Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘goals

“Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

LM Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

That is how I always feel on New Year’s Day. A new year with no mistakes yet! I am always so excited to make a list of goals, not all of them new, some are brought over from the year before as they didn’t get met. And that’s OK. Some have been on the list for a few years already. Things happen when they are supposed to.

Here is my list for 2023

  1. Read Mom’s five-year diary by reading one page a day. It will be great to learn more about Mom as a teenager.

2. Finish Amanda in Scotland: The Standing Stones, book number ten in the Amanda Travels series.

3. Publish my collection of short stories based on my childhood growing up on the Canadian prairies.

4. Learn how to self-publish

5. Return to Canada and attend a family reunion

6. Create a newsletter.

7. Clean up and sort out my office.

8. Clean up my computer and tablet

9. Read and write more poetry

10. Eat out more often. Since the pandemic, we have gotten out of the habit and I’m getting tired of cooking all the time.

11. Read 48 books. I’m going to try for this reading goal again.

12. Work on reducing my TBR pile on my bookshelves and on my Kindle

13. Maintain my health; reduce my sugar intake

14. Visit Ireland

15. Continue marketing my books and looking for new ways to market

That should keep me busy enough so I don’t get bored.

My words for 2023 are Savour the Moment

Wishing everyone a super 2023: May many of your dreams come true!

2022 is almost over and it’s time to take stock and see how I did with the goals I set at the beginning of the year. To be honest it was not a bad year, certainly better than the two before. I was fairly cautious about setting goals as so many plans had been dashed previously. We are still not comfortable about doing much travelling but are enjoying spending time with our two dogs instead.

I’m a habitual planner, so setting goals and making plans keeps me going.

Not meeting a goal is not a bad thing. It can just be added to the next year’s list. Or maybe it is no longer important and can be struck off permanently! Let’s see how I did with meeting my 2022 goals.

Goals for 2022

  1. Publish Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral

Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral was published by Central Avenue Publishers and released on September 13th. I am happy to report that this book is doing well and I’ve received many positive reviews.

2. Publish a collection of short stories

I am working on this and have polished the collection of stories but have not published it yet.

3. Learn how to self-publish

Haven’t done this yet.

4. Start writing a new book

I have started writing Amanda in Scotland: The Standing Stones (working title). I even returned to The Isle of Arran to do more research this year.

5. Market my books in person and online

I am pleased with my marketing efforts for 2022. Online marketing has gone very smoothly with great results. I’m eternally grateful to the blogging community who have been so very supportive. I also visited bookstores, libraries and schools in three Canadian provinces doing signings and presentations. I sold out of books in one store!

6. Return to Canada and spend time with family and friends in BC and Alberta

This was a highlight of the year. I saw so many family members and friends during my three-week visit to Canada in September, including both of my children and all of my grand and great-grandchildren.

7. Travel to at least one new place

I did this and the new place was Prince Edward Island, a Province on the east coast of Canada. A place I have wanted to visit since I read Anne of Green Gables when I was ten years old. I even had an opportunity to visit the house that inspired the author, Lucy Maude Montgomery, to write the novel.

8. Update my blog

I’ve done some work on this but still have more to do.

9. Buy a new computer

I did buy a new computer and just love it. The speed is incredible!

10. Take an online course

I’ve taken part in a few online courses, mostly via podcasts and Zoom meetings.

11. Read at least 48 books

According to my Goodreads challenge, I have read 46 books this year. But I also read 2 books that were not on Goodreads, and one of the books I read was War and Peace; that should count for 3 books at least! So I’m calling this a win.

12. Keep up to date with technology

This is something I really believe in and don’t want to fall behind. I have updated my new computer to Windows 11 and have had no problems with it at all. I tend to learn new things as needed.

13. Make new friends and stay in touch with old friends

“A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet” – Will Rogers. I have turned a few strangers into new friends this year but have spent most of my time keeping in touch with my long-time friends. I was happy to have met a couple of blogging friends in person which is always special.

14. Keep calm and stay positive, no matter what

I did a good job of this in 2022 and it certainly reflected in my health and attitude.

