2020 Goals

From my wedding day! Still dreaming of this.

Hi everyone! It’s been a bit since I’ve had a chance to catch up here; between getting married, embarking on my honeymoon to Jamaica (my kingdom to have a Jamaican Smile blended drink again), and racing back into work just before the holidays, it’s been a whirlwind few weeks. Good weeks! But busy.

It’s around now that I usually start thinking of my new year goals – I tend to shy away from the word ‘resolutions,’ because to me, it means I want to fix something I didn’t do as well as I could have in the previous year. Seems more negative. Each year, I make a bunch of goals for myself and write them down; it’s always easier to look back on the year when there’s actually something, you know, to look back on.

I started by reviewing the goals I made for myself for 2019: I wanted to finish my current manuscript, apply to Pitch Wars (the goal was to APPLY, not to get in, because I couldn’t control that part at all), and consider querying if the book was complete. I wanted to visit two new places, since I love traveling. I wanted to pay off another student loan. I wanted to keep growing my bookstagram. I wanted to make a more concerted effort toward exercising regularly and eating better. The list goes on!

I dominated some goals, which I’m damn proud of. I indeed finished my manuscript and applied to Pitch Wars, and technically, I began the query process with one agent. I visited two new countries, and with the help of my husband (a word I’m still not over saying!), I was able to finally get rid of all my student loans. My bookstagram is at nearly 1000 followers now where it was at 100 in January, and I’m close to finishing my reading goal. The exercise and healthier living portion of my goals ebbed and flowed throughout the year based on what was going on, travel schedules, wedding stress, etc., but I physically became stronger than I ever have. I’d race over to my husband and point to a new muscle I’d never seen before!

Now, looking at 2020, my top goal is to dive into the query trenches around March. My secondary goal is to write a brand-new manuscript that is invading my mind, and my crazy dream is to start querying that one a year from now. I’ve never written quite that fast, and honestly, I don’t know if I can do it. But I’m going to need something to keep me occupied once querying really ramps up (and I keep myself from slowly dying inside), and I feel confident I would have started fully querying my current manuscript this year if I didn’t also have a wedding to plan. So…the goal is lofty, but not impossible.

Another loftier goal of mine is to run a 5k. I have never done any type of run, and I have always considered myself an awful runner. It’s been a thing I’ve hand-waved away, but this year, I told myself to stop underestimating myself. To stop saying “I can’t do that,” just because I haven’t done it before or have tried and failed in the past. I’ve always wanted to do a 5k, but I’d tell myself, “I can’t do that. I suck at running.” So now I’m telling that voice to shut the hell up, because your girl isn’t putting herself or her potential down.

I have many more goals – another reading challenge, a few new places to visit, and more charity work, to name a few – and I’m excited to start 2020 with new adventures. I’m entering the year with a mindset that I can do anything, and keeping that doubtful voice locked away.

At the same time, I’m being kind to myself if I don’t 100% meet every single goal. They’re goals, not things to stress me out or worry about. And I’ve made goals in the past that I cared deeply about in January, but simply didn’t care about by mid-year. It happens; sometimes life changes. I didn’t force myself to do those goals just because I cared before or wanted to put some invisible check mark next to it.

I hope everyone has a bright holiday season as we enter the final weeks of December, and I would love to hear some of your goals for the new year!

Hot cocoa and good books,
Valerie

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