Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Personal Goals List 2015

When I decided in 2013 that we should have a Family Fun List, I also decided to make a personal fun list. I did that again last year, but as you'll see, I didn't do anywhere near as well on completing items on that list as we did on our Family Fun List. This was mostly because I decided that the items on that list weren't my priority after I shook things up by quitting my job. I've decided to restructure my personal list a bit for 2015, to see if I can make it better fit what I want to do.

But first, here's an accounting of how I did on my 2014 Personal Fun List.

  1. Make a mix CD/playlist of new music - Done! I even made a subset to listen to when I run.
  2. Clean out and organize my sock drawer - Done! And I love being able to find socks and feel fairly confident they won't be all stretched out and end up bunched under the arch of my feet. It's the little things...
  3. Take a San Diego beer tour with Mr. Snarky - Missed again.
  4. Go rollerblading - Done! I was going every week for awhile, and may start that again soon.
  5. Go kayaking with Mr. Snarky - Done! Thanks to our week without kids, we had a chance to do our "old route" in Mission Bay. It was very nice.
  6. Learn how to make a second type of New Zealand savory pie. Missed, much to the chagrin of Mr. Snarky and one of our good Kiwi friends.
  7. Learn how to make a great margarita - Done! The secret is in having really good tequila, frankly. Fresh lime juice is good, too.
  8. Take a bubble bath - Done, several times! I even got to take a nice bath in a Japanese style soak tub during our stay in Torrance.
  9. Go indoor rock climbing - Missed. But Pumpkin has fun at indoor rock climbing camp over the summer, so I may yet get to do this as part of a family outing.
  10. Try a new restaurant - Done, at least a couple times.
  11. Try stand up paddleboarding - Missed
  12. Catch up on Scalzi's Old Man's War universe. Missed. But I read lots of other good things, including Scalzi's Lock In.  And I saw him speak and got him to sign my copy of Lock In.
I think one of the reasons I missed on so many of these items is that I prioritized writing and business related goals once I made the leap and left full time employment. I feel good about that decision, so I'm not at all unhappy with how 2014 went for me. For 2015, I've decided to acknowledge the pull of the professional goals, and have divided my list into three: personal, writing, and business. I'll talk about the personal and writing goals here, but will only list my business goals. I'll write more about what they mean and why I chose them in this month's installment of my newsletter, which will be out on Friday. If you're interested in knowing more about how I'm approaching starting and growing my business, you might want to head over and subscribe. (I'll leave that link active for a couple of weeks, but then redact it, just like before.)

So, without further ado, here are my personal goals for 2015:
  1. Find a yoga class that fits my schedule and make it a weekly habit. I'm missing yoga, both mentally and physically.
  2. Take a San Diego Beer Tour with Mr. Snarky. Third time's a charm, right?
  3. Wear my two new dresses at least once each. I've fallen out of the habit of wearing dresses and skirts, and that's silly.
  4. Take a bubble bath.
  5. Go kayaking.
  6. Read three sci-fi books by new-to-me authors. (I'll be doing lots of other reading, too, but I need a nudge to remind myself to make time to read full length books that won't get picked by my book club...)
  7. Learn how to make a second type of New Zealand pie. I'll do it this year, I swear!
  8. Go rollerblading.
  9. Play my violin and viola at least once each. I miss making music, and maybe this will lead me back to it.
And here are my writing goals:
  1. Complete three kids books. I have one halfway written, a solid idea and some notes for a second one... and surely I'll come up with something for the third! I enjoy writing children's books, so I suspect I'll keep doing this for as long as I can find someone to publish them. I submitted two manuscripts this week, in fact- a second Petunia book went to my publisher, and the other book that some of you read for me went to an agent. I won an agent review of a manuscript via my donation to the We Need Diverse Books campaign. I don't expect anything more from this but some professional feedback on my story- but I'm really looking forward to getting that. If I'm going to keep writing children's books, I want to keep improving at it.
  2. Write twelve columns for Chronicle Vitae. I've a good 6 or 7 ideas for columns, so this should be doable.
  3. Write at least twelve posts for my blog about management and productivity. I've got several ideas for posts written in my writing notebook, so I am feeling pretty confident about this one, too.
  4. Submit another column to a publication or a blog post for syndication. I'm not so sure about this one- I don't have any ideas for topics yet, but presumably something will come to me. It was fun to see my column published at USA Today, and it was good for me to have to cut my word count down, so I want to try again.
And here are the business goals, which I'll discuss more in this week's newsletter:
  1. Develop and publish an Android app
  2. Publish three short ebooks from other authors
  3. Set up my t-shirt shop in a more sustainable location
  4. Beta test my idea for helping academics with management and figure out how to make it a sustainable offering.
That should keep me busy this year! Feel free to share any goals or resolutions you have in the comments.