I’m happy with the results and am ready to face 2023 with a new set of goals, along with some carried over.

How did you do this past year? Any surprises?

Happy New Year one and all!!

It is four days into 2022 and so far so good. January is named after Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions in Roman mythology. So it is appropriate for me to look ahead and set some goals, maybe try something new. It is hard to plan right now but without goals, I find I am adrift. Goals help me stay grounded and not dwell on things I can’t do anything about. 

So here they are, my goals for 2022

  1. Publish Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral
  2. Publish a collection of short stories
  3. Learn how to self-publish
  4. Start writing a new book
  5. Market my books in person and online
  6. Return to Canada and spend time with family and friends in BC and Alberta
  7. Travel to at least one new place
  8. Update my blog
  9. Buy a new computer
  10. Take an on-line course
  11. Read at least 48 books
  12. Keep up to date with technology
  13. Make new friends and stay in touch with old friends
  14. Keep calm and stay positive, no matter what

I have decided on three words for 2022

Learn

Calm

Flexible

And I’ll leave you with a quote I’ve always believed in.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is resilience.jpeg

I wish everyone an interesting year and would love to read about your goals for the coming year.

2021 is over! Many of us will breathe a sigh of relief. For me, it was a year of ups and downs, joys and sorrows, additions and losses. In the end, it balanced out. As I always do, I’ll look at the goals I set at the beginning of 2021 and see how I did. I never met all my goals and to be honest I doubted I would meet many in 2021. I was pleasantly surprised. You can read my post from last year here.

2021 Goals with results

  1. Come up with innovative ideas to market Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady

I worked hard on this. I put more effort into using social media to promote the book as I was unable to do in-person presentations and signings. I created a blog launch for the first time with the help of many of my blogging friends. It was quite successful and fun.

2. Plan a trip to Canada to launch Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady

Once it was safe to do so, I travelled to Canada in September, four months after the launch. Due to COVID restrictions, I was not able to visit schools, libraries and bookstores as I usually do to promote my book. I did have one book signing at a Medicine Hat bookstore which was well attended. Other events I had set up ahead of time were cancelled. It was a tough year to plan anything.

3. Visit family and friends in Canada as soon as it is safe to do so

I feared this might not happen, but in September restrictions were lifted and I was able to return to Canada to see my family and friends. My daughter from BC flew to Alberta so we could all be together. It had been two very long years. Meeting this goal was the best!

4. Finish writing Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral

The book is completed and ready to be sent to the editor. We have scheduled the publication date for September 2022, all being well.

5. Read and review at least 40 good books

As the last post indicated, I exceeded my goal by reading 46 books. All very good books too!

6. Visit new places in Spain

Years ago I vowed I would visit at least one new place a year. With COVID, I thought it would be more realistic to plan to visit a new place within Spain. Well, that didn’t happen, but I went to beautiful Arran Island in Scotland for a writers retreat! Sometimes when you don’t meet a goal, a new one shows up.

7. Continue to help other writers

I did a lot of this and will continue to do more. I really feel it is time to give back and pass on what I have learned over the years. I am no expert and am still learning, but if I can help a new writer to move forward, it is a good day.

8. Organize computer files

I did some organizing but not as much as I should have. Only half marks here.

9. Attend conferences and workshops on-line

I didn’t attend any conferences online but did do some workshops online which were valuable. Half marks here too.

10. Do podcast and video interviews and presentations

I participated in some podcasts and video interviews which were a lot of fun to do.

11. Visit schools digitally and in-person if possible

I did online school visits in Ireland, England, New Mexico and New Jersey and loved it!

12. Find markets for my short stories

Didn’t do this.

13. Adopt a buddy for Dot

We adopted little Lia! (and I will never get to sleep in again). But she keeps us on our toes and we love her to bits.

14. Stay safe and stay positive

So far we have not been sick. We have had both vaccination shots and I get my booster on January 4th. I have managed to stay positive.

These were my words for 2021.

Strength

Love

Hope

Watch this space for new words and goals for 2022

“A good goal is like a strenuous exercise — it makes you stretch.”– Mary Kay Ash

I wish you all a wonderful 2022 full of surprises!

