As the end of 2011 draws near, I’ve been reflecting back over my list of goals for the past year and evaluating how I did … before I look ahead to 2012 and come up with a new list of goals.

Did I check everything off my list? Did I set the bar too high and fail? Did unforeseen circumstances interfere with my plans? Or did God shift my course mid-year?

My goals for 2011 (originally posted here) were to:

  1. Grow in my faith, relationships, health, and writing craft.
  2. Steward my time better between day job, Mom duties, and writing.
  3. Use wisdom in the family finances.
  4. Revise and polish 2 novels. Query agents. Tweak my website. Brainstorm and organize future ideas. Start a new book.

Hmm. I think I did pretty well, at least by the end of the year.

Goal #1 of growth: Women’s Bible studies at church helped. I focused on building communication with the teenagers. I listened to a lot of mp3s of conference workshops while on the treadmill and went to a writer’s conference in May. A few health issues this fall resulted in surgery a month ago, but I’m on my way to a full recovery.

Goal #2 of time: About the same time my health crashed this fall, I realized I’d been pushing way too hard to get my writing goals squeezed in. Too many late nights at the computer and everything else was falling apart. I’ve since got my priorities back in order and it’s made a huge difference!

Goal #3 of money management: We surely needed wisdom when buying a new-to-us car and having a car payment for the first time in our 16 years of marriage. Trying to trim corners in the budget, we switched the kids and I to my work’s health insurance coverage and saved $750 a month … just in time for a separated shoulder, a broken arm, a concussion, and my surgery to tap into that savings. Imagine if we hadn’t switched!

Goal #4 of writing: I only revised one of the novels, but checked the rest off the list. In addition, I self-published Making Lemonade: Parents Transforming Special Needs in print and e-book formats, published two e-book devotionals, and scheduled a few speaking engagements for 2012. That writer’s conference in May shifted my focus as a writer!

Looking ahead to 2012, my goals fall into 4 categories:

  1. Fill up. Through daily time in the Bible, worship, prayer, and other reading, I want to fill up the internal tank.
  2. Rest up. I’m focusing on my health this year and rebuilding my strength, energy, and immune system. And hopefully kicking anemia and chronic fatigue to the curb!
  3. Catch up. With the misplaced priorities of 2011, clutter and unfinished projects fill the corners of my house. Time to catch up on all the things I left undone hoping to find time later.
  4. Pour out. I want to reach out and encourage others on this journey called life through this blog, devotional writings, articles, speaking appearances, and possible future non-fiction titles. (I’ve put my fiction projects on hold for the time being.) This category also includes my personal relationships with friends and family.

What about you? What did you accomplish in 2011? What are your goals for 2012? What are you doing to make sure you’ll reach them?

Looking Back and Looking Forward
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