At the end of 2016, I signed up for some of Michael Hyatt’s courses; I left those feeling inspired. I attended Joanna Penn’s productivity seminar… again; she left me feeling inspired. I was feeling ready to begin 2017 with new goals and most important, new insight on myself. “Let’s do this,” was my mantra.

So many people make goals for themselves as each new year begins, and so many of those people fail. I was one of those people for 2016. My failure was a mix of some procrastination, some self-doubt, and some ventures that went awry. I made myself “too busy” to accomplish many of the goals I had written for myself, even if only in my mind.

As 2017 rolled into play, I sat out to write my goals, this time making them more realistic. I made a vow to stop using my self-doubt as an excuse to continue to procrastinate while feeding my current business venture that is working. I re-read the downloads from the courses I took, re-watched the videos, and once again, I was feeling inspired to make 2017 my best year out of the last 47 that I have been attached to this orb we call Earth.

January 3, a wall shot up on the border between me and my goals. I lost one of the most important people in my life, my Pia. My goals for the year got tossed aside, making sure the right things were being done for her was the most important thing on my mind. Frustration sat in as the storms Colorado was having prevented me getting to her for days, to the point I turned angry… ripping apart a perfectly good room. Gutted it, walls and all is more like it.

goalsMost of January is still a blur I wrote 2K words on most days, not feeling the heart to write at all. Most of the time I sat looking at a blank page, wallowing in my sorrow and feeling of loss. I threw myself into work, and shut myself away from the world, including my family. I was alone with my dogs and a good book or three.

It wasn’t until two weeks ago that a large “pop” occurred as my head extracted from my self-pity. My youngest granddaughter, a lively, opinionated two-year-old, came over to visit me as she often does. This time was different. As she climbed into my lap and wrapped her little arms around me as she often does, she said “My Nonna.”

She sat there still in my lap, still is something this child is not good at. As she rested her head against my chest, it was then I realized, I am to this little girl what my Pia has always been to me. She needed me to be OK again. Sometimes the best inspiration you can have in life comes from places you never expect.

I re-read the material from my seminars and re-watched the videos, and as the grandest of my inspiration, that from my granddaughter, glinted with hope, sat down to re-write my goals for 2017 and to share them with you, dear readers.

Personal Goals for 2017

1. Read at least 20 books this year

2. Spend more time with my family and remind them they matter more than anything else.

3. Learn to budget my time more effectively between work and personal/family time. I don’t know why I never put my Google calendars into Mozilla Thunderbird before this month… Now I have my work schedule and personal schedule all rolled up into one neat little package, and they synch with each other!!!

4. Debt free except for my mortgage. I have been snowballing my debt for the last two years, and 2017 came in with only two bills left, not including my mortgage. Once these are gone, the mortgage will be snowballed massively!

Goals destressed
I want to learn to be this chilled when I am not working.

5. Get a handle on my stress levels! I have a lot of good things to stick around this planet for.

6. Volunteer more and support charities that mean something to me. Having causes to stand up for makes you want to get out of bed every morning. It can also decrease your stress and you can meet new people. Friends are great to have!

7. Learn something new every day. I have always told my children that when you can say you know it all; it is time to vacate the planet… never stop learning, learning is living, not to mention keeps your mind sharp as you face another year on the calendar.

8. Make procrastination a dirty word and use the 2-minute rule to kick start that goal. (2-minute rule = if it takes 2 minutes to do, just do it, stop putting it off… for instance… reading the first page of a book takes about 2 minutes, you might find yourself reading a couple chapters of that novel you keep looking at sitting next to your bedside table and actually finish it.)

9. Stop obsessing about things I can not fix or change, and put that effort into things I can fix, change or accomplish.

10. Increase my ability to speak Portuguese, not just understand it when I read it and have it spoken to me. I want to be able to form sentences in speech and writing that make sense and not include Italian or Spanish on accident…

11. Sign up for and attend more seminars of various types, including more from Michael Hyatt and Joanna Penn. Nothing is more empowering than attending an event from someone who already inspires you or a topic you are passionate about.

Writing Goals for 2017

1. Improve my writing. This goes back to my dear friend Nick Pollota’s words of “Write every day, even if it is crap.” This also includes not using the word THAT so much, especially when it isn’t needed.

2. Stop obsessing that Grammarly is telling me I have issues when I am writing my first draft. Worry about those second draft and final edit… not when I am trying to get my initial words down.

Jellybones3. Adapt “Jellybones” into a novel. I finished the outline for the novel! I am grateful for all the support the short story originally got, and the encouragement given to expand on the story.

4. Write a minimum of 2K words a day and have them mean something to me. AKA Writing time well spent, even if it is crap and no one else will ever see.

5. Give myself a deadline and stick to it! Remind myself I have to accomplish something by X and there is no putting it off over and over…

6. Publish 3 books, or at least have three written drafts that I feel proud of and ready to be edited and published either as free exclusives for Wattpad and my website or for sale.

7. Go through old manuscripts, edit, edit some more, decide which ones I am keeping to rewrite, and which I am going to put away and call it a day with.

Writing as a Business and blogging goals for 2017

1. Set up and increase my mailing list

2. Sign up for and learn how to use Instagram effectively.

3. Learn to use social media that I already have more effectively.

4. Create a freelance writing website and increase my marketing. I need to actually come up with a marketing plan to accomplish the last part of this goal!

5. Have a minimum of 100 new posts on Inarareynolds.com

6. Start a Friday Fiction series of writing

7. Make fun videos to go along with website content and publish on YouTube.

8. Make my first 100 usd with my books.

9. Use book funnel

10. Interact more with the current readers I already have.

11. Make meaningful and effective infographics

12. Make a month’s worth of posts ahead of time.

13. Get into the mindset that writing is not just a hobby anymore, it is a business!

Before I close out this post, I would like to thank those of you who have stuck by me and encouraged me to keep going. I would also like to thank those of you who held my hand the past couple of weeks. You all inspire me every day.

Your turn! Did you create any goals for yourself this year? What empowers you or gives you inspiration? Leave me a comment!


Inara Reynolds is a freelance writer, poet, author of short stories and creator of a few fantasy worlds. She has written character classes for various role playing games, as well as modules.

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