2013: The Obligatory Goal-Setting Post

Photo by Harold Neal

Happy 2013! I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season, and has hit the ground running in 2013. I know I did.

And what would the start of a new year be without the obligatory look back and look forward of a goal-setting post?

As I said last year, I’m not a believer in namby-pamby resolutions. But I love me some SMART* goals. So let’s look at how I went with last year’s goals and then I’ll share this year’s goals with you. You’ll keep me honest, right?

Last Year

Complete First Draft of TNT#1

This time last year, I set myself the goal of completing this first draft by April 30. That date came and went, so I revised my target and set a goal to complete this first draft by September 30. Again, that date came and went without me coming close to achieving the goal.

Research and Plan Novel B

I didn’t even get close to doing this. Bzzzzzt!

Social Media

I originally had a variety of social media based goals to accomplish. But as the year went on, and I embraced this blog, Facebook, and Twitter, social media become a part of my life rather than another task to be completed. I removed any SMART goals based around social media when I revisited my goals in July.

Write and share 26 Flash Fiction stories

When I looked at how I was tracking in July, I’d only posted 2 new flash fiction stories on my blog. I put my head down and worked on writing more FF and by the end of the year I’d posted 15. Although I didn’t hit my initial goal, I’m pretty happy with that result.

Write and submit 6 short stories to fiction markets

I only submitted three over the course of the year, but again I’m pretty happy with that.

Read 50 books

This was one goal I completely blew out of the water. I read 69 books during 2013, and loved taking the time to immerse myself in reading. And I truly believe that doing so has had a positive effect on my writing as well.

Lose 8kg (17lb) and maintain fitness

I didn’t quite make my goal, unfortunately. But I did lose 6kg (13lb), which is great. (Honestly, I’m just thrilled not to have put back on the weight I lost during 2011!)


I’m pretty happy with my progress over 2012. Although I didn’t meet my writing goals, I made significant progress toward them. And, more importantly perhaps, my confidence in my writing improved and I met a lot of other writers online. I feel that 2012 was a positive year, and I can’t wait to take that positivity forward!


This Year

Complete First Draft of TNT#1

With my new writing plan in place, I will continue to write every day. This will allow me to complete my first draft by 1st March.

I will then do a single revision pass to fix the continuity errors I know are present (because I changed the direction of some of the characters midway through the novel), which will be completed by 1st May. Then I will let it sit and marinate for a while before doing a second revision pass. This will be completed by 1st October. Then it will be in the hands of my Beta Readers.

Complete First Draft of Novel B

When I’m not working on TNT#1, I will use my creative time to start writing Novel B. I will complete this first draft by the end of 2013.

Write and share 12 Flash Fiction stories

Once a month I will write and share a Flash Fiction piece on my blog. These stories will be written during the time I set aside for blog writing, not during creative time.

Write and submit 6 stories to contests/fiction markets

I will identify 6 contests and fiction markets I would like to write for, and use my creative time to write short stories to submit to them.

Read 75 books

This is a slight increase on last year’s result, and means reading 6 or 7 books per month. To achieve that goal, I will continue to listen to audiobooks in the car, keep a book in “the smallest room”, and carry a book with me everywhere I go so I can use every spare 5 minutes for reading. I will also do my best to minimise my “Good Book Hangovers” (that feeling after finishing a great book where you can’t bring yourself to start a new one and say goodbye to the characters you love).


This is the year I want to push myself to the next level, and make that commitment to treat writing like a real job. No more excuses. No more “I don’t feel creative” or “I don’t have time” or “I have to do the washing/ironing/cooking/cleaning/whatever”. I’m ready, 2013.

Bring it on.

What goals have you set for 2013? (Feel free to share the link to your own obligatory goal-setting post!)


*If you don’t know what a SMART goal is, you’re missing out on a great tool for success. There are plenty of resources in print and on the interweb to explain how SMART goals work, so I won’t go into too much detail. Let it suffice to say that any goal you set should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Action-based
  • Realistic
  • Tangible/Time specific.


Filed under Random Stuff, Writing

23 responses to “2013: The Obligatory Goal-Setting Post

  1. Good book hangovers. I’ve never come across that before, but I completely know what you mean!

  2. Hi Jo: here’s mine.http://lauralibricz.blogspot.de/2012/12/its-resolution-time-again.html

    They aren’t really smart* but they’re doable. Yes, my FF come under the heading of blogging and don’t get done in my creative time, either. (I’ve compared them to having a one-night-stand or a shopping spree.) If you read mine, take a look at #3. Maybe you’d like to do some bloghopping? You could post some of your older FF on my space, if you’d like.

  3. I did mine last week:

    The hard part… well, I guess the hard part is actually doing the work. But the not-quite-so-hard part is turning the goals into a plan for action, with schedules, milestones, and deliverables… *oh my*!

    I set myself some goals as well as some “stretch” goals, and as I’m attempting to lay out schedules, I’m trying to schedule for the stretch goals. That way, I figure if I fall behind, I’ll at least hit my original goals.

    • I like your “goal” and “stretch goal” breakdown. I considered doing something similar, but decided to just commit to the basic goal with the option of adding more later. I struggle a bit with the action plan, scheduling, milestones, etc part of things as well. Although now that I’ve got a set writing time every day, I’m hoping it will be easier.

      Good luck to you in 2013!

  4. Have you always been a list maker/goal setter? I haven’t ever, maybe that’s why I never get anything accomplished.

    • I’ve not always been a list-maker (and I still have to force myself to write things down), but I was raised in a house where we were expected to talk goal-setting on a regular basis. I remember being 10 or 12 and having to state my goals for the school holidays, and talk about projects I wanted to complete and how I was going to do that. So that part if just a natural part of my life now. (My siblings are the same.)

  5. Do you know, I’ve always used and encouraged the use of SMART targets in work-related situations, but in personal life? Never! Now it looks so obvious, so thank you. I don’t go a bundle on anniversaries and birthdays and new years (after all, you can start anywhere on a circle) but to apply this porocess to any crucial point in one’s everyday life to achieve positive outcomes is, well, smart!

    • I’m not big on using anniversaries etc specifically to start new things either, but the start of the year is an easy date to remember. 🙂 It took me some time to take my work-based SMART goals and transfer them to my personal life, but I’m glad I did. It somehow makes personal goals seem more important.

  6. Nice, ambitious goals for 2013. Good to see you’ve got positive energy on your side.

  7. Great goals for 2013, Jo! I only have one – get my house moved onto my block (and then I’ll think of more)…

    Happy New Year 😀

  8. I DO know what SMART goals, and yours are very smart. I think I warned you that this was coming. Finally!!! … I want you to know that I like your blog. Please accept this award as my sincere compliment, and enjoy it for what it means to you. If you want to pass it to another versatile blogger, you can check out the rules that I received here http://wp.me/p2jC53-160. Thanks for being part of my blogging life. 🙂 Marsha Lee

  9. Jim Franklin

    Looks like your year was much better than mine. Good luck for 2013. May you be blessed with billions of tiny word-amoeba’s….

    What? They’re real.

  10. Idebenone

    I’m pretty happy with my progress over 2012. Although I didn’t meet my writing goals, I made significant progress toward them. And, more importantly perhaps, my confidence in my writing improved and I met a lot of other writers online. I feel that 2012 was a positive year, and I can’t wait to take that positivity forward!

  11. Pingback: My Year of Mental Health | The Happy Logophile

  12. Pingback: The Mid-Year Goalpost | The Happy Logophile

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