Looking ahead …

I have looked back on 2006 and talked about SMART goals. Now it’s time for me to look ahead and set some SMART goals for 2007.

First, I plan to improve two areas that were disappointing this year.

As I said in Rebooting and the Fourth Commandment, I plan to keep the Sabbath and not work on Sunday. Although reducing the amount of time I work may seem an unusual goal, as most of the time we make goals to do more, for me it’s important. The main purpose of my life is to honor, worship, and serve God, and disobeying one of His commandments goes against that purpose. And from a practical perspective, a day of mental and spiritual refreshment each week will make me more productive during the days I am working.

The work project that was pushed down lower on the priority list this year than I would like is Your Information Center. I originally came into this business as an employee, then a business partner, then about a year and a half ago, I took over as managing partner as well as publisher and editor-in-chief. Although I have had outstanding help from some very talented and dedicated writers and editors, I have the primary responsibility for marketing and management, including the Web site. We publish easy-to-read-and-understand, concise e-booklets on a variety of topics. Each e-booklet gives the basic information you need plus excellent resources on the Internet and in the library if you want to dig deeper. Our mission is to provide what you want to know, when you want to know it.

My goal is to create Web pages and upload about a dozen more products by the end of March. Then I intend to develop and implement a marketing plan by the end of June. I’d like to accomplish this sooner, but to make this goal attainable (one of the key elements of a SMART goal), I have to realize that the majority of my time must be devoted to my freelance projects. Your Information Center is not yet profitable, and I can’t afford to reduce my freelance income. Also, I have ongoing commitments and really enjoy working with my clients.

Several of my business clients have work for me on a regular basis, and they have come to expect a fast turn-around time. My mission is to make my clients’ lives easier and their projects successful, and availability and speed are important.

I am also working with several authors on book projects:

* Editing a self-help book based on Christian/Biblical principles.

* Editing a book written by a psychiatrist for depression patients to use as an educational and self-help adjunct to medical treatment. 

* Compiling a book that is a combination of memoir, family history, and motivation, including poetry.

* Editing an inspirational book based the author’s personal Christian journey.

* Editing Adam’s Daughters: Book 2 in the Westward Sagas.

Two prospective clients have scheduled appointments with me in the next couple of weeks to discuss books, so I may have more book projects starting soon.

In addition to working with my regular business clients and editing books for authors, I am scheduled to edit a doctoral dissertation in a few months, and I am working on content for three Web sites. With several other projects pending, I expect to stay as busy as I have been, though when I work on a project is dictated by the client’s timing, not my own. In fact, I often find myself gently (I hope!) nagging clients to meet deadlines.

And this is the year I expect Dream or Destiny, a romantic suspense novel I wrote several years ago, to be published.

Volunteering is important to me, and I will continue the work I do for my church on its Web site, bulletins, and newsletter. Also, I will serve on the committee for the EPIC New Voices writing competition for middle school and high school students. I’m committee chair this year and will do the job again if asked.

And I won’t forget family. I’m a night owl who doesn’t do mornings, so I work in the afternoons, evenings, and into the night. But I’ll take two breaks each night (in addition to a dinner break) to spend time with my husband. Writers in an e-mail group I belong to recently had a discussion about the holidays taking time away from writing. Several people complained that they had to give up precious writing time for family get-togethers and holiday preparations. Then one woman put things into perspective – she said she would love to be giving up writing time to spend with her husband and her brother this Christmas. Both have died, and she has plenty of time to write but she’d rather be with her loved ones. I will remind myself of this when I think I have so much to do that I can’t possibly take time away from work. I will spend time with my husband daily and talk to my sister and my brother at least once a week.

Well, that’s far more than you want to know about my goals for 2007. But I hope I’ve helped you think about your own goals and priorities in the coming year … and in your life.

And I hope you’ll give me a gentle nudge if you see me getting off-track!

Happy New Year! May 2007 be a year of joy and blessings for you and your loved ones.

[tags]writing, goals, resolutions, Lillie Ammann, Adam’s Daughters, Westward Sagas, As Shadows Fall, EPIC, New Voices, All Saints Anglican Church, Your Information Center[/tags]

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