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My S.M.A.R.T. Goals for 2016

My S.M.A.R.T. Goals for 2016

New Year’s Resolutions! I still remember doing them for homework in the second grade, only to inevitably lose the piece of paper and forget what it was I meant to change. So this year, I’m writing down some S.M.A.R.T. goals.

If you haven’t heard of it before, S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. I admit I’ve been partially inspired by a fellow freelance hustler Raye Rice. Her goals are so shiny and beautiful, I wanted to make a few of my own.

My word for last year was joy. My word for this year is wonder. I want to broaden my mind by reading more, asking more, and pushing myself more. But I also want to work on being present. On learning how to marvel again, whether over big things or small.

That said, here are some of my main goals for 2016:


  • Illuminate. I’d like to complete two more rounds of Illuminate revisions. The due dates partially depend on when feedback comes in, but I’m hoping to have everything set to go by Fall 2016 at the very latest.
  • Popinjay. I want to finish the second complete draft of Popinjay by April 2016 (possibly with Camp NaNoWriMo?). Depending on my schedule, it would be nice to get through a chunk of deep revisions before the end of the year.
  • Letters. I am planning to do the initial rounds of revisions for my joint project by July 2016. At that point, I want to send it out to beta readers.
  • The next one? This year, I need to begin plotting and/or drafting whatever will be next in line on the publication list after Illuminate (whether that’s a sequel or another third person fantasy standalone).


  • Keep pitching. Though I have a full-time job at the lovely Christopher Newport University, I still want to keep my freelancing skills polished. To do that (and earn some spare change), I want to keep pitching 1-3 jobs a week.
  • Write elsewhere. I want to stay on top of my writing commitments to TravelVersed and other websites. I would also like to get published on the Huffington Post this year. I have a few concepts to pitch, but just haven’t gotten around to doing it yet!
  • This blog. In addition to tidying up the layout and overall orientation of this website, I’d also like to grow the mailing list. My goal is to gain 30 subscribers by April.


  • Read. I really fell off the reading horse in 2015, but I’m diving back in this year! I’d like to read 50 books at the minimum, but my secret goal is to hit 70.
  • Travel. In addition to some wedding-related trips south this year, and possibly a jaunt north, I’m hoping to get international. I need to save leave time and money, but then I just might be going back to Iceland and/or England next winter!
  • Health. Beyond the obvious goals like going gluten-free (thanks, Celiac), I also want to get my walking habits back into shape. (See what I did there?) If I walk 10,000 steps (almost) every day, I’ll have walked 1400 miles by the end of the year. I think that’d be pretty cool. But one year’s far away sounding, so let’s say 350 miles by the end of March.
  • Develop skills. I’m reading Do Over by Jon Acuff, and one thing the book has me pumped about is developing new skills. Though I’m still in the process of pinpointing the broader skills I want to work on, here are three I know I’d like to do in 2016: Intermediate Excel (I know, boring right?), ballroom dance (less boring!), and public speaking/reading (I’m a terrible mumbler).
  • Classes. CNU offers its employees one free class a semester, and I’m really hoping to take advantage of this in Fall 2016. (Free school is so exciting! Yes, I am a nerd.) But I’d also like to join at least one class through a free university source during the summer.

These are my goals for the year! What are yours?

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