For many years I have set goals for the coming year. They help to keep me focused and be productive. This year I was reluctant to set any goals because it is hard to make plans when things are still so uncertain. But then I decided the best thing is to just carry on as usual. Goals are not written in stone. They can always be adjusted or carried over to the next year. So before I went to bed on January 1st, I wrote down some goals. I also believe goals need to be shared in order to be effective. Here they are!

Goals for 2021

  1. Come up with innovative ideas to market Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady
  2. Plan a trip to Canada to launch Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady
  3. Visit family and friends in Canada as soon as it is safe to do so
  4. Finish writing Amanda in Spain: Fire in the Cathedral
  5. Read and review at least 40 good books
  6. Visit new places in Spain
  7. Continue to help other writers
  8. Organize computer files
  9. Attend conferences and workshops on line
  10. Do podcast and video interviews and presentations
  11. Visit schools digitally and in-person if possible
  12. Find markets for my short stories
  13. Adopt a buddy for Dot
  14. Stay safe and stay positive

In recent years, I have been encouraged by other bloggers to pick three words for the year. I really like this idea and usually pick the first three words that come to mind.

These are my words for 2021.

Strength

Love

Hope

My wish for everyone for 2021 is to be strong, share the love and never give up hope! And drink good tea and read good books.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is happy to see this year over. Here´s what the crew of Starship Enterprise felt about 2020.

For someone who loves to set goals and make plans, this has been a tough year. So many plans were ruined and goals not met. But we are safe and healthy and as we speak, our family is OK as well. That is really all that matters at the end of the day.

So, as painful as it is, here is my report on the goals I set a year ago, never imagining a global pandemic!

2020 Goals

  1. Edit Amanda in Malta:The Sleeping Lady, and send it to the publisher

Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady has been edited, beta-read and with the publisher. It is scheduled for release in May 2021 and is available for preorder. I am so excited about this book as it takes place in a unique country, with tons of history, action and fun. Fans will be pleased to know that Caleb is back too.

2. Write Amanda in France

I am halfway through writing Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral. It is coming along slowly. Like many writers, I had trouble concentrating at the start of the lockdown. Amanda falls in love with Paris, Versailles and Giverny and gets to stay at a bookstore!

3. Decide if I should continue writing Amanda stories or venture into something else.

I haven’t made that decision yet. I’ll see how the next two books do.

4. Write more short stories

I did write new short stories and revisited and polished some old ones. Short stories were easier to focus on this year. My short story, Lockdown With Anne, was included in an anthology about the pandemic called, With Love, Comes Hope.

5. Write more travel articles

I didn’t write many travel articles. The fact that we couldn’t travel, didn’t inspire me to write travel articles.

6. Help others with their writing as many have helped me

This is something I did a lot of. I had the time, it could be done online and it made me feel useful. I did some editing as well which I enjoyed.

7. Work on my TBR list, read at least 40 books 

Another thing I had time to do and it took my mind off the situation. I read 40 books, many I had wanted to read for a long long time. They are listed on my Goodreads Reading Challenge page

8. Visit Venice

We had planned to celebrate our anniversary and my birthday in Venice. All booked but sadly, cancelled due to a global pandemic.

9. Attend a family reunion in Alberta

Cancelled as well. I was very dissapointed as I love to see my aunts, uncles and many wonderful cousins.

10. Travel to the UK and visit friends

Also booked, plans set to meet up with a number of friends, but cancelled.

11. Organize my office

I did some organizing but more needs to be done.

12. Organize my computer files

Again, not as much as I should have. It´s not like I didn´t have the time!

13. Learn more about writing and publishing a picture book.

Lost interest in this for some reason.

14. Publish an anthology of short stories

I´m working on this.

What I did do was a lot of cooking and baking, walking the dog and connecting with friends and family through social media.

My three words for 2020 were:

support – Support others in whatever way I can, as so many have supported me over the years.

connect – Connect with people, stay in touch, facilitate connections.

motion – Keep moving, physically and mentally.

Little did I know how important these three words would become.

