Whew. Hi, friends! How are we at the end of 2023. This year has FLOWN BY. Anyone else feel that way?
I set SMART goals for my financial wellbeing, health, professional life, and creative self at the beginning of 2023.
I'm generally pretty happy with how the year went and the things I've accomplished even if they didn't turn out exactly how I planned them.
So let's dive in and see how the year went!
CW: Brief talk about weight loss goals
Rosie Rose’s Goal Recap for 2023
I picked two words to define my year: THRIVE and CHALLENGE.
And wow, I think I definitely hit those in a few ways. I definitely challenged myself with writing, and I'll get more into when I get down to the writing section. I also thrived where writing was concerned as well!
I think I've felt a bit stagnant in my professional life. I don't feel like I moved far in my day job this year, but my writing really took off, and that's what I wanted anyway. I want to continue that into 2024. I need to figure out my schedule to hold myself more accountable. And maybe I'll weave that into my word for 2024. But we'll see.
📚Read 36 fiction books - Eh. I didn't quite get to this. I had a nice spreadsheet with some well laid plans and almost my entire year mapped out.
I read about 2 books from my plans... so my planned-to-actual was shit. LOL
I did read about 12 books this year. A couple were novellas. Four were ARC copies. I also read a lot of Kindle samples to get some ideas and feel for certain romance subgenres, and I read a lot for friends in the We Write At Dawn discord. So I did read a lot this year compared to the last few years, just not exactly what I had planned on reading.
I also started doing some book reviews on the blog. I have two done and one more planned, although it'll probably be January before I get that done.
📚Read 4 non-fiction books - I have bought a lot of nonfiction books this year. Especially craft books. And some for my job. But I haven't read any cover-to-cover. I have flipped through some of them and read snippets here and there.
What I have done though is attend a lot of webinars, which are kinda like reading nonfiction books and probably given me some of the same information. So I count that as accomplishing a similar goal.
📚 Return to Streaming on Twitch - This has been one of my MOST SUCCESSFUL goals this year. I challenged myself to two writing/coworking streams a week and I thrived. My end of the year Twitch wrap up showed 350 new followers to the channel. I've gotten a couple Twitch payouts this year (because I'm an affiliate and make money from ads, subs to my channel and donations). It's been an amazing journey and averaged often 10-15 viewers a stream. I took December off for the holidays and doing some channel maintenance, but I cannot wait to come back in 2024.
💪 Lose 25-40lbs - Eh, we'll not talk about this one. LOL I failed spectacularly at this one and have unfortunately gained some weight. But, I've gotten it under control, so hopefully 2024 will be better.
🧘♀️ 190 Days of Yoga - Part of failing at the previous goal, I'm sure had something to do with falling out of my yoga routine. I started the year out strong and completed Yoga with Adriene's annual 30-day journey in January. Got about halfway into February and got Covid (boo) and didn't get to feeling well enough to get back to yoga until May. I only managed a few practices in May but I couldn't get my routine back. I've done a few practices this month to start conditioning myself, because I fully intend to do Yoga with Adriene's new 30-day challenge in January! this year is called Flow and I'm super excited.
🏃♀️ 3-5 days of cardio a week - I used the treadmill fairly well before I got Covid, but after Covid I was so tired for so many months. I'm trying to get back to it though. I can read ebooks while I walk and so it really helps my reading goals when I can meet my walking goals, too. So this is something I will be focusing on more in 2024.
My writing goals for 2022 were “Write 5,000 words a month” which I did not achieve, except in November and December 2022.
For 2023, I set more specific goals, and achieved them to some extent, but achieved some that weren't even on my radar in January 2023.
✍️ Holiday Romance WIP Complete WIP by Jan 15th, let it rest, get some readers, query it, self-pub 2023 if no bites -
Well, some of this happened! I didn't get the draft finished until April and let it sit for a bit. In June, I joined an amazing, new writing discord called We Write at Dawn and found some alpha readers, who loved it! I worked on some edits and a query letter and started querying in August. I immediately got an offer for publication from a small press, which was AMAZING. But after much hemming and hawing, I decided that it wasn't the best route for me at the time and declined the offer and kept querying. Since then, I've gotten a lot of rejections, and that's fine. I pushed back my plan to self-pub this year in favor of getting some feedback from an editor and doing some more edits on my own. I will continue to query it through the summer and then plan to self-pub Nov 2024.
