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Let’s Set Goals: January 2024

What a month! The holidays were fabulous and busy, very busy!! We were able to spend time with most of our family, and the weather was pretty mild for this time of year.

I took some time to reflect on 2023, and I thought I’d share a quick roundup before heading into our first Goals post of the year.

Books: I wrote three full Love Inspired books, and two book proposals totaling 179,146 words.

Idea Time: I made my weekly Idea Time non-negotiable, and I kept my word to myself. Yay! I either went to a coffee shop, library or my formal living room (if the weather was bad or I felt sick) to brainstorm ideas and support my creativity. This is always the first thing I’m tempted to skip when I’m busy (and I’m always busy), so making it a must was a win for me. And I enjoy it so much!

Health: I adopted a lower-processed carb way of eating in 2023, and I exercised 4-5 days per week for a total of 196 formal workouts. In January 2022 I was ten pounds heavier than I was in January 2023. I managed to keep those ten pounds off all year, and most of the time, I was five pounds lighter. Progress!

Bible Reading: I completed another Bible-in-a-Year plan, and this time I finished it six weeks early.

Other Reading: I read 71 books.

Speaking: I gave four workshops to various groups.

Career Blessings: All three of my new releases this year landed on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list, with The Cowboy’s Christmas Compromise on there for four weeks straight. A re-release packaged with a Debbie Macomber novel was on the PW list for five weeks. Wow! Also, Guarding His Secret, took third place in the Romance category of The Golden Scroll Award.

New Job: I accepted a part-time position as the project manager for Story Architect, the self-publishing division of Books & Such Literary Management, offered exclusively to Books & Such clients.


I wouldn’t be able to share the above highlights if I didn’t keep track of them. It’s easy to forget all we accomplish in a year. And all of it adds up little by little, day by day. There are still things left from 2023 I plan on accomplishing in 2024. You might remember my nonfiction project? The one that showed up EVERY MONTH? Still not done. But it will be!

If you don’t have a way of tracking your progress in various areas of your life, consider buying a journal and recording your progress there. Just label each page with the things you’re working on. Add a date and what you got done for each entry. Easy!

Okay, on to the goals!

My writer productivity skyrockets when I set monthly writer goals, and it’s time to share my January goals. At the beginning of each week I break them down into daily tasks that fit 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 what my new goals are. Let’s get to it!

How Did I Do? Jill’s December Goals

  • Writing
  • Plot a new novel, write a long synopsis and sample chapters. Revise the proposal. No CHECK
  • Continue revising nonfiction book 3 days/week. NO CHECK
  • Health
  • Exercise 4 days/week with more difficult sessions 3 of the days. CHECK
  • Continue eating fresh fruits and vegetables each day. CHECK
  • Personal
  • Read 15 minutes of fiction every weekday. CHECK
  • Visit the Toledo Zoo to see the Christmas Lights CHECK
  • Crochet another Christmas tree CHECK
  • Read a Christmas romance NO CHECK

I almost met my writing goal with the proposal. I drafted the entire thing, but I didn’t have time to revise it. And the nonfiction? Didn’t happen. Not once! Ugh.

As far as my health, I stayed on track all month, with the exception of the week between Christmas and New Years. We had a lot of family staying with us, and I enjoyed every minute.

I’m thankful I set my personal goals, because they helped me enjoy the Christmas season. I crocheted 6 trees total, read several books, visited the zoo, and I almost met the final goal, but I quit the book halfway through. I just wasn’t feeling it.

Jill’s January Goals

  • Writing
  • Revise and submit December’s proposal.
  • Start writing book 5 in my Wyoming Legacies series.
  • Continue revising nonfiction book 15 minutes most weeknights.
  • Health
  • Exercise 5 days/week with more difficult sessions 3 of the days.
  • Continue healthy eating with few processed carbs.
  • Personal
  • Read 15 minutes of fiction every weekday.
  • Visit the Toledo Art Museum.
  • Start a new jigsaw puzzle.

I’m presenting two workshops this month, too, so it will be busy. I hope the weather doesn’t get too cold and snowy!

How was your December? What would you like to accomplish in January? I’d love to hear!

Jill Kemerer is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author of heartwarming, emotional, small-town romance novels often featuring cowboys. She hopes to encourage readers through her books the way so many books have encouraged her. Jill's essentials include coffee, caramels, a stack of books, her mini-doxie, and long walks outdoors. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two almost-grown children. For more information, visit her website,

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