By supporting others, I was able to take my mind off of my concerns. Since I have learned a few things over the years of writing and publishing my books, it has been great to be able to share that knowledge. I enjoyed interviewing and featuring other authors on my blog and helping promote their books.

I connected with so many people, some I haven´t been in touch with for quite a while. These connections kept me sane. Connecting through social media has been a godsend. I Zoom with my writers’ groups here in Spain and in Canada, and video message and Skype with family members and friends near and far. Connecting through blogging has been my social life and I so appreciate those connections. So a huge thank you to all my blogging buddies!

Walking the dog three to four times a day has kept me moving and kept the baking off my hips. Walking has been good for my mental well being as well.

Although many of my goals were not met, it has still been an OK year.

I stole this from a writer/blogging friend, Janet Givens. I love it.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

Stay safe and well so that eventually we can all travel and meet up again soon.

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I hope 2018 has started out well for everyone! As is my habit, I sat on my terrace in the sun, took out a pen and paper and scribbled down my goals for the coming year. I feel I need to share them with you. So here they are

Darlene’s Goals for 2018
1. Finish Amanda in Holland -Missing in Action
2. Publish an anthology of short stories about growing up on the Canadian prairies
3. Go on a driving holiday to Paris with Paul and Dot
4. Attend a Writer’s Conference in the UK
5. Have the house painted
6. Take some mini get-aways
7. Visit places I haven’t been before
8. Start Amanda in Malta
9. Find new markets for my books
10. Promote other authors
11. Help my daughter with her pottery business
12. Create more girlfriend time (I miss this from my life in Canada)
13. Hold more dinner parties
14. Be with mom on her 90th birthday

There you have it. Wish me luck!

My three words for this year are

Create

Happiness

Friendship

I will leave you with a thought by Anne Lamott from her book “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” 

“Oh my God, what if you wake up someday, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”

and from the amazing Neil Gaiman

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” 

Have a surprising 2018 and thanks for following my blog, inspiring me and being my friend!

 

goal-setting-photo

I am a very goal-oriented person and require goals to keep me on track. At the beginning of every year, I write down some goals as I believe writing them down cements them in my mind and helps me to meet them. As the year comes to a close, I like to look at the goals I set for myself and see how I did.

These are the 2017 goals I posted on my blog.

Prepare Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind for publication in the fall of 2017.

Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind was completed in January 2017 and after a number of edits and a few beta reads, it was published and launched October 1, 2017! This is book number six in the Amanda Travels series. I am so proud of this book. Thanks to everyone who assisted and supported me, bought this book and reviewed it. Launching a book is much like giving birth, hard work, painful but so worth it!

Return to Canada in October to promote the newest book

I returned to Canada in August and September for an awesome six-city book tour and wrote about it here. I moved the date up in order to accept an invitation to present a workshop for the Vancouver Public Library’s Writer’s Camp in mid-August. It was an incredible experience. The book tour was successful and I now have many more Amanda fans. I was also able to see many friends and family members while there. 

Write Amanda in Holland, book seven of the series

I started Amanda in Holland-Missing in Action and have written over fifty percent of it. I would have liked to have been further along by now though. 

Explore places in Spain we haven´t been to before.

I visited the amazing city of Cordoba with special out of town guests as well as other small towns and rural sites in Spain. Although I had visited Barcelona twice already, I explored parts I had not seen before. There is still so much to see and do in this fascinating country.

Return to England to visit family and friends

We travelled to York in January to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and visit some of Paul’s family. In October we travelled to Liverpool to meet friends. Both fascinating cities that reminded me of why I love England so much.

Go on at least one interesting trip outside of Spain

We spent a week in Malta and loved every minute. I wrote about that trip here.

Attend Pueblo Ingles or a similar program assisting Spanish-speaking individuals with their communication English

For some reason, this hasn’t worked out again this year but it is still on the list. 

Create a new up-to-date website

My clever brother created a swanky new website for me. I just love it and can’t thank him enough. www.darlenefoster.ca

Organize the files on my computer

I started this but need to work harder to get things organized better. 

Learn to use the new Samsung Tablet Santa delivered!

 I use my tablet daily and take it with me when I travel. It was such a great gift. It didn’t take long to figure most of it out.

