Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How NOT to Accomplish Goals (in 5 Easy Steps)

Have you completely given up on your goals for 2016?

Several of my wonderful blogging buddies do a monthly check in about their goals for the month/year. I don't. I live off the "list." There's a master list of things I'd like to accomplish each day, and as I accomplish them, they get scratched off the list. Looking beyond that tends to overwhelm me...because you know, I'm home schooling 4 kids.

So enough about healthy habits. Let's talk about some not so healthy habits. (Because they're funner.)

At the beginning of the year, my 2016 writing goals included:

1. Finish TIMELESS (book 3 in the Maiden of Time trilogy). DONE!!!! First trilogy completed. You better bet I'm celebrating. 
2. Publish an anthology of my short stories. .....
3. Record the audiobook for MOONLESS. (Maybe after TIMELESS releases?)
4. Finish PROJECT ALASKA and start querying. 32K words, and holding...until (you guessed it) after TIMELESS releases.
5. Read 60 novels. Yeah, I knew it would be a small reading year. I'm at 34, unless you count the ones I'm critiquing and beta reading, but I don't count those--only the ones I review.

SO How Not to Accomplish Goals (in 5 Easy Steps):

#5: Get Netflix. (You'll probably spend an entire hour just trying to decide what to watch.)

(Credit: Shutterstock/Dave Clark Digital Photo)
#4: Develop a social media dependence.

Source

#3: Have kids. And home school them. Every day. All day.

Source
#2: My favorite, stay up all night every night reading EPIC books.


#1: Forget the goals because...OOHH!! Chocolate. (Or cheese.)

Source
Whether you're a list, calendar, or check in kind of goal keeper, I hope your goals are going swimmingly this year.


Time to give some away some book love, eh?

Last week Misha Gerrick shared two truths and one lie. The winners were entered to win an eBook: ENDLESS.

The game:


1. I'm currently wearing my hair the shortest I've ever worn it. 
2. Mashed potatoes is my ultimate comfort food.
3. I've recently resumed my classical vocal lessons.

The lie: #2. Misha hates mashed potatoes. If she wants comfort, she'd chow down on chocolate. She is actually back in voice lessons as a soprano.

Way to guess everyone! And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...


Congrats, Cherie!

And now for today's giveaway

In You. I. Us, Annalisa Crawford captures everyday people during poignant defining moments in their lives: An artist puts his heart into his latest sketch, an elderly couple endures scrutiny by a fellow diner, an ex-student attempts to make amends with a girl she bullied at school, a teenager holds vigil at his friend’s hospital bedside, long distance lovers promise complete devotion, a broken-hearted widow stares into the sea from the edge of a cliff where her husband died, a grieving son contacts the only person he can rely on in a moment of crisis, a group of middle-aged friends inspire each other to live remarkable lives. Day after day, we make the same choices. But after reading You. I. Us., you’ll ask yourself, “What if we didn’t?”

Get Your Copy HERE.

Ready to meet the author?

Annalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, a dog and a cat. Annalisa writes dark contemporary, character-driven stories. She has been winning competitions and publishing short stories in small press journals for many years, and is the author of Cat & The Dreamer and Our Beautiful Child.

You might run across Annalisa munching on cheddar with her feet paddling in the sea.

Annalisa gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. Those who figure out the lie will go into my magic hat for the chance to win an PRINT copy of You. I. Us. (Open internationally.)

You have until Tuesday, August 2 at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answers on August 3, 8 a.m. EDT.
TRUTH OR LIE

1. I sink when I try to swim, but float away when I'm upright.
2. Due to repeats in the UK, I have watched the complete series of Star Trek: TNG, Castle, Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother multiple times.
3. It took me 6 attempts to pass my driving test.
So sleuths, which is the lie? What are your goals for 2016? How are you doing with them? What's your favorite distraction? Have you met Annalisa?

167 comments:

  1. I can't imagine homeschooling four kids.
    I can imagine binge watching NetFlix, as I just finished up the season for Stranger Things last night.
    And I'm going to guess the first one is the lie. (Because who doesn't want to watch Star Trek multiple times?)

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    1. We watched Stranger Things too! It was pretty epic.

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  2. I love the idea of "living off the list."

