I’m not good at resolutions. I’m not good at sticking to new habits or ideas. I have lost count of how many times I have said, “THIS is the year I stop cracking my knuckles.” I’ve never managed it.
But I know I have to set goals for 2019. I had no set goal for 2018 other than make it through the year in one piece. But without any writing goals there was no fire under me, nothing driving me forward, reminding me I should be writing instead of playing on my phone or clearing out yet another box of stuff. With some clear, achievable goals I can track my progress through the year and keep myself in check if need be.
With that in mind, my career goals for 2019 are:
- Earn a regular income from writing.
I want a steady income writing. That means seeking out paying gigs and ring-fencing the time to do it in. The catch-22 that’s holding me back in this area is the more I earn the more hours I can put CC and T in care, but I don’t have enough time to write unless they are in care.
- Get this website looking amazing.
What I have achieved so far looks great, but it still has the WordPress-provided logos and pictures. I need a logo, head shots, and better design if I am to attract clients.
- Complete 1st draft of my children’s novel.
I started a middle-grade novel while on a writing retreat last October, but haven’t spent much time on it since. I want to finish the first draft at least, and be revising it before the end of the year.
- Write 1 book review per month.
There are several reasons for this. First, it will keep me focussed on reading instead of my phone and Netflix (which I watch too much of!). Second, by analysing what I like and don’t like in a novel, I can become a better writer. Third, I need to read the books cluttering up the bus’ single bookshelf. I can’t buy any more until I have read those ones!
- Attend the 2019 Writing Retreat
This requires saving money all year. Every $3 tea I don’t buy, every few bucks I don’t spend at the op shop, every item I can make do and mend instead of replacing, all bring me closer to the retreat.
And some personal goals:
- Mindful, intentional spending
So often I see we have a few dollars spare a few days before payday and think to myself “Let’s have lunch out,” or “I can buy a new toy for the kids”, when I should be leaving it alone. Instead of spending money I can move it to the emergency fund, or savings fund, or add it to a loan payment. I already know I should do that, but in the moment I’d much rather go to the cafe or treat the kids. By being more mindful and intentional I hope to cut down this excess spending. We are on a tight budget and while each purchase seems small, over a month they add up. K worked out that last year we could have had a nice dinner out a month instead of buying lattes and little treats. This year we want to save more money for our future house. To make this work K and I have agreed to tell each other before making a purchase, however big or small. Accountability is the watchword here!
- Make Healthy Choices
Since having T and especially since managing life on a tiny bus with a baby and a pre-schooler, I have been living on toast, tea and chocolate. With lots of ice cream thrown in. During my 2 months in Ireland I indulged in all the treat food I had been missing in New Zealand. I am also way out of the exercise habit. As a result I am bigger than I have ever been. I don’t fit in to many of my favourite clothes. I want to feel healthy again. I want to feel strong again. So in 2019 I want to make healthy choices. Healthy food choices. Healthy exercise choices.
- Sell and donate all the clutter
I have boxes of items (baby, wedding, general) that I want to list on Trade Me but have never gotten around to. I have many other bags and boxes of things for the op shop. I let it all build up last year. Our shed is running out of room and I want to free us of the clutter weighing us down. If any of it can earn us a bit of cash too, all the better. I have been inspired by the new Marie Kondo show on Netflix. Her methods really help me to say goodbye to things that we won’t need going forward, and organise the things we keep. I already fold my clothes like she does, but I’ve started folding my socks too and my drawer has so much more space now!
I reckon that’s more than enough to be getting on with for 2019. Let me know your own goals in the comments below. What are you going to prioritise this year?