Resolutions and goals

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.

Writing goals

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.

Reading

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.

Community service

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/

Picture from Markus & Micah‘s blog

Do you set resolutions or goals? Do you achieve them? Let me know in the comments.

62 thoughts on “Resolutions and goals

  1. I agree, goals and resolutions are different although they can overlap at times. Like you, I set goals every year. I don’t always meet all of them but that’s OK. You did very well and I look forward to A Ghost and His Gold. xo

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Darlene. I was pretty happy with my achievements this past year, especially given how busy it was from a work perspective. I am hoping to get After the Bombs Fell and The Soldier and the Radium Girl out this year. I also have an new idea for another South African war based novel.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I saw your post come across my Reader and immediately thought how we were on the same page with this–and then read this and knew why. What a great post, clarification of ‘resolution’ and ‘goal’. I confess to conflating the two.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi Jacqui, I may be the only person in the world who sees these two terms completely separately. I am quite determined about my goals and generally achieve them, even if my timelines are sometimes unrealistic. I know you are the same, just look at all your books.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Like you, I do not make resolutions, Robbie. I set goals and am always happy when I can look back over the year and see that I met most of them. Another thing I do each year is to find a word for the year. This year, my word is “Expansion.” I am looking forward to reading “A Ghost and His Gold!”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. What a wonderful year, Robbie! Your life is full of learning, sharing, participating, enjoying. I know that whatever you undertake, you inspire us all with your energy and enthusiasm. Looking forward to following your adventures in 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Robbie. My pile of unfinished projects is quite large. But I’m tackling them one at a time. It’s the long term projects that give me the most trouble as I get distracted easily.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Goals are big with me as well. I am constantly formulating them and being thrilled as they are achieved. Walking by Spirng is the first one I set, last year as a matter of fact. Publishing 3 books this year is another. More to come I am sure! Love yours and support you completely in their realization!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. To me, resolutions are along the lines of Scarlett O’Hara’s holding a carrot aloft and resolving, “As God is my witness, I will never go hungry again!” Goals are more concrete: I will increase the garden’s carrot yield by 15% over last year’s yield. I set weekly writing goals, but they’re more a task list so that I can keep track of what I need to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A lovely quote and comparison, Liz, from one of my favourite books. Setting weekly goals is admirable. I don’t see this sort of goal for writing as my day job takes precedence and I can’t always manage to meet weekly goals. I set longer term goals and juggle throughout the year to meet my targets.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I believe in setting goals and lifestyle changes. I know that most people’s general advice is to make these goals public, but I think that varies from person to person. I’ve seen so many people make their weight loss goals public, and they post every workout and weigh-in, but then it all seems to fall apart when they fall off the wagon. I like to keep most of my goals private, and I take a lot of pride in being self-disciplined.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Considering how 2020 went, it sounds like you did pretty good with your goals for last year. Good luck with the ones for this year.

    I go with goals rather than resolutions too. I set some every year, and review my success for the previous year at the same time. Considering what a year 2020 was, I didn’t do as badly as I might have with my goals for last year. I’ve kept this year’s small though, with the ultimate goal of practicing better self care being taken in to consideration when setting all my 2021 goals. You might have seen my post about it on my blog at the end of December?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a shame, Robbie. Thanks for letting me know. I thought the Book Depository would have delivered to you. Thanks for trying. I appreciate your support. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Your writing and reading achievements are unreal. Congratulations! And I like how you set goals for the NY – this is something we do, too. We hope you reach your targets this year and have patience to keep going when challenges appear. Thank you so much for supporting the turtles! We cannot thank you enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is my pleasure to support the turtles, both, I am really glad we can help a tiny bit. I like to set targets and I work towards achieving them. Sometimes I am overly ambition with my timelines and underestimate how long things take, but I get there in the end.

      Like

  10. Congratulations on all that you accomplished last year. I think goals are super important. I love to set goals and I hit some and miss some. It gives me a north star to shoot at. For me it’s to easy to get distracted by the noise and not do what I truly want without goals.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes – she had a njce say of exploring the topic – and maybe all that grace will allow people to worry less about rigid goals and find behavior patterns to help make a difference
        Which I know it is why you shared the link and all that
        Take care

        Liked by 1 person

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