How are we midway through 2017? I swear there was snow on the ground just yesterday! But this is by far my favorite time of the year. I love the warm weather, afternoons spent our sides, Alan grilling (with the added bonus of me not having to cook!), and all the other wonderful things that go along with summer.
I’ve actually made a lot of progress on my goals! There are only three that I haven’t completed. That’s a little early for this point in the year, so next year, I’ll have to go harder on myself. It’s such a hard task to find goals that are both accomplishable in one year, but also challenging enough. How about you? How are your goals going? Ready to take them to the next level? I’ve created this awesome Rock Your 2017 Goals workbook to help you plan and accomplish your goals. Sign up below to get FREE access!
1. Become a regular at a local cafe or lunch spot in Marburg, Germany.
At Paprika, I found this awesome spinach, cheese, gnocchi combo. At Zur Sonne, they had amazing schnitzel. And I tried cappuccinos at every cafe I came across. Yum!
2. Be serenaded on the canals in Venice, Italy.
… I may have serenaded myself while riding down the canals in Venice, but that totally counts because I was riding the Vaporetti on a canal in Venice! You can check out the ups and downs of our Venice experience here.
3. Visit the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.
Check and double check! You can read all about it here.
4. Munch on a pretzel or kebab in Munich, Germany.
The pretzel was a bit stale, but Munich was lovely. We visited castles and experienced the madness of Oktoberfest. See it for yourself, here.
5. Check out my aunt and uncle’s flat in London.
I did, and it was gorgeous! I seriously want their couch… and the view that comes with it 😉
6. Edit and polish Storm Warning (Book 3 of Herrera Strong series).
I was so excited to wrap up Storm Warning last fall. I shopped it out to a few agents, and then put it in a drawer for now to focus on my YA novels. I look forward to picking up the Herrera series sometime in 2018 or 2019. (It feels weird to be planning out that far!!)
7. Write Bubbly Schnitzel – Book 2 of the International Adventures Series.
Bubbly Schnitzel is finished and edited! Stay tuned for some excited news that I hope to share soon!
8. Outline Book 3 of the International Adventure series.
Da-done and then some. I’m actually 24,000+ words into the new book. I am so excited for this one too! It’s set in the UK and about a girl who loves to act. Two of my favorite things! It still hasn’t got a name yet, but I’m playing around with the idea of Dramatic Scones… or something similar. What do you think? Have you got an adjective that ends in a Y that I could use?
9. Complete publishing process and launch Sketchy Tacos (Book 1 of the International Adventures series) on February 7, 2017.
I am beyond thrilled to share that Sketchy Tacos hit #16 on the Amazon charts today in Christian > Friendship! I could use your help for it to continue to grow! If you’ve read Sketchy Tacos, I’d love for you to leave a quick review–they really do make a world of difference. If you haven’t yet, grab a copy for $3.99 on Amazon today!
10. Set aside 10 minutes at the beginning end of each day in the Bible and prayer (complete after 4 weeks).
I’ve been doing a pretty good job of listening to my Bible each evening. I’ve got it on audio with my Bible app, so I shut of the lights, close my eyes and listen to a few chapters each evening. It’s a great way to unwind. I’m about two and a half months into this ritual and I plan to keep it up!
11. Set aside special time to pray for friends and family once a week (complete after 4 weeks).
I was great about this for the entire month of January. Then in February I got out of the habit. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been working on reinstating that habit to middling success, but I’m not giving up!
12. Write 12 letters to our World Vision kids.
I’ve struck this one out not because it’s complete, but because Alan and I have decided to donate to a different organization.
13. Complete 4 blankets for Covered in Love (partnered with Safe Families for Children).
I’ve finished one. Not where I’d want to be… clearly. But I spent the beginning of the year working on a few personal projects that I’d had on Pinterest boards for ages. Then I thought I was going to have some time, and my husband requested 3+ full-size gift blankets. It’s looking like this one may not get complete.
14. Post to social media 3+ times a week (complete after 3 months).
I’m horrific at this. As I’ve done nothing close to this at all, it seems like it’s not going to get done. (And seriously, if I’m not posting while I’m traveling, there’s no hope of me posting my usual boring life.)
15. Institute a “Lunch with Friends” or “Breakfast with Friends” in which I respond on social media during my breakfast or lunch hour (complete after 6 weeks).
So I haven’t been spending an hour every day, but I have been going on to each of my accounts at least once a week to check for new engagement and respond. It’s not as fully fledged as I originally planned, but I’ve decided it’s more important for me to keep writing than to spend 5+ hours on social media each week.
16. Blog (at least) once a week (complete after 3 consistent months).
Completed!!! Super yay! Consistency when it comes to anything online is not my strong suit. But consistent blogging is key! I finished my 3 months in January, and I’m so glad I’ve kept it up. February got a little dicey with the book launch, but when I wasn’t on my blog, it was because I was guest posting elsewhere. So I’m totally satisfied 🙂
17. Rid myself of 100 things to cut down clutter.
I counted all the way up to 100 and then kept going. I’m probably around 150 now! I’ve been doing a deep clean and reorganize, and I’m getting ride of as much stuff as possible! I am a pack rat by nature, so I’ve got plenty of bits and bots to clear out.
18. Do 1 death-defying act.
My first weekend in Europe, I went on the bike wheel of death (okay, so I don’t actually remember what it’s called). You can see the video here! And I also went go-carting. It was awesome! But I was pretty bad, and got hit twice a race–note that I didn’t hit them, they hit me.