Keep in touch with family and friends, including friends on social media.

I make a concerted effort to keep in touch with everyone. Social media has been a huge help with this. I even met some of my social media friends in person this year. I wrote about it here. 

Be kind, be strong and never stop being curious.

Yes, yes and yes.

In retrospect, 2017 was a very good year and I look forward to 2018.

I wish everyone who reads my blog a very Happy New Year!! 

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.” George Bernard Shaw.

 

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It´s day 3 of the New Year and time to post my goals for 2017. We never know what´s in store for us as a new year begins but by setting some goals, I believe I can make it a good year.

First I want to share this great list of New Years Resolutions for Writers I found on Lynn Thaler´s blogsite.

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Thanks, Lynn. These are perfect!! Check out Lynn´s blog as she writes some great posts, especially about her four dogs!

Over at  It´s Just Life, Beth Ann challenges her readers to chose 3 words to focus on this year. I decided my three words for 2017 will be: kindness, strength and curiosity. I feel they will help me achieve my goals.This month Beth Ann will donate five cents to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® for every comment made on her site. A cause after my own heart as our Dot was a rescue dog. Pop on over and make a comment or two. Her posts are fun and enlightening.

My goals for 2017!

  1. Prepare Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind for publication in the fall of 2017.
  2. Return to Canada in October to promote the newest book
  3. Write Amanda in Holland, book seven of the series
  4. Explore places in Spain we haven´t been to before.
  5. Return to England to visit family and friends
  6. Go on at least one interesting trip outside of Spain
  7. Attend Pueblo Ingles or a similar program assisting Spanish-speaking individuals with their communication English
  8. Create a new up-to-date website
  9. Organize the files on my computer
  10. Learn to use the new Samsung Tablet Santa delivered!
  11. Keep in touch with family and friends, including friends on social media.
  12. Be kind, be strong and never stop being curious

Wish me luck with these goals! I would love to read about yours.

As my son recently said, “Happy New Year. Another year to Chase Dreams and Achieve more Goals.”

2016 has started off well. We ate our twelve grapes at midnight for good luck, viewed fireworks from our terrace, and watched Bryan Adams bring in the New Year in London on television, while he played all my favourite songs. Then watched the amazing fireworks in London. It was a Spanish/English/Canadian New Year´s Eve for us.

DSCN3310 (2)

12 grapes each to be eaten at midnight for good luck. A Spanish tradition

To learn more about this tradition read about it on Glamour Granny Travels  http://www.glamourgrannytravels.com/2015/12/24/grapes-and-cava-a-spanish-new-years-eve-tradition/ 

On New Years day we went for lunch with my in-laws at a fabulous restaurant called La Herradura (The Horseshoe) where we enjoyed a delicious eight course meal and a Flamenco dance performance. A great start to the New Year.

La Herradura

La Herradura

Flamenco dancer

Flamenco dancer

With my mother-in-law

With my mother-in-law at La  Herradura

DSCN3353

New Year´s Lunch with the in-laws

Now it´s time for me to look forward and set goals for 2016.

1.  Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music successfully launched
2. Finish Amanda in New Mexico – The Ghost Hotel
3. Do more promoting of all the Amanda books and Pig on Trial
4. Connect with local schools and book stores
5. Continue to explore Spain, attend cultural events and write about them
6. Travel to Holland, France and England
7. Work hard at making new friends in Spain
8. Attend Pueblo Ingles with friends
9. Take time to read more
10. Practice Spanish
11. Keep learning more about writing
12. Enjoy my more relaxed life style
13. Look after my health by eating better and exercising more
14. Keep in touch with family and friends back home via social media and mail

15. Help other writers meet their goals
16. Be thankful for at least three things every day.

By writing these goals down and sharing them with you, my wonderful readers, I will be more committed to reach them.

Thank all of you for your encouragement and support over the years. I truly do appreciate it. May all your dreams come true in 2016!!

If you can dream it, you can do it! Walt Disney

I´ll leave you with two short videos of the flamenco show.

https://youtu.be/pSnI7MbZCf0

https://youtu.be/82DPk99wm4g

 


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