2014 in Review + 2015 Goals

Happy new year :) 2015 is here! I can't wait to see what 2015 will bring for all of us. I love this time of year because of all the possibilities up ahead and the chance for new beginnings. Don't you?

Before that, though, I want to take a look back and take a peek at the beginning in 2012-13 and how I did with my 2014 goals.

Quick Peek at the Past (How Far Have You Come?)

Here's the complete post for January 1st, 2013 post.  So cool to see how far I've come and where I was then. For one, my daughter wasn't even one yet :) I was writing my first book here.

Here's the complete post for January 1st, 2014/December 31st, 2013 post. The coolest thing? I officially became a self-published writer exactly one year ago! That just hit me, and it's huge. This journey has been difficult at times, but so worth it and so satisfying. I don't want it to end, ever. Definitely looking forward to many more years in the self-publishing business.

If you haven't already, definitely go back to your journal/blog/writing and see how far you've come. You'll be surprised :)

Finally, here are my 2014 goals and how I did.

2014 Goals

  1. Write second novel. Written.
  2. Revise second novel. Revised.
  3. Publish second novel. Published :) (International links in sidebar or Books page if you're interested!)
  4. Write third novel. Done during NaNoWriMo 2014. 
  5. Write and submit one short story. Not Done. 
  6. Read 24 books. Done!
  7. Keep reaching out to readers and writers through my blog, newsletter, and social media. In progress. Newsletter/blog kind of fell off to the wayside.

My biggest goal in 2014 was to write, revise, and publish my second novel, and I am so happy that I was able to finish that up in October. It's not easy with a household to manage, a toddler to care for and spend time with, and a part-time job that actually more of a full-time job when it comes to the hours.

And I actually just forgot for a minute that I also wrote my third book in November right after that. That was crazy! (Just ask Kendra Ayers ;b) But I was SO HAPPY that I won the challenge. Hadn't done that since 2011, I believe. But I made the time and will again this year. Can't wait!

I also completed the 2014 Goodreads Reading challenge and read 24 books, which was my goal. Really happy with that. Read some amazing books. Need to read way more this year because my reading list is huge!

The only goal I did not meet at all was writing and submitting one short story. To be honest, though, I'm not disappointed. I think I've learned, that right now anyway, short stories aren't holding my interest. I'm gonna focus on novels. So I'm okay with this goal not being met.

The other goal I feel I didn't quite meet was reaching out to readers and writers through my blog, newsletter, and social media.

I feel I did pretty good with social media. Twitter especially. Not too much time but met some pretty cool people (and a reader!), especially during NaNoWriMo. I did well connecting to writers through my blog but not really to my readers. Need to focus more on that this year, at least a little.

Where I really want to put my focus, though, is the newsletter. It fell off the wayside, but I keep reading that it's really the key to success as a self-publisher so yeah. Definitely doing that in 2015.

So about 5.5 out of 7 goals met for 2014. I consider that a victory, considering my biggest/most important goals were met and I took July and December off to visit family and spend time with my family here.

2015 Goals

Now to what you've all been waiting for... *crickets*

Here is what I'd like to accomplish (will accomplish!) in 2015. AKA my production plan, which is in Evernote. It's not all here, but I've included my yearly goals, my monthly goals for January (so I won't bog you down with the other 11 months worth), and my weekly goals. You'll also see some non-writing goals.

Yearly Goals

Publish 2 more books (Unfailing Love and next book in Unbreakable Love series)
Write next book in Unbreakable Love series
Write YA fantasy book 1
Kindle landing page/call to action
Get 20 reviews on each book
Lose 10 more pounds
Email auto responder series for readers
Make books into audio books
Add books to Goodreads
Complete Blog To Do List

Monthly Goals

January

ROW80: January 5th-March 26th
Send monthly newsletter
Write 20,000 words or edit 16 hours (edit Unfailing Love)
1 marketing task

Weekly Goals

  1. Write 5000 words or edit 4 hours (4-5 times a week)
  2. Exercise 4 times a week
  3. Count calories
  4. Prep newsletter or marketing task

I also have quarterly progress checks. I think this will be a huge help to staying on track this year. It's so easy to set goals and then forget about them. I'll be adding these to my calendar.

Another thing I like is that I'm a lot more specific this year. The list is longer but includes some smaller, really specific things I need to do, like add my second book to Goodreads and create audio books.

I then thought about how I can meet these goals and broke them down by what I need to do each month and then what I need to be doing each week. For example, I know I need to write or edit something specific each month. That's listed. I'm also including how I'm doing to do that (ROW80 or NaNoWriMo, for instance). To stay accountable.

I'm still not at the pace I'd like to be or feel I will be in the future for writing and publishing books, but I'm happy considering how crazy my life can be. I'm really focusing on marketing this year, though, and I have a marketing task I'd like to complete each month.

Not sure what they will be just yet, but will include things like free promotions, etc. My sales haven't been great, so I'd like to garner more reviews so I can finally run some promotions and drive those sales in 2015 as I keep writing and publishing.

And running my editing business :) 

On my weekly goals, you'll see that half of those goals aren't even writing related. They're health related :) I really gained some weight the second part of 2013 and first half of 2014. I was not happy about that. Not just my appearance but not being in shape and getting out of breath. I love to play sports and run around with my toddler. Not to mention be a good role model.

So in late summer I started exercising consistently again.

To no avail. It was devastating.

Then I started counting calories every day too. It still wasn't easy but I lost about ten pounds! :) And felt great and actually in shape again.

All of this from running a few times a week, insanity workout videos, and playing basketball. And controlling portions, making healthier choices (with indulgences here and there), and cutting back a lot on soda. Which I don't even miss :)

So in 2015, I'd like to lose 10 more pounds.

After all of that (writing and health wise), I pretty much took December off and have not written, exercised, or counted calories. I'm still eating okay and have managed to keep those ten pounds off, but am starting back up again with new year. And with an exercise buddy and writing buddy, I look forward to getting back into the groove!

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What are you going to accomplish in 2015?