✍️ Kindle Vella serials - Start 2-4 serials on Kindle Vella.
✍️ Phoenix Rising (urban fantasy) Rewrite
✍️ Re-read, world build Love in the Time of Paleblood (High Fantasy)
✍️ Re-plot Alias (thriller)
So I have grouped the four above things together, because they all got delayed for the same reason. I had some movement on Phoenix Rising because a publisher who requested the first three chapters a long time ago said I could still send them, but I have edits I still need to do.
The reason these four things didn't get off the ground is because something more exciting happened. I became a ghostwriter, after enrolling in my friend's ghostwriting mentorship program. I got a client in June and wrote two contemporary romance books for her and made a couple thousand dollars ghostwriting. I took a hiatus for Oct-Dec from ghostwriting to work on my own writing again, but this is really huge. It's so much more than I could've ever expected to do this year as a writer. To actually get paid to write. And have two books that I've written published that people have read and enjoyed? It's more than I ever thought 2023 would bring.
I challenged myself to write these books quickly and I thrived. I wasn't sure I could do it, and I was scared when I started my first project for my client, but I did it.
I haven't decided if I'll write more for clients next year or work more on my own work, but it's certainly been a great year.
✍️ Attend 3 Cons - Woooo! I went to SAGA Genre Writer’s Conference in March and already have my tickets for next year. We went to Con Carolinas in June and Multiverse in October! These were all amazing. I also go invited to speak at a professional conference as well in June in my Instructional Design field. So that was pretty cool, too.
✍️ Blog 2-4 times a month - I've not missed an Insecure Writer's Support Group post and attempted to post a second time every month. I've been pretty successful with that, but I'd like to get more regular posts next year.
✍️ Complete building Rosie’s Reverie website - Whew... this hasn't moved at all. I have got to work on this ASAP in 2024 with publishing goals coming up.
✍️ Join TikTok for Book promo - I did it. I got on TikTok. I'm still figuring it out, but I try to post book-related and writing-related content regularly. Although, I often post about my cats.
All in all, I'd call this a super success in the writing sector. I think this was really my best area for my goals this year, and it was my best year writing EVER. It can only go up from here.
💰Pay off two to three debts - I'm not sure where we are on this because I took out some consolidation loans. But we are making progress.
💸Put $5000 in savings - Well, I forgot I only said put 5k in savings. ACHIEVED. If you count my ghostwriting money (that is being saved for self-pub funds) then we've got about $8000 in savings.
💸 Buy a house - The housing market is still too ridiculous. But we're looking...
👩💼Keep my new job all year - Woooo! I did keep my job all year. Officially one year is a regular employee, not a temp, and now 18 months in my role! I have been keeping an eye on other jobs in the field. My job bores me at times, and I get paid like 30k less than I could be making if I worked somewhere besides a university. I have some pros to my job, like them not being too strict about my day-to-day and I can sometimes devote more time to writing, but I could also dig myself out of a lot of my financial issues if I made more money.
I did take on a part-time contract job for about six months, and got in some more work.
👩💼Professional development - I didn't do as much of this as I would've liked, but I did attend quite a few webinars, complete some LinkedIn Learning, and as I mentioned above, I got invited to present at a conference in June. So that was super cool!
📚Read 4 L&D books - I bought a few. Read some sections. But nothing cover to cover. I need to do a bit better with this next year.
All in all, I feel pretty great about what I was able to accomplish this year. I think my thrive and challenge words were great choices and that I really put them into practice. Sometimes it felt like the universe was just dropping things in my lap. I can only hope that this momentum continues into 2024.
I'll post something that talks about my SMART goals for 2024 on January 1! I'm still working on them.
Tell me in the comments about your year and how it went for you!
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