I was just over at blogging friend, Jacqui Murray’s lovely site, worddreams, reading her recommendations about how to keep your New Year’s resolutions. You can read it here: https://worddreams.wordpress.com/2021/01/09/5-tips-for-keeping-new-years-resolutions-2/. While you are over there, take a look at her selection of great books, including some incredibly well researched early man historical novels.
Her article interested me so much, I thought I had to add my two pennies to this discussion.
I don’t set any resolutions, but I do set goals. To my mind, these two concept are entirely different. You may beg to differ, my work colleagues tell me often that not everyone thinks like me, so I am open to discussion about this.
To me, a resolution would be a lifestyle change, something like exercising more or eating better, as Jacqui has suggested in her post. Goals are your planned achievements for the year.
Each year, I set goals and I work hard towards them. Sometimes my goals shift a little over the course of the year in order to accommodate unexpected twists in my life path, but the basic concepts stay the same. Due to the fact my goals seem to increase each year, I know I will not achieve resolutions to work less, relax more, or do more exercise. Just for the record, I do squeeze in 20 minutes of exercise a day, but that’s pretty much what it is during the working week. I also do 15 minutes of light stretching every day.
Last year, my writing goals were to publish one children’s book and to publish A Ghost and His Gold by September. I also wanted to participate in two anthologies.
My achievements last year were as follows:
I published Sir Chocolate and the Ice cream Rainbow Fairies story and cookbook in April 2020 so that goal was achieved.
A Ghost and His Gold took me much longer to finish than expected. The main reason for this delay was that the book ended up being much longer than I originally planned. It has come in at approximately 116 000 words as opposed to my intended 80 000 words. This meant a lot more research, re-writing, and editing.
Has it been worth it? Oh yes, I am very pleased with how this book has shaped up and I feel I’ve achieved my plan to investigate the psychology of the Great South African War. I sent my final changes back to my publisher, TSL Publications, before New Year and this book should be published within the next 6 weeks. Hooray!
Another reason for the delay in my finalising A Ghost and His Gold timeously was work related. At the end of March the world went into it’s first C-19 related lockdown and my world went crazy. I worked excessively hard for the five months from April to August 2020, including weekend and evening work. This obviously ate into my writing time.
This goal was not achieved within my original timeframe, but there are good reasons why it was not so it isn’t a failure, but rather an adaption.
With regards to anthologies, I have participated in two as planned with two short stories in Spirits of the West, compiled by Kaye Lynne Booth and two short stories in Spellbound, compiled by Dan Alatorre. I have also written three short stories which will be included in another horror anthology compiled by Dan Alatorre, Wings & Fire, which is currently available for pre-order. This goal was achieved.
You can find all of these anthologies on my new Roberta Eaton Cheadle Amazon author page here: https://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Eaton-Cheadle/e/B08RSNJQZ5. I must be honest that setting up this pen name author page has also been quite an achievement. Amazon didn’t make it particularly easy for me to do this.
I did manage to read 100 books last year but 60 of those were for Robbie’s Inspiration and 40 for Roberta Writes. Of the 40 books I read for Roberta Writes, however, 10 were classic books which take me longer to read, so I was happy with this achievement.
The community service goals were much harder to achieve this year due to the lockdown and C-19, but we attained the following hours:
Greg and Michael got 4.5 hours each for making chocolates and packaging them for a Valentine’s Day fundraiser. The money went to a previously disadvantaged orphanage. Gregory also helped me make up 50 party packs for the children at this same orphanage for their year end Christmas party. This earned him another 2 hours. I also donated 100 Sir Chocolate books for this Christmas party.
During December, the boys helped me make up 110 Christmas packages for the residents of a local old age home and earned 7.5 hours each for their assistance. These were distributed on Christmas day.
In total, Michael earned 12 hours of community service and Greg earned 14 hours. The boys did also both assist me with recording nine baking and children’s book reading videos for our YouTube channel during lockdown. These were aimed at helping to entertain children stuck at home for the lockdown period. You can find our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVyFo_OJLPqFa9ZhHnCfHUA
We are thinking about what we can do this year.
So far, Michael has contributed $10 towards sponsoring a turtle nest. If you are interested in contributing towards this worthy cause, you can read it on blogging friends, Micah and Markus’ lovely blog here: https://markusundmicah.com/2020/12/30/we-can-save-more-turtles-together/
Do you set resolutions or goals? Do you achieve them? Let me know in the comments.