    And if that pic of the baby with her head in the chocolate bowl was any cuter.... :)

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    1. I know, right? I want a chocolate bowl too!

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  3. I don't tend to set goals other than very lose ones that I know I can exceed (run at least 1000 miles... Normally I am over that by a few hundred so I know it's something I can do. Or read at least 80 books.... This is a minimum that I tend to always meet even if it's a really busy year. This year so far I think I'm at 120 books).

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    1. That's epic! I've had years where I read more. I think if I wasn't also writing and editing, I could probably double my book consumption. Or if I had a couple less kids...

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  4. I totally live off the list.

    Congrats on finishing TIMELESS!

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    Replies
    1. There's no better way to go, eh?

      Thanks!

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  5. As someone who's now "retired" from homeschooling four kids (the youngest is now in college), I promise you it gets easier as the kids become more self-motivated. I remember the first time my oldest said, "Is it okay if I teach myself because it's faster if I do it myself?" And the younger ones picked it up from the older ones. (I bet your oldest is doing that too.) Score! :)

    I love the cover of Annalisa's book! Stunning and evocative!!

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    1. Yes! I love it when they finally make the leap to independent learning. 2 out of 4 are there.

      I love her cover too.

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  6. Congrat on finishing your book! This has been a slow reading year for me, too. 34 is impressive!

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    1. Lol. I'm feeling like 34 is super slow. If I wasn't critiquing so much, it would be twice that many. Instead, titles are piling up on my Kindle.

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  7. That's a great list. Real life can really be a time suck for writing. lol

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  8. congrats on finishing your book. Chocolate or cheese - yum. Netflix - oh yes, that's my downfall. But I do read quite a bit too. Home schooling would never be a choice - arrgghhh. And congrats to Annalisa on her book - surely she knows how to drive...

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    1. Home schooling was a product of moving to NYC for us, and once we saw the benefits, it was hard to consider anything else.

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  9. Good job on finishing the book. For a second or two, I thought your finished list was going to be so awesome that I might as well go back to bed, pull the pillow over my head, and hide from my lack of progress. Sounds like you're making great progress on your goals.

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    1. Lol! Whatever. My clone's accomplished list on the other hand...

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  10. Hey Crystal, thanks for having me, I'm chomping on cheddar right now :-)

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  11. I keep my list in my head, that way when I forget something I don't fret over it! LOL

    Homeschooling four kiddos! Wowzers.

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    1. Lol! I used to keep it in my head, and I was epic at it. Not so much anymore.

      Delete
  12. I'll just bet homeschooling 4 kids puts a bit of a wrench on those writing hours. I'm AMAZED by how much you accomplish. Congratulations on finishing your trilogy!!

    The lie...let's see... I think she's being tricksy and the lie is #2 because one of those shows isn't shown in the UK.

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    1. *blushes* Thanks! It's been a long time coming.

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  13. Love my list! Even when right now it is more overwhelming than anything else :)

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  14. Well, you should definitely count the books you beta read--I do. I also count the ones I read for NetGalley and Vine that I DON'T review (because I can't say anything nice about them). In fact, I've never considered NOT counting them.

    Love the high five. I'm going to steal it from you!

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    1. I'm glad you're one of those nice reviewers who actually stays quiet if something doesn't resonate with you. I am continually surprised by different people's responses to the same book.

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  15. It's amazing you get anything done with homeschooling four kids, Crystal. Yay! I'm excited to win a copy of Misha's book. Congrats to Annalisa! I'm going to guess #3 as the lie.

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    1. Some people work full time, some listen to kids chatter all day. *shrugs* It's not that different.

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  16. I'm not going to lie, I have been guilty of spending a looooong time trying to find something I want to watch on Netflix.

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  17. Bravo to you, Crystal for homeschooling 4 children. More power to you! I'm going to guess #2, watching all those complete series shows. Good luck with the new release, Annalisa. For me, I take a walk and lose track of the time, when I should keep my fanny in the chair and type. All the best!

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    1. Lol. You just need a dictation system so you can walk AND write.

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  18. I decided to spend more time learning to promote books this year and take a break from writing so much. What's the point of having written all these books if I don't promote and sell them. It's hard work but worth it.

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    1. Agreed. Way to go! Best of wishes with your efforts!

