As I've mentioned before, I set some high expectations of myself in 2019.
Better time management (so that I can get more accomplished)
Losing 15 pounds and becoming more fit.(so that I can keep up with an active family & stay healthy moving forward)
Write, edit, and publish 6 - 7 new novels/novellas in 2019 (because I'm crazy & it makes me happy)
Publish 2-6 audiobooks. (to tap into the quickly rising audio market)
Publish one new box set for an existing series. (because I can & because I haven't before)
Improve my knowledge in craft, marketing, and publishing. (because it's a necessity)
Diet, Fitness - Falling right in line with the New Year, New Me plan for 2019, I started a new diet and so far I haven't killed anyone. The first two weeks are always the most difficult for me. After that, I usually settle into a routine where I'm not so homicidal. This year I want to increase my movement, and overall activity. As I age (I know, it's such a yucky expression), mobility and movement is crucial to staying healthy and injury free. To address this issue of mobility, I will incorporate gentle stretching and a daily yoga routine (I'm still looking for the best app or video for this)
Fitness, Time Management - Part of my goals for the new year, centers around my health. As a full-time author, if I don't pay attention, my butt can be parked in front of the computer for a good chunk of the day. Not a very healthy situation.
I'm trying to be more consistent with a long daily walk where I take my dogs out. These walks sometimes lasts 1 - 1.5 hours. Because of my busy schedule, I need to be able to multitask. Technically, I'm not the multitask sort of person. I'm very ADD, and tend to focus primarily on one thing at a time. More like hyper-focus.
What I like to do when I'm walking is to listen to podcasts or audiobooks. Both of these help improve my writing, marketing, or advertising. The dogs get out, I get out, and I learn something new. I kill two goals with one stone or pair of sneakers.
Writing, Fitness - I typically schedule 3 to 4 hours a day, five days a week, to write. That's still a long time to sit in a chair in the same posture. My plan for increasing my movement is simple. I will write in one hour sprints and at the end of those sprints I will get up, have a snack, move around the house, maybe do a quick chore or pop out some air squats, push-ups,or sit ups. Whatever I need to do to make sure that I'm not sitting in the same position for more than 60 minutes at a time.
For bonus points, I have stares at my house. If I run up and down them three times, I'm winded. Short spurts of high-energy training has been proven to be very effective in increasing fitness and dropping weight. I'm going to put that to the test this year.
I've also mentioned in a past blog that I intend to step out of my comfort zone in 2019. The last time I did this, I pushed publish on my first story chapter on Wattpad. I thought I'd have a panic attack, but it opened the door to a whole new world of opportunities for me.
To start, I'm learning how to use dictation for my writing. It's a powerful tool, as I've heard from many, many authors in the Indie community. I've had Dragon dictation software for at least two years, and never used it. It may have been a fear of commitment, as I thought it would take forever before it was actually useful to me. I've been encouraged by the success of other authors and decided that this year was the year I would give it a try.
I've had huge success in the last 10 days with no more than the inexpensive headset that my husband bought me for listening to podcasts. I have ordered a better mic. Dictation also allows more freedom of movement. Not only does it allow me move around and work on other mindless tasks, I can actually do it while I drive, while I walk, and if I was feeling really crazy I could do it while I grocery shop. *Don't worry, I don't think I'll use that last one. There's enough people who already think I'm crazy.
In the first blog, I mentioned that I am putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak. I'm hiring a top-notch editor for my stories moving forward and I just purchased my first Mac Book Pro.(ouch!)
The reason I purchased the higher end model was future opportunities. Something you may not know about me, or maybe you do, is that I'm the artistic sort, (duh, you write books). I love photography, painting, sculpture,and sketching. Because of my artistic eye and a little bit of skill, I decided to also embark on learning Photoshop to try my hand at book cover design.
I have zero illusions about this process. I understand there is a large learning curve here. I looked at Photoshop years ago and was a bit overwhelmed. But when I have to pay upwards from $250, sometimes $350 for a quality book cover, it makes sense that I would move my career in this direction. If nothing else, I may save myself some money on my own book covers, (I'd rather it go toward my vacation fund), especially if I'm producing five or more books a year that all need e-book covers and hardback covers.
So, what are your plans for the new year? Have you made some new goals or recommitted to some old ones from 2018? I find listening to other people's goals inspirational, so I hope you'll share your dreams and goals with me.
Until next time, happy reading or writing.