Goals & Habits

Goals for February

This is only my second time of posting my monthly goals online… and I have some immediate insights to share!

  1. I was shocked how going public with my hoped-for outcomes boosted my efforts. You’ll see below I didn’t achieve 100% success, but knowing I’d be back here reporting to you definitely changed my level of focus.
  2. Being realistic is vital. I took a hard look at my February calendar and saw that I simply must scale back my tasks this month. As the (British?) saying goes, you can’t pour a quart into a pint pot!

My January results

  • Done: Reach 42,000 words of new novel. (24,000 this month.)
  • Done: Do an email audit and produce a how-to resource on this topic. This was a hugely helpful exercise for me and forced me to get honest about all the information I invite into my inbox!
  • Nope, in progress: Publish Indie With Ease through Ingram Spark.
  • Done: Lots of website housekeeping.
  • Done: 4 blog posts; 3 productivity newsletters; 1 fiction newsletter.
  • Done: Pitch 4 podcasts. (Although only 1 “yes” so far!)
  • Done but will need monitoring: Finish working through my Pinterest/Tailwind to-do list.
  • Done: Do at least 2 of the mini courses waiting in my email.
  • Done: Research conferences/training to attend this year. I’m volunteering at the San Francisco Writers Conference and will be attending Craft + Commerce. I’m really excited for both of these.
  • Done: Register for 2-3 running events. I’ll be earning blisters in Golden Gate Park, on an airport runway and in this bit of wine country.
  • Done: Meet up in person with author Julie Valerie. The most inspiring and useful Sunday I’ve spent in ages!
  • Bonus: landed a webinar gig on Feb 27, Productivity for Author Publishers with the IBPA.
  • Bonus: figured out my business tax forms for 2018.
  • Habits: Meditated -22 days / Exercised -22 days / Tracked food eaten -20 days / Flossed teeth -30 days / Weight on Feb 1st – 131.4 / Books finished: 4.

January’s lessons

  • Curve balls! These included an unplanned trip to the DMV for my license (renewed online) which never arrived. Also, I had to deal with a large number of spam signups to my email newsletter. Big thanks to the Stop Forum Spam site for help in identifying who was bogus.
  • I love beta reading for other authors but need to be more careful in commitments, especially for non-fiction. In January I read a useful guide for writers (it shall remain nameless) which was crammed with information, but also typos and inconsistencies. I ended up sending 10 pages of notes and estimate I spent at least 10 hours on this favor. Ugh.
  • I did much better at not signing up for free email courses and webinars. This is tricky for me as there’s so much great information available, but a few of these each week do chew up several hours.

My Goals for February

My February Monthly Goals

February is a short month and for 4 days I’ll be at the San Francisco Writers Conference. So I’m really trying to keep my goals under control!

  • Prepare & deliver this productivity webinar for IBPA.
  • Write 3 blog posts for the 85K Writing Challenge.
  • Pitch 4 more podcasts.
  • Research an organization where I’m thinking of leading a local chapter.
  • 4 blog posts for my site; 2 productivity newsletters; 1 fiction newsletter.
  • Publish Indie With Ease through Ingram Spark.
  • Write 21,000 words of my next novel (or finish the first draft, whichever comes sooner).
  • Take part in this fun online Chick Lit prize hop; mail prizes.
  • 2 mini courses from my email backlog.
  • Learn about AMS advertising & get started!
  • Volunteer at the San Francisco Writers Conference.
  • Personal: run a half marathon (already done, actually!), order new bedroom curtains, book UK hotel for June.

And, over to you! How was your January? What’s on the horizon for your monthly goals in February?

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6 Comment

  1. Reply
    Julie Valerie
    February 6, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    I don’t know why but I just LOVE reading these month-at-a-glances from you. It’s interesting to me to see what other people are working on and it’s refreshing to see that not everything on your list was completed with effortless, boundless success. Glad to know that you – like me, like everyone for that matter – are only human and that our best intentions often fall short of the goal. THAT SAID, you have an interesting and vibrant list of things-to-do this year. I’m so tickled to watch your journey through the calendar. And BTW, that Sunday we spent together was BY FAR one of my most productive and inspiring in a long time!


    1. Reply
      February 6, 2019 at 5:34 pm

      Phew, so glad to hear this type of post is not the dullest thing ever. The 2 I’ve done so far have certainly been eye-openers for me, but I was doubtful other people would see them the same way.
      BTW, my husband tells me Elon Musk wants to build a supersonic tunnel thing so we can hop from east coast to west in record time by train. Wouldn’t that make Sunday chats easier? 🙂

  2. Reply
    Jean | Delightful Repast
    February 7, 2019 at 7:12 am

    Pauline, like Julie, I enjoy these glimpses into your life. So many people who write posts about their goals are really too vague and imprecise to be of any practical use to anyone else. You demonstrate clearly how it’s done, leaving readers with more than an airy-fairy “feeling” of being “inspired.”

    1. Reply
      February 7, 2019 at 10:22 am

      Jean, last month I found myself referring constantly to the post to see what I’d undertaken, so I need to be quite specific here as it’s for my own use too! There were a couple of places I was more vague, since I’m not ready to be public with all details yet. Thank you, as always, for reading.

  3. Reply
    April J Harris
    February 12, 2019 at 3:48 am

    I’m feeling very inspired by this post, Pauline! I don’t know why I haven’t tried monthly goal setting before. It’s much more targeted. This is definitely something I will be working on when I have more time during our trip. I’ve also resolved to do a full and complete de-clutter when I get home so I can stay totally focussed when I am at home!

    1. Reply
      February 12, 2019 at 9:12 am

      I’m thrilled to hear this is helpful. Yes, I love monthly planning – it works incredibly well for me and I hope it benefits you too.

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