Quarterly goals: how did I do?

Laura and ALast December I wrote a post with my quarterly goals for 2015. While New Year’s resolutions are grand, I thought that quarterly goals might provide a better sense of pacing through the year. I’d know when to focus on what.

Since December is whirling by, I thought I’d look back on how I did. What did I do, what did I not do that I wanted to, and what did I not do that I didn’t want to do? Yes, you can consciously uncouple from a goal. It’s OK.

2015 Q1: Personal: welcome baby! Work: Sell enough copies of the novel to earn back the investment in editors and production. Also, get I Know How She Does It (or whatever the title winds up being) into the advance copies stage.

The baby did indeed arrive on January 15. He was welcomed! The novel has sold a reasonable amount of copies. It didn’t earn back the investment in Q1, but I’ll give it a longer time horizon. (Have you purchased your copy of The Cortlandt Boys yet? I promise it’s a good read!) I Know How She Does It did get into the advance stages, as it came out June 9.

2015 Q2: Personal: take a vacation over spring break. Yes, even though we’ll have an 11-week-old baby. Sign up for voice lessons. Work: launch I Know How She Does It.

book_i_know_how_she_does_itThe only thing of this that happened was that I launched I Know How She Does It. Three members of my family took a skiing vacation over spring break, but I was not one of them. The 11-week old baby thing kind of took the wind out of my sails. I think I could have anticipated that. Also, I did not sign up for voice lessons. I didn’t want to add something else to my life. However, I did move up the half marathon goal from Q3/Q4 to Q2, and ran one in mid-June.
2015 Q3: Personal: train for a fall half-marathon. Take a summer family vacation. Work: Come up with an idea for my next non-fiction book, and turn in the proposal.

See above on the half-marathon. We did take two summer family vacations, to the Jersey shore and also to the Indiana Dunes (and then a late bonus summer vacation to Disney World). I have yet to come up with an idea for my next book, let alone write a proposal. This is starting to bug me, as I’d really like a new project. I’m happiest when I’m working on a big project and I feel kind of adrift without one.

2015 Q4: Personal: run a half marathon, and figure out a chorus to join in 2016. Work: finish the draft of my next novel (I may do a modified version of NaNoWriMo again to do this).

photo-422I ran two half marathons during Q4 -- go me! I have not figured out a chorus to join. It’s the same issue as the voice lessons. I love music, and I will welcome it back into my life eventually. Right now, I’m enjoying singing heartily in church. I did do NaNoWriMo, though, and finished a 50,000 word draft of a novel called Juliet’s School for the Domestic Arts. It's a really, really crappy novel, but I’ll put revising that on the list of quarterly goals for 2016.

How did you do on your goals for 2015?

Photo: Various quarterly goals -- baby, book, half-marathon.

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12 Responses to Quarterly goals: how did I do?


  1. Blue Goose says:

    Quarterly goals sound like a fabulous idea! I’m in a weird open-ended stage at the moment and can’t tell you where I’ll be living next year, much less my goals but I think taking time to reflect each quarter would be helpful.

    I tend to set monthly challenges – this month is to touch my toes (so inflexible).

    Q1 goals include:
    Work: An article submitted for publication
    Work: An outline of a grant proposal
    Personal: Complete a beginner aerial yoga class
    Personal: Sort summer holiday booking for husband and I – combining a conference with a week in the hills of northern Italy

    • @Blue Goose – I just read an article somewhere (a women’s magazine…) on becoming more flexible! The key was doing stretches while applying pressure on the muscle in a certain place. You could have a pro do that, or use lacrosse balls. The author was able to touch her toes after about 2 sessions. And she’d been a foot off before! I wish I remember where I read that. It was seriously the most helpful service article I’d read in a while.

      • Blue Goose says:

        Wow, I’ll have to use my google-fu and find that. I’ve been meaning to ask my yoga teacher for some assistance as well.

  2. Lily says:

    Oh boy…I found a list of 2015 goals in my evernote account the other day that I’d forgotten even writing! Given they were ridiculously over-ambitious and I haven’t looked at the list since it was written it’s no surprise I only achieved one….losing 10 pounds (hooray for the ‘not as many carbs…more vegetables’ diet) I did achieve a lot in 2015 but not what I’d planned! I feel like I’ve now truly understood the lesson of setting fewer, smaller goals and having a clear plan for achieving them. And posting them somewhere visible. Watch out 2016!

    • @Lily – losing 10 lbs is nothing to sneeze at. I think a lot of people would accept that as a win for 2015!

  3. Alison says:

    Juliet’s School for the Domestic Arts sounds intriguing! I haven’t been setting quarterly goals, but I think I really should start. Thanks for the post.

    • @Alison – thanks for reading! Here’s hoping I can turn the novel into something readable.

  4. ARC says:

    I made a set of goals last June that I refer to periodically, but I keep forgetting this fantastic idea of making them quarterly – I think that makes them WAY more urgent 🙂 Thanks for the reminder. And super cute photo of you and the little dude!!

    • @ARC – I really like the idea too. It does make them seem more urgent and achievable. And you know what to focus on at any given time.

  5. Marie says:

    Quarterly goals sounds like a great idea. Sometimes I look back at NY resolutions and find they have no relevance to my current life.

    You didn’t ask, but I wonder if you would be interested in writing a time-management book a la IKHSDI for the middle-income set. Desperately needed by at least one of us who can’t afford a lot of outsourcing.

  6. Gladys says:

    Hi Laura,
    I want to thank you for this great idea! I started doing it when I read your post about setting ’90-day goal’ because it really works! Right now, I’m rewriting my manuscript for the second time and by January I’ll be looking for a professional book editor and hopefully by March,my first book will be published!

  7. Linda M says:

    I always love yours posts on quarterly goals. I remember that one from last year.(seems like it was last month!) You are so ambitious. I should be better at this. Last year I set first quarter goals and then forgot about it the rest of the year. I’ll look forward to reading your list for 2016.

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