It is February. Past the time for making new year resolutions, but never too late to set new goals. I have been reading a lot of people’s 2019 reflections. Though I have never been one to reflect over a whole year, I do a lot of reflecting on a regular basis. But today, I thought I would take the time to think about the last year of my life. It was a significant one.
At the end of 2018 around the holidays, I had set my book writing aside. There was too much going on, and I just felt I couldn’t meet my deadlines. I took a break that was supposed to resume in January of 2019, and then my coach resigned. So, I thought, I will just use this time to plan and work independently.
During January and February, I tried to be disciplined in my exercise routine. After all, I was writing a book about finding wellness. I continued to work my business. I picked up my grandchildren from school several times a week. And, I did a little writing but not always on my book.
In March, my husband and I headed for warmer weather, and I took along some reading material. I studied intensely over the month we traveled. I kept a notebook. I searched the Word of God. I got refreshed. And had some fun! We visited three out of four Disney parks, two outlet malls, and stayed at a total of four different resorts on our travels there and back.
Toward the end of my time away, I got a message from my coach that she was back in business. So, by April I was hard at work on my book again, and I set myself a goal to be done and published by October 2019.
The work got hard. It took a lot of time. Research. Writing. Cutting. Rewriting. Redefining the focus. Rearranging chapters. I felt like I lived in my office. Through the planning process, I defined eight chapters. I had several chapters left to write. As the calendar turned to June, I could see the end was in sight. Little did I realize, I was just beginning.
So many decisions go into a book after you have your first draft. One major decision is how you will publish it. If you submit it to a publisher, you must follow their guidelines for submission and wait on their response. I had wavered on this decision—back and forth—between submitting it to a company which published the style of book I was writing and self-publishing.
Some of my indecision was caused by lack of knowledge. Finding the answers to how particular companies work takes a good investment of time. Publishers also take a good deal of your profit. You have to weigh their name and audience/market, which you may not have, against the amount of profit they will keep. I eventually decided to self-publish. That decision created some extra work for me. I had written the book with a particular publisher in mind. Since the focus needed to shift if I self-published, I had to make changes.
I also needed a new head shot, line and copy editors, a graphic designer, marketing, and more. So many decisions that add up to lots of time. Not to mention proofreading your own book each time you get an edited version back from various editors, proofing cover designs, and making decisions a social media. The summer was packed full of book decisions.
And family life. I have five grandsons, and three of them have midsummer birthdays within a three week stretch. So, we did all the parties. Then my oldest daughter moved in July and stayed with us for a week during this process. Having my daughter and her family move out of town is a big change. No, they did not move far. Most people say I am blessed to have both my daughters and all my grandchildren so close to me. And they are right. However, her new house is thirty miles away. Her old one was three. Thirty is not the same as three. Just saying!
My younger daughter is still local. As school started back up in September, and I was still pushing toward an October 1st deadline to finish my book, I opted out of regular school pick up duties. I tried to be less of a helicopter nana. (Oh yes, it’s a thing.)
And then it was October. I had a crazy fall with trips, demands of elderly parents, and family medical challenges. But my book was released on Amazon in mid-October. It was a couple of weeks past my deadline, but it was finished.
Next came the holidays and all the demands the season. And now January has flown by, and we are well into the 2020 year. What do I want to do in 2020? I have a whole list. I want to work on these without sacrificing my time with family and others. The challenge in setting personal goals is not becoming totally self-absorbed.
Here is my list in no particular order.
- Write a workbook to go with my book.
- Start my next book.
- Continue to build community.
- Continue pursuing wellness with intention.
- Be consistent in blogging.
- Grow my business.
- Revise my manuscript for my children’s novel.
- Declutter and reorganize. (I did stick to my goals for this in 2019, but it is a constant process.)
- Give more to others—of both my time and my finances.
- Pray more.
These are goals. I still need action steps and deadlines. And balance. But as I reflect on 2019, I am content. I accomplished a huge personal goal—writing my first book. I’m thankful for the process and all the things I learned along the way. This reflection has been valuable. It is important to take time to savor accomplishments, and reflection allows us to do that. I am looking forward to a year filled with new challenges and new successes. Here’s to 2020!