Tag Archives: setting goals

The Game of Life by J Monkeys

car.game of lifeGood Morning world!  J Monkeys here.  Every January I like to take a few moments to reflect on the year that passed and determine if I’ve made any progress in the Game of Life.  I imagine my little car, complete with a pink and three blue little sticks, moving along the game board.  Sure I had a few paydays, and probably got set back a bit, but over all, did I make any progress over those hills last year?

in 2013, I had a lot of goals and I don’t think I actually ended the year any further along than when I started.  I made some progress along the way, then had some setbacks that negated it.  That’s all right with me, as long as I learned something.  And I did learn something.  Looking at last year in retrospect, I let a couple of good opportunities pass me by because I wasn’t focused, or organized enough, or even was just too lazy.

Well, I have a couple of amazing opportunities before me right now and I do not want to miss out.  One of them is potentially a once-in-a-career, jump-to-a-new-and-exciting-path type of opportunity.  It’s doable, but as we used to say in the corporate world, it’s a stretch goal.  Meaning, I can do it, but I’ll have to stretch myself to get there – it won’t be easy. 

So, here I am at the beginning of 2014.  What goals do I want to set for myself for this year?  I have declared 2014 the year in which I will get…stuff (to be “G” rated) done.  It’s the 11th day of the year, and I’ve already accomplished more toward my goals than I did in the preceding 365! 

In the last two weeks, I have finished and published the DIY Publishing book I had been working on.  I’ve finished and published my third Kindergarten sight word book, Dixie & Taco go to the Beach.  I finalized and published a book I wrote with a bunch of school children last summer, TV is on the Run.  I created and published (for myself) a new organizer.   And I updated my website, www.jmonkeys.com

These things were the low hanging fruit on my to-do list.  There are a few other juicy bits in easy reach that I would like to see finished in short order.  But the best part about having gotten some of these things finished, is that I’ve proven to myself that I can do it.  The excuses I’ve been telling myself clearly are not true.  I can get things done when I put my mind to it.  I’m so excited about my recent accomplishments that it’s really spurring me on.  I’m excited about finishing a few more things, and can’t wait to work on them!

My little car is flying down the board right now.  How’s yours?  Have you been stuck, like me?  What do you need to do to jump start things?  Maybe just finishing a project that is nearly done with spur you on too.

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I finished something!

Hidey-Ho there Scribblers!  J Monkeys here.  There are only 95 days left until Christmas 2012 so I thought I’d take a minute to catch you up on my writing goals for 2012 and my progress to date.

Way back at the beginning of the year, I stated (publicly!) that I was going to produce 6 books this year.  It was, and still is, an aggressive goal, but a doable one for me.  After a sluggish summer, I’ve actually picked up some speed this week and I’m happy to report that progress is being made!  Here’s how it stands: 

Do It Yourself Publishing ~ Cheap & Easy: I put the finishing touches on it this week and I sent for my proof copy today!  Yipppeeeeee!  This is an exciting book that give newbies step-by-step instruction on how to Indie Publish their book, on the cheap.  Let’s call this one 95% finished.

Gastro-Geneaology Cookbook: This is a project that I’m working on primarily for my family.  I’ve taken recipe cards hand-written by folks in the family (living and dead) and paired them with a picture of the chef, a short blurb about the person and a legible version of the recipe.  It’s in pretty good shape.  I just need to bake a few of the items and take some photos to add.  I’d say this one is 75% complete.  Definitely something that might have more additions as time goes by, but the first edition will be done by the holidays.

Brook the Fish: This is the first book in my First Grade reader series.  It’s done and available from Lulu.  I worked with a new illustrator on this one and he did a GREAT job!  Yeah Don!

Preschool book of Questions: I’ve actually been working on two of these.  The first, In The Woods, is nearly finished – 98% done.  Hubby needs to fix one photo for me, and then it’ll be complete.  The second one, Signs is about 50% done at this point.  I need to finish up the photography (maybe 7 more pictures to be done) and then I can pull it together.  We’ll be finishing the photography this weekend so I’m likely to order a proof copy by October 1st.

Dixie & Taco go to the Beach: I met with the illustrator today and she’s done a GREAT job.  This another newbie – her first book and her first step into this style of drawing.  But I looked at draft pictures today and they are spot on.  I’m confident it will be complete by year’s end.

The Fearsome Dane: This novella has been languishing – but my cover artist is now waiting for me to get back to her with crazy details like length.  Guess I’d better pick it up and write that last scene, eh?  It’s yet another monkey I want off my back, so I’m confident that it will be done by the end of the year.  It’s 30,000 words that needs at most two more scenes and some editing.

Some Time: This is actually my most exciting project.  I’m writing this time travel romance under my alter-ego, Vivienne Ylang.  Did you know that was me?  Shhhh, don’t tell anybody.  I’ve been thinking long and hard about this story lately.  I think I’ve finally worked the kinks out of the plot (no, not that kind of kink – get your head out of the gutter!) and I’m almost ready to pick up the pen again.  Or keyboard.  Whatever.  I need to do a little bit of Character writing and then I’ll be good to go.  I plan to have the 1st draft done by the end of November.  

That’s 8 books in one year.  WOW!  I know many of these are short, or have few words – but I’m still proud of the production.  And it’ll clear the way for me to pull a bunch of stuff out of my head and begin working on The Orange Trade, book 3 in the Livingston-Wexford Adventures early next year.  It’s a bit of a shuffle from how I had planned to do things, but hey.  Sometimes these characters are screaming in my head and I have to give somebody cuts in line.  You know?

Today’s Secret: Shout your goals publicly.  It’s harder to ignore them once you’ve told everyone what you are going to do.

Today’s Question: Did you make goals at the beginning of the year?  How are you doing?  Are you on track?