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  19. When we work outside the home or home school like you do, working takes time away from goals. But these experiences are worthwhile too. I think you should celebrate your accomplishments!

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  20. Congratulations on finishing Timeless!!! I can't wait to read it. :) I imagine homeschooling kids does take a lot of work. I would want to do the same. Hopefully you had some reprieve during the summer.

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    1. I can't wait to have you read it! We take reprieve along the way, any time we really need to.

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  21. I'm too poor for things like Netflix, so I don't have to worry about distractions like that! (Social media is another story, though. LOL.)

    And congrats on wrapping up Timeless! That's an accomplishment worth celebrating, for sure!

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    1. Lol. Thank you! I've been eating cheese to celebrate.

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    2. Lol. Thank you! I've been eating cheese to celebrate.

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  22. Congratulations on your trilogy! Most people have trouble finishing one book; you definitely deserve some cheese.

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    1. Aw, thanks. If only "finishing a book" was the equivalent of finishing a book for publication. Such different processes, but this one is ready to go.

      Delete
  23. Good job finishing Timeless! That rocks! I currently don't have Netflix, but I'm trying to cram 13 episodes of Outlander Season 2 into a 7 day Starz trial!

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  24. That bowl full of chocolate was a brilliant idea for a photo.

    How not to accomplish goals - browse Pinterest.

    I'll guess #3 is the lie.

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    1. Agreed. I only hit Pinterest when I'm desperate.

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  25. You are amazing for home-schooling four kids, atop of everything else. I have no idea how any active parent has time to write, much less publish, and breathe and all. Your kids are so fortunate! Funny, I had that choco-baby pic on my sidebar. Love it.

    Keep on keepin' on with all the good stuff, and plenty of cheese to snack on.

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    1. Lol! I didn't see it there, but it's a good one, eh?

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  26. I love Loki so much!! ^_^

    Yeah, I kind of need a class in goal making 101. I do everything wrong. I'm not clear. I don't write anything down. And I don't have a schedule. I almost go out of my way to be as vague as possible. It kind of works some days sometimes. Lol!

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  27. Oh yeah… Netflix is definitely a rabbit hole to all down...

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  28. Crystal,
    Thank you so much for coming by my blog Everything Must Change and for leaving that wonderful link that I just listened to. I too will keep looking up.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

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    1. I'm so glad I was able to share it. I love that talk!

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  29. Yay for finishing Timeless. One goal accomplished.
    Homeschooling your children is wonderful. I think if I had young ones today, I'd do the same, and I'm a former teacher. So much has changed since those years.
    I'm a list maker. Being able to check something I've finished keeps me going. Have a great day.

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    1. I know, right? The public education system is not what it used to be.

      *fist bump* Here's to the list!

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    2. I know, right? The public education system is not what it used to be.

      *fist bump* Here's to the list!

      Delete
  30. I give up on my goals way to easily. :(
    I don't have Netflix, but I do need to stay away from Amazon Prime. I frequent that far too many times.
    I'm going to guess #1 is the lie.

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    1. I bet you don't give up on the important ones. :)

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  31. Congrats on finishing Timeless.

    Way to go on the win, Cherie. I'm sure it's a great read.

    Woo Hoo, Annalisa.

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  32. so, Alice was wandering around and found a unique friend - of sorts - smoking a hookah, sitting rather high up - they had a conversation - of sorts - the friends asked Alice who she was/is - and, funny thing - the situation was so off-putting - she had no idea who she was/is . . . or if she had any goals at all

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  33. I'm curious. Since you're homeschooling the kiddos, are they getting a summer break, or do you keep at it all year around?

    Congrats on doing so well with your goals so far. I don't set formal goals, but I have things I "want to do," and I usually get them done. I'm way too loose with my writing discipline, but I read like a person obsessed. :)

    I already have Annalisa's book, so no need to enter me into the drawing. Since I'm out of the contest, I'll probably guess the lie correctly this time. HA! I'll say #3 is the fib.

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    1. Usually I do school year round and we take Christmas and Thanksgiving off. This year we took half the summer of to decompress from a really difficult school year. Getting back into the routine is a beast.

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    2. Smart lady! That strikes me as the most sensible way to handle home schooling. Still... hats off to you for taking responsibility for your kids' educations. :)

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  