  1. Cool!

    Stupid blogger ate my comment (you'd think I'd know by now).

    I am here to recommend sci-fi reading!
    If you haven't read anything by Michael Stross, I recommend Neptune's Brood. I really enjoyed it.

    My son says Robopocalypse and Robogenesis are great (I bought them for myself, but he got to them first).

    Also, Old Man's War can be read with skipping. I couldn't wait for Ghost Brigades to arrive and I had everything else so I skipped it and it was fine. Still haven't read it or Zoe's Tale (Zoe's view of the last Colony). I really liked The Human Division which is a little separate, so you can pick that one up by itself (I can't wait for the next part).

    1. That's Charles Stross, not Michael. Sorry.

    2. Thanks for the recommendations! I've also got my eye on Ancillary Justice. I love my book club, but we don't read sci-fi- or at least not the sort of sci-fi I like. We tend to read literary authors attempting sci-fi, which rarely goes well, in my opinion. So I don't read as much sci-fi as I'd like to. But we read lots of other good things I'd probably never read on my own, so it all evens out.

  2. Grrr. My comment was also eaten. So frustrating.
    Anyway - I am really excited about the series of posts on productivity. I got really unorganized and unproductive recently, and your advice always resonate with me.
    Also, it seems like a really great list. I'm sure it will be an awesome year for you.

    1. I'm sorry you guys are having trouble with the comments right now. I don't think there is anything I can do about it, unfortunately....

      I keep thinking I should move to a self-hosted wordpress site. Maybe I'll get around to that some day!

  3. Seems like a doable list! We're 4 days into our month long adventure in NYC and slowly working on that to do list. I'm still working on a bigger list for the year but have a lot of 'maybes' on the list.

  4. Oh and congrats on the USA Today article!


  5. Your goals all sound great, Cloud! And as for the sci-fi reading--yes, I heartily recommend Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice. Great fun, very cool. I also thought Nexus by Ramez Naam was very cool, especially for those of us with biology backgrounds. The biotech in his near-future world is described very well and it's a great, thought-provoking thrill ride (the most unrealistic thing, actually, is how much free time the biology grad students seem to have to pursue their unofficial research and extracurriculars--they should be slaving away at their dissertations!)

    I've never read Charles Stross, but also heard good things about him.

  6. Great lists! Love the violin/viola one! I (used to) play the clarinet, and should get it back out. I want to learn to play the piano too...

    Good luck with your goals this year!

  7. I'll third Ancillary Justice, if you haven't read it since this post. Really excellent.

    One of my sisters read part of a Charles Stross novel (whatever it was that was nominated for a Hugo last year) and absolutely hated what she read, couldn't finish. She went on about why she hated it at length, enough so that I'm sure I don't want to try him. It sounds like his short stories are probably better, though... and like if you really worldbuilding mechanics, economies, etc., you might like him, but not if clunky character building bothers you. Like, not giving you any reason to like the main character, and there's some mysterious backstory that might build empathy, but right when the character is about to tell you, she clumsily interrupts herself to move on with stuff you don't care about.

    Um, okay, obviously there's some subjectivity there, and lots of people like him, despite him breaking some of the writing "rules."

    Leckie, on the other hand, gets you to really really care about her AI main character, even though there's also some empathy-building backstory you don't find out for a long time... I need to study how she does it, because that book is so impressive in every way.

    Um. Don't mind me. Anyway.

    1. *if you really like wordbuilding mechanics


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