My writer productivity skyrockets when I set monthly goals. At the beginning of each week…
My writer productivity skyrockets when I set monthly goals. At the beginning of each week I break them down into daily tasks that will work within my current schedule. Do you know how great it is to finish projects? Of course you do! For me, setting monthly goals makes it all possible.
Every month I share how I did the previous month as well as my new goals. Let’s get to it!
How Did I Do? Jill’s December Goals
- Write sample chapters for Wyoming Ranchers Book 5. CHECK!
- Prep writing workshop for January event. CHECK!
- Prep promo items for the December 28, 2021 release of A Cowboy to Rely On. CHECK!
- Exercise 5 days/week. CHECK!
- Eat 2 fruits/day and at least 1 raw veggie/day. NO CHECK.
- Drink minimum of 72 ounces of water every day. CHECK!
- Read 20 minutes of fiction every weekday. NO CHECK
- Decorate for Christmas! CHECK!
- Organize my office. CHECK!
It was a productive month, and I had plenty of downtime at Christmas. It was great because I could just sit and think about what’s working, what isn’t, and what changes I’d like to make.
Before we go into my January 2022 goals, I’m sharing my thoughts on where I’m at and what needs to change.
Inevitably with the writing profession, there are soaring highs and deep lows with lots of level paths in between. For most of the year, I felt emotionally on a plateau, if that makes sense. Nothing was going wrong. I was meeting my goals and happy and grateful for my career. But staying level for long periods of time isn’t really my strong suit.
For most of 2021, I had to combat my itch for more. I simply walked humbly with the Lord, acknowledging that He is in control and that His way is best. I’m still working hard for things out of my reach, but I can’t let ambition allow the ugly feelings of envy and greed to take over.
Here’s the thing. We can only control so much. We can’t control outcomes, but we can control effort.
To maximize my writer productivity, I revamped my daily schedule (I work M-F, weekends off) so I could dedicate 30 minutes each day to a project that keeps stalling. I also made my Idea Time (I take 2 hours one morning a week to explore ideas) mandatory again. I’d let it slide for months! Terrible!
As for my health, I’m in a really good place. In September, I started an at-home YouTube workout program recommended by a friend. It was a twelve-week, 5 days/week program, and it was intense! I could barely make it through each session at first. But as the program progressed, I started feeling results. My endurance increased. I got stronger. And my body was noticeably fitter.
I finished the program two weeks before Christmas and continued to do individual workouts on her site. Now she has a new 12-week workout plan, and I started it today.
These workouts are hard. I sweat buckets. I have to modify some of the exercises. I can only do a few reps of really hard ones. But others I can do all the way through. When I finish, I feel great. It’s easier to make good food choices because I know I’m getting results with my workouts.
I did end up losing a few pounds, but that wasn’t my goal–just a nice bonus.
If you’re interested, the program is by Heather Roberston (available at HeatherRobertson.com or on YouTube). She does have a 6-week low-impact program. If you’re new to exercise, I would suggest spending a good month or two just doing something low-intensity before even attempting one of her workouts. They are intense!
On a personal level, I need to rethink how I’m spending my free time. My fiction habit is one I want to continue. However, I’m lowering the threshold to fifteen minutes each weekday. How many months did I miss my 20 min/weekday goal? Too many. I either set the bar too high or it’s not that important to me. Since reading novels has always brought me tremendous joy, I’m assuming I set the bar too high.
I’m often tired in the evening and don’t want to think too hard. It’s sad, but even working on my crochet project feels like too much work. There’s not much I want to watch on television. Basically, my free time is kind of meh. I’m in a rut! It’s something I will be working on throughout the year.
Jill’s January Goals
- Revise and submit proposal for Wyoming Ranchers Book 5.
- Continue promoting A Cowboy to Rely On, which is in stores through January.
- Practice a writing workshop for January event.
- Continue drafting full manuscript of Wyoming Ranchers Book 5.
- Exercise 5 days/week (Phase one of 12-week program)
- Limit processed foods.
- Drink minimum of 72 ounces of water every day
- Read 15 minutes of fiction every weekday
- Think about how to make free-time more fun
What were your December goals? How did you do? Is there anything you need to change from last year? What would you like to accomplish in January?
Have a terrific week!!