week, as well as attending seminars/conferences/groups that will further my publishing goals.  

Subscribe to my blog. Keep me honest to my goals. Post yours below!

Together, we can put the Happily in our Ever After!

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