19. Attend 4 plays/concerts/musicals, etc.
Done! And had such a blast completing it.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Ragtime, Mama Mia, The Music Man, Showlin Warriors, Pipin
20. Workout for 150 minutes a week (complete after 12 weeks).
This is so done! And I’m loving it too. I take a 30-90 minute walk most days of the week. It gets a little dicey when there’s bad weather, but it’s been awesome.
21. Complete 4 online courses.
These are over 70% complete, so I’m going to count them as done!
- Instant Bestseller by Tim Grahl
- The Easy Way to Write Short Stories that Sell by Rob Parnell
- List Surge by Melissa Griffin
- OmniFocus for iOS Essential Training by David Sparks
22. Test out 10 different podcast stations.
Helping Writers Become Authors, The Self Publishing Podcast, The Productive Woman, Write from the Deep, Sleep with Me
I’ve tested out several different podcasts at this point. These are the five that I remember, and I’ll test out a few more. But mostly, I’ve found that I don’t love podcasts. I love audiobooks and when I have a choice between the two, I go to the audiobook for two main reasons: It’s finite, therefore I can finish it and check it off, and also, I know I’ve received all the information on the topic, instead of trying to click to the next one and another one to try to find the info I need. I will keep going on this, but I probably won’t repeat it next year.
23. Learn conversational/necessity phrases in German to get by on the streets.
Okay, so I wasn’t super conversational in German, but I did figure out enough to order my lunch and ask for sugar to go along with my cappuccino, so I’m counting this as a victory!
24. Read (or listen to) 100 fiction books.
First Quarter: No One to Trust by Lynette Eason, Nowhere to Turn by Lynette Eason, No Place to Hide by Lynette Eason, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, The Meanest Doll in the World by Ann M. Martin, Replay by Sharon Creech, The Summer of Cotton Candy by Dannie Viguie, Taming Rafe by Susan May Warren, Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Heir by Kiera Cass, Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman, The Counterfeit Agent by Alex Berenson, Meant to be Mine by Becky Wade, Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, The Innocent by David Baldacci, The Hit by David Baldacci, The 500 by Matthew Quirk, The Directive by Matthew Quirk, Hunted by Karen Robards, Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley, A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade, So Over My Head by Jenny B. Jones, Witch and Wizard by James Patterson, Afloat by Erin Healy, Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor, Witness to a Trial by John Grisham (1/2), Promise Me by Harlan Coben, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, True Valor by Dee Henderson, Left Behind by Tim LaHaye, Coma Girl by Stephanie Bond (1/2), The Protector by Dee Henderson, This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti, Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl, Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Belles by Jen Calonita, Summer State of Mind by Jen Calonita, London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning, Death by Bikini by Linda Gerber, Winter White by Jen Calonita, The Grass is Always Greener by Jen Calonita, Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins, Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins, Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins, The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West, The Distance Between Us by Kasie West – 49 books
Second Quarter: Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, Pretties by Scott Westerfeld, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz, Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak, Goliath by Scott Westerfeld, There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones, Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan, Jackaby by William Ritter, The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan, Insurgent by Veronica Roth, The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan, The House of Hades by Rick Riordan, Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator by Josh Berk, The Neverending Story by Mick End, Specials by Scott Westerfeld, Allegiant by Veronica Roth, The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani, A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani, Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham, The Accused by John Grisham, The Abduction by John Grisham, Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter, The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani, Delirium by Ally Condie – 31 books
Third Quarter: Matched by Ally Condie, A Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen, Crossed by Ally Condie, Reached by Ally Condie, Chasing Danger: Mystery at the Ice Hotel by Sara Grant, The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart, Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, The Activist by John Grisham, Dreamspell by Tamara Leigh, War Room by Chris Fabry, The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, The Girl At Midnight by Melissa Grey, The Rosie Project by Greame Simsion, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, The Scorch Trials by James Dashner, The Death Cure by James Dashner, Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein, The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein, The Siren by Kiera Cass, Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger, Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger, Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger, Hunted by Sandra Robbins, Sins of the Past by Dee Henderson et. al, Introductions by C.L. Stone, Deadlock by DiAnn Mills, Defy by Sara B. Larson, Ignite by Sara B. Larson, Endure by Sara B. Larson, After the Thaw by Therese Heckenkamp, Medical Judgement by Richard L. Marbry, Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl, The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz, Spy Girl by Jillian Dodd, The Eagle by Jillian Dodd, The Falconer by Elizabeth May, Nerve by Jeanne Ryan, Spies Like Me by Doug Solter – 40 books
Total: 120 books read
25. Read 15 non-fiction books.
Step by Step Pitches and Proposals by Chip Macgregor, Nine Day Novel by Steve Windsor, Your First 1000 Copies by Tim Grahl, US Army Survival Manual by the U.S. Army, 279 Days to Overnight Success/A Brief Guide to World Domination by Chris Guillebeau, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell, How Can I Find a Literary Agent? by Chip MacGregor, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale, Marketing For Writers Who Hate Marketing by James Scott Bell, Six Figure Author by Chris Fox, Getting Things Done by David Allen, Lifelong Writing Habit by Chris Fox, Write. Publish. Repeat by Sean Platt
15 non-fiction books down 🙂
What goal are you working on right now? When do you set goals for yourself? How often do you set them? What are some goals you want to reach in 2017? Don’t forget to check out my Rock Your 2017 Goals Workbook !