Time surely flies when you’re busy writing and editing and taking care of the family. Wasn’t it just January? Ha. Actually, with the calendar about the turn again, it’s time for a first quarter goal check to see how close I came to hitting the target.

But before I could start evaluating my progress, I needed to remember what those goals even were! So I jumped back to my “It’s a New Year with New Books and a New Direction” blog post and discovered that my goals fell into three main categories.

First, my word for the year: Relationship. With an emphasis on intentionally investing in relationships and being fully present in the moment. And so far, I’m on target. My daily quiet times in the early morning took away a few minutes from my “Turtle Power” writing hour…but paid off in amazing insights, encouragement, and prayer points. 

However, in the face-to-face interactions, I’ve honestly been slipping a little into the check-my-phone-often-instead-of-listening mode, but simply by remembering my desire to be fully present, it’ll be easier to intentionally put it down.

Second, I was going to use my comprehensive planner to track a variety of daily habits in addition to dividing out my big goals into weekly and daily tasks. Once organized, if I could “win the day” repeatedly, then I was easily on my way toward accomplishing the bigger things. 

Like the previous goal, I started strong and then began to slip. Why is it that skipping one day so easily becomes skipping three? I think I need to set up some sort of weekly reward system as an incentive to come back to the planner’s accountability to check those boxes.

Third, my main tangible goal for the first 90 days of 2019 was to release book one of the new series and fast draft the next two. Book one released in January and book two actually released last week…so obviously I finished two out of three goals. But book three is still in my brain and on a pile of notecards.

Yes, I came up short and I’ll have to make up the word count later this year. However, my husband interviewed for a new job in January, which led to a very complicated and busy month of February with all the transition paperwork including getting him enrolled in a master’s degree program. Relationship and family trumped words for a season. The first words after the unexpected break were naturally on book two with book three still to come.

To sum up the first quarter, I did fairly well on relationships and exercise habits, dove into marketing and advertising, and released two new books. Plus survived the job transition and new school enrollment and the replace-our-elk-damaged-van flurry of paperwork and appointments. Whew.

Now, I’m turning my attention to the next 90 days. What do April, May, and June hold in store?

My first goal is to keep my list of daily habits going strong with the use of my planner’s checklist and setting up weekly goals to maintain that momentum. And to put the phone down intentionally and continue scheduling date nights for that personal investment in my marriage. In other words, don’t let the first quarter gains slip away.

Second, the second quarter is usually full of family and school activities and this year is no different. College boy graduates in May. The high school son and our princess are both running track (regular and Special Olympics respectively) so Saturdays will be spent driving, watching, and cheering. My husband starts his classes April 1st so I’ll likely need to fill in more gaps at home in addition to offering my support and editing his papers. I’m scheduled to teach at another trip to the castle…and I have another book scheduled to release May 1st. Plus, with my editing job, there are a few manuscripts due that will require large blocks of dedicated time.

All of that isn’t actually a goal–other than to focus on relationships in the middle of the chaos–but rather a realistic reminder not to put too much else on my plate.

So, during the second quarter, I plan to get advertising in place for all of my books, prepare for the next book launch, and then clean out/organize my entire office including catching up on the family photo album and putting a different plan in place going forward. (In order words, no more fancy family scrapbook for events after a certain year, but rather only a sports book for the youngest son and a few individual pictures for the Princess’s album.) All of which almost feels like Spring Cleaning and catch-up. Ha.

However, I know that by the time I’ve gotten myself all cleaned up and organized both mentally and physically, I’ll be more than ready to dive into the next story. So I’m also hoping to have most of book three in the castle series written by the end of June.

Why share all this? Because you’re my accountability! By putting it out there, I’m now required to check back in three months and if I don’t want to hang my head in shame, I’ve got to be deliberate with my time.

What about you? What goals did you set at the first of the year? What steps did you take toward those dreams? What are you hoping to accomplish over the next 90 days?

It’s Time For a First Quarter Goal Check
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