This week, to mark the end of one civi year and the beginning of another, I’ve been checking how well this past year went compared to the goals I set last year, and setting new ones for 2015: goals for the Shine Cycle, my fantasy series-in-preparation, on Monday; for Strategic Primer, my strategy game, on Wednesday; and now any other goals today.
Goals for 2014
First, let’s look at the goals I set for myself a year ago.
I had an implicit goal of posting a poem a week here on this blog. And that was going well for the first few months—by mid-June I had posted 20, missing only four Fridays—but from July on I didn’t post even one more poem. That’s a worrying trend I hope to reverse in the coming year.
My formally-stated goals had to do with my poetry collection:
Goal: To have all art and “editorial content” in place, at least in draft form, and the collection “all but ready” to publish, ready to go to critique partners.
Stretch Goal: Have the collection out before Advent.
As the collection is now (self-)published, the first is a success; the second is a half-success: I think I managed to get the Kindle version released before Advent, but I think I uploaded a changed version (trying to reduce the file size) thereafter, and I didn’t put the print version on sale until mid-December.
Goal: At least six “Best Books” reviews, or equivalent if two other book review posts count as one in this series.
Utter failure: I managed two.
Goal: At least six hymn posts.
That I did manage, by having one each month until I stopped posting much of anything at all: I now count seven this year.
Stretch Goal: A (reasonably) substantive post at least forty-five of the Saturdays in the year.
Nowhere near: I posted fewer than half as many as I’d hoped, topping out at 21.
Goal: Read the entire Bible through at least once.
I did finish this.
Stretch Goal: Get at least half-way through the first volume of the Institutes.
But while I did, at one point, find the notebook I was using to take notes, I didn’t actually open the book once.
Goal: Be more prompt in keeping up with correspondence.
As I said last year, my success rate on this has been decidedly mixed at best.
Goal: Finish my intensive critique of Peter’s Angel.
Just like last year, utter failure.
Lastly, a couple of implicit goals (which I “quote” here to show them as parallel to the above, not because I actually stated them):
Goal: Master the material of each class I take each semester
Even with the caveat that mastery would take a great deal of time to evaluate, I have to say I “almost” met this. I took two courses in Technical Writing, one in the spring and one this fall, and learned a great deal but found nothing beyond me even as I exceeded the (mostly length) requirements set for me. The Java course I took in the spring, on the other hand, did not go so well: it was almost entirely review, but the one section on the syllabus that was not (and for which I primarily took the course) was also only minimally covered in the textbook and proved more opaque to me after the course than before. I would have done better, I think, to read my old “Operating Systems and Networking” textbook and what online documentation I can find than to take that course.
Stretch Goal: Find paying and meaningful employment.
At the last minute—the last week of my fall class—I was offered an internship at a local company. A friend from the Technical Writing course and I are rewriting descriptions for the company’s library of approaching 2,000 videos for consistency of form and completeness. My first thought when I was introduced to the intimate ddetails on my first day was “Why didn’t they find a programmer to write a program to generate these instead?”; I learned later that something like that is in development, but they needed the revision more urgently than that could be produced, so thus, us. I am finding the full-time (except Christmas Day, the day after, New Year’s Day, and half of Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, so far) work somewhat exhausting, but satisfying to complete—and my orientation day was full of “Small world!” moments.
Goals for 2015
Now for next year. Not knowing under what constraints I will find myself, I will be as modest as I feel I must yet as bold as I dare.
This hardly deserves its own section, but I’m aiming for parallel structure to the above.
- Goal: Post at least one new poem per month, and at least thirteen in the year, on this blog.
- Goal: Give copies of my collection to each person I had in mind in its dedication.
I have also sometimes considered creating a second collection, since even now that its growth has slowed the archive of poetry I’ve posted here is more than twice the size of everything I have published in print. But not this year, certainly.
- Goal: Post at least three “Best Books” reviews, or equivalent if two other book review posts count as one in this series.
- Goal: Write at least three hymn posts.
- Stretch Goal: Post at least one (reasonably) substantive post having to do with neither the Shine Cycle nor Strategic Primer at least twenty-six weeks of the year.
That last specifies “at least one” and “weeks” rather than just “Saturdays” because of the post-hiatus schedule changes I announced a month ago.
- Goal: Read the entire Bible through at least once.
- Intermediate Goal: Be on track for that each quarter.
- Stretch Goal: Get at least a quarter of the way through the first volume of the Institutes.
- Goal: Be more prompt in keeping up with correspondence.
- Goal: Finish my intensive critique of Peter’s Angel.
- Stretch Goal: Get caught up to no more than a year behind on “data backlog.”
- Goal: Master the material of each class I take each semester.
- Stretch Goal: Find paying and meaningful employment (after the internship ends).
Now, to try to live them.