New Year’s Resolutions 2017

Well, another year is drawing to a close.  So, it's time to look back at the year nearly passed, as well as my resolutions from last year
English: New Year's Resolutions postcard
English: New Year's Resolutions postcard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2016, I was still dealing with turnover at work, which robbed me of a lot of illustration and writing time, but I managed to improve my habits this year.  I more consistently got up early to invest the time in the craft.  And it paid off.  As of the start of this blog post (which I began on 12/16/2016), I had logged 74.98 hours, wrote 21,144 words, completed 4 full-color illustrations (one of them just this morning), and have 2 more in progress.  I managed 669 words per hour, on average.  I published two blog articles with a third nearly complete.  I participated in NaNoWriMo this year, something I hadn't done in years, and managed 11,887 words on that new novel alone.  I stopped writing Bound to work on it, but I'm now back to Bound, and the first draft is done save for the epilogue.  I hope to have that finished by year's end [edit:  yep, I finished it].  Oh, and we've not had Internet at our house since late August because AT&T are incompetent, or at least uncooperative.  I hope to have that resolved soon, as it's greatly hampered my research abilities (thanks to the public library for having Wi-Fi).  All in all, 2016 was more productive than 2015.  I'm pleased at the increase, but hope to do even better in 2017.

Now, for last year's resolutions.

Read a bunch of books

Well, I didn't read as many as the previous year, and it looks like I won't meet my Goodreads goal of 24, but I still managed a respectable number.  A few of the books I read were quite large.  I read the first two books in the Song of Ice and Fire series and am working on the third.  You know how long those are.  I plan to set the same goal for myself for next year.

Lose some weight

Didn't happen.  Spent most of the year trying to get back on Paleo and not succeeding.  Just recently, we've had a pretty good go of it, about two weeks.  I feel much better.  And bad when I stray, so I know I'm getting back into the swing of it.  And like the last time, I'm seeing the weight start to creep down.

Master my email

Not much to report there.  I have a great handle on it at work, less so with Gmail, but it's still more efficient.  Google Tasks, GTasks, and Rainlendar Pro continue to be my go to solutions for tasks management, but I’m also incorporating Trello for larger projects.  I also use Thunderbird to get through large chunks of email at a time.

Write and draw more

As I discussed above, I've met both of those.

Finish what I start

Doing better.  I'm focusing more on one writing project at a time and not splitting my focus.  True, I broke off to participate in NaNoWriMo, but once it was done, I got back to work on Bound.  Which I then set aside to write this blog post, and I'm going to finish it before I get back to Bound.  And I continue to move forward with the illustrations for the next Derrick and Max book.  I'll finish those before I start on the next.

Alright, so now for 2017.  I'm going to go more specific for my goals this coming year since that's supposed to be more effective.  Here's what I have.

Read 24 books

True, I didn't meet that goal this year, but it seems like a good number and generally reachable.  However, I'm not going to fret if I don't reach it.

Write 25,000 words

My stretch goal is always 50,000, but I never hit that.  I think with the improved numbers I saw this year and by being a little more disciplined in the first half of the new year than I was this year, I can reach 25k.  Unless I spend a lot of time on editing and 2nd drafts, but I'm OK if that's what causes me to miss the mark.

Publish a book

I didn't publish anything in 2016, but I have a few things that are completed or nearly completed.  A bit of polish, and they'll be ready.  I want to get to where I've something new out every year.  Maybe even two somethings.

Spend more quality time with my family

Work has settled down.  I'm working on ways to make it more efficient so it doesn't take so much of my time in training when we must bring new people on.  I'm working on my sleep with the help of my Pebble Steel (*sniff* I'll miss you, Pebble) and Sleep as Android so that when I'm awake, I'm more alert, productive, efficient, and hopefully less irritable.  I'm keeping my writing and drawing hours to when the kids aren't around so that they're not competing for my attention.  And I'm trying to be more accessible and attentive.  I may not be able to increase the quantity of hours, but I can try to increase the quality.

Lose 20 pounds

I'm planning to stick with Paleo and will try to encourage my wife to stick with it, too.  We both lost weight when we were on it last time.  If we can stick with it, 20 pounds is well within reach.  Truthfully, I was losing 1-2 pounds per week before, so even 40 pounds wouldn't be unreasonable, but I'm shooting for 20.

So, those are mine.  Please let me know what you think in the comments, and share your resolutions, if you're of a mind to.  I hope you all have a safe, peaceful, and enjoyable holiday season!

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