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April 3, 2018

Michelle Miles: New Quarter…NEW GOALS! Sorta…

It’s really hard for me to get it in my head that it’s April. APRIL! The first three months of the year are gone in a puff of smoke. 

I think I’ve mentioned before I have this journal I use daily to keep me on track for my goals. I discovered, too, long ago that it’s too hard for me to plan an entire year of goals. With the Best Self, it breaks down the year into 13-week increments. I set three goals for those 13 weeks. They can be anything I want. So, because I want to produce more books and get myself out of debt, I decided to start tracking these goals.

This quarter, I’m starting my fourth journal. As I look back at my previous journals, I’m kind of a one-trick pony. I have the same goals listed. Well, the same OVERALL goals. Ultimately, I want to write full time and have zero debt. But the journal allows me to break that down into manageable pieces I can achieve.

This last quarter, I finished drafting the second book in my urban fantasy series. Book 1 is still unpublished. I’ve been asked when it’s coming out and the truth is I don’t know. At the end of 2017, when I finally got back to writing the series, I had a wild idea. Write the entire 5-book series from start to finish. So that’s what I’m doing. I’ve started book three and hope to have it drafted by the end of June. Plus, I’m still tweaking book one. What I really like about writing them all at once is I can go back from book to book and add little foreshadowing moments to make it look like it was planned all along (I’m a pantser. Please don’t ask me to plot. My brain might explode.)

Anyhoo, one of the other things I want to do is get myself out of debt. It’s so hard, folks. Probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done because I’m convinced the Universe is conspiring against me. Just when I start to make a little extra money, the house payment goes up. Tax Refund? SNORT. What’s that? We haven’t had one in years. I hate it so much. And so, it’s a struggle to get myself in order and keep on that budget and send large chunks of money to these credit cards. I feel like I’m climbing a mountain with no day pack. I may die of exhaustion any minute now. 

And then I put on my happy face and decide to keep on keeping on. I can do this! 

Last quarter, I managed to accomplish 2 of my 3 goals. I’ll take that as a win.

This quarter, I want to accomplish all three goals. They’re pretty much the same as last quarter but that’s okay. I’m still working toward the big, overall goals. I talk more in depth about all of this over at my blog, which you can read here. Also, if you’re interested in the Best Self Journal, you can find out more here as well as purchase.

I know I have my work cut out for me and to that I say BRING IT ON.

Oh, and happy April!


Sandra Sookoo said...

Girl, preach! I struggle with all of that too. Well, except the plotting. I'm a plotter/outliner girl. LOL Just keep being you. The world needs more of that.

Allison Collins said...

Goals are the hardest thing for me to set and lay out a plan to achieve them, so my goal this year is to...wait for it...set goals and stick to them. I bought a planner made for writers, with the intention of keeping everything in it. It's a learning system, and it's already April. What have I written in it? I filled out the "If found, return to:______" page.

Good for you for sticking to your goals, and having a plan to accomplish them! You may have to teach this old dog how to do it.

Karilyn Bentley said...

You can do it! Good for you for sticking to your goals. I'm like, goals? What goals? :) And I like Book2, have forgotten to tell you I started it. :)

Keep writing and aiming for your goals!

Michelle Miles said...

Hi, Sandra! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Allison, it's REALLY hard but now that I've created the habit of writing in the journal every day and I see the progress I'm making with the writing, it has really helped me get where I want to go. I like it. I just wish it didn't take so long to GET there. I'm so impatient. haha I think you just have to commit to yourself to do it - one of the first things I do when I get to my desk (at work) is write in the journal. If you can, find a first thing in the morning to do it and see if that works for you. :)

Karilyn, glad you're enjoying book 2! It needs a good editing pass but the main story is there.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Michelle! I applaud you for making those goals. I started journaling again, but not for the goal reason, but for the sanity reason. I tend to dump in it.

It's harder about money. As a society we are bombarded by ads and things we need, but do we? Saving is so hard, yet it paid off and sustained my family when Handsome started the business. We cut back so much and looking back, only the food mattered. We had awesome times with the boys just being outside and with family.

Liese said...

You go, Michelle!
I think it's great you can identify what you want to accomplish and look back and say "I did it!"

May this next 13 weeks see three out of three! And if not, remember "Progress, not Perfection!"


Unknown said...

I've tried setting goals this year and if I don't exactly stick to them, at least it helps remind me to stay on track. I also hold out several books until the final ones are ready, because I often find out something in the third book about the character from the first book that I didn't know before. Plus, it keeps the momentum going (although there are a lot of months there with no momentum at all Good luck on your goals

Elizabeth Essex said...


I don't journal, but I do keep track of daily, weekly, and longer term goals. Daily goals are mostly tasks, like plan social media and hit word count. Weekly goals are things like write one blog, or do one task for my website. Longer term goals are publish a book within six months. And I always keep what Liese said—Progress, not Perfection—in mind. Publishing is a hard, hard business that changes all the time. Just when you think you've got it figured out how to reach the next step—or how to set your goals to reach the next step—the step moves or changes. :)

As to the debt, we've had to be flexible there, too. We set ourselves the goal of taking on as little as possible, but there are some circumstances—having two kids in college—that make taking on some debt worthwhile. So don't beat yourself up about it—debt can be a useful tool to achieve other longer term goals. Again, Progress not Perfection. :)

Keep at it, my friend. That's all any of us can do. KEEP WRITING!!!!

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