You Cannot Do It All. (No, really: You can’t)

8314704680_1c8faa4603_zIt’s the first week back to work for many of us and, perhaps, you’re already regretting the shiny list of goals and resolutions you made in that hazy, optimistic pause between the third and fourth glass of Baileys. There are many reasons resolutions often (always?) fall by the wayside, but if (like me) you’re determined to make 2015 an amazing, productive year, then you need to accept something right now – you cannot do it all. If there is one thing I’ve learned in my almost-38 years, it’s this: You cannot chase perfection in every area of your life at the same time. Also this: If my house is ‘visitor-ready’ clean, I’m not writing enough. Look at your list of goals again. You don’t have to cull it if you don’t want to, but it might be worth seeing if you really care about each and every one of them. Then, pick one thing off the list and throw all available time and energy at it until it’s done. Also, for the sake of balance, kick something OFF your list. Something that you already do during a normal week: Ironing is a good one to chuck (sadly, I’ve never ironed so this one doesn’t work for me). Watching television or playing video games is another possibility. Or, you could cut down on your gardening/cleaning/tidying/scrapbooking/socialising. I have a terrible tendency to try to do All The Things and my goal-list for the year is ambitious to say the least. Still, I’ve taken my own advice and have (regretfully) resigned from Novelicious to make room for a new project I have planned. It’s terrifying to turn down paid work (particularly work which I enjoy so much!), but that terror is going to push me to overcome the nerves I have over my new project – as well as freeing time and head-space in order to make it possible. At least, that’s my theory! So, how about you? What will you give up in 2015 in order to achieve your goals? [Image Credit: John Levanan, Lamp, typewriter and specs…]

2015: Dreaming Big, Setting Goals

ID-100298534Hello my lovelies!

I hope you are having a wonderful winter holiday.

In addition to eating chocolate and spending time with family, I’ve been chucking stuff out in preparation for the new year. There is something about the dead time between Christmas and January 1st which gets my ‘clear the decks’ head on and I’ve filled several bin bags.

I also love the chance to take stock of what I’ve achieved, to think about what I want to do next and – my favourite activity – set some goals!

Some of these are largely out of my control and, as such, fall into the ‘dream big’ category. I’m hoping, of course, that my latest book finds an amazing publishing home and that I have happy book deal news to tell you all soon.

And, if any passing film producer wants to snap up the rights to The Language of Spells or The Secrets of Ghosts, that would also be sweet!

However, in terms of stuff I can actually control…

My main goal for 2015 is to write a new novel but, after reading Joanna Penn’s Business For Authors and doing a lot of thinking during December, I have a few other goals to add to that:

Update this blog regularly. I didn’t do too badly this year, but I would like to consistently update once a week during 2015.

Overhaul my website. I’m moving to self-hosted and I also want to tweak the design.

Send out my first newsletter (and a couple more throughout the year).

Try another format for blogging/connecting with readers. I adore listening to podcasts and would really like to try making one of my own.

Write lots and lots. I’m stealing my friend Keris’s 2014 strategy and am aiming for a yearly total of 150,000 words (her total was much larger – hush now). This works out at 15,000 a month for ten months (giving myself two months off for holidays/fallow periods).

15,000 a month can be further broken down into 3750 per week or, 750 words each work day. That sounds pretty reasonable, but I shall update throughout the year to let you know whether it’s working.

So, how about you guys? Are you setting goals or making resolutions?