Over at Fast Company this week, I’m writing about how to budget next year’s 2000 working hours, and why 90-day goals beat annual ones. Both have figured into some goal setting and reflection I’ve been doing the past few days. The hours (probably just a bit north of 2000) that I spent working in 2014 produced a few things:
- A draft of the book formerly known as Mosaic, then Their Own Sweet Time, and now likely “I Know How She Does It.” At the start of 2014 I had about a quarter of the time logs I needed and had nothing written. So that’s progress. The book was recently named to the Washington Post’s list of most anticipated leadership books of 2015.
- The published version of The Cortlandt Boys, my novel. I had most of the draft in January, but I still did several rounds of revisions.
- Roughly 150 posts for Fast Company on time management, productivity, and leadership. These garnered millions of page views.
- A similar quantity of posts here with my musings on life. These did not garner millions of page views, but the numbers are solid enough that I’m happy.
- Assorted articles. A highlight for me was having essays in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times within a month of each other. Newspapers may not be the wave of the future, but I still enjoy writing for them!
In the non-working chunk of the 8760 hours that comprised 2014, I had a few other highlights:
- Gestating a baby to 37 weeks. I had more elaborate fitness goals, but this highlight kind of put those on hold. Oh well.
- Taking an on-the-bucket-list trip to the Netherlands during tulip time in April, and seeing the little village where my family immigrated from.
- Enjoying little moments with my kids. There are too many to mention, but I’ve enjoyed walks with the 7-year-old, baking cookies with the 3-year-old, chaperoning the 5-year-old’s field trip. Such moments are easy to miss in the busy-ness of day to day life, and I don’t want to miss them.
I decided to set quarterly goals for 2015 as a way to keep myself focused. When you set them for the year, it’s easy to procrastinate. That may be why the novel came out in late December! I think quarterly goals will allow me to spread my focus over the whole year.
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.
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.
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.
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).
What’s on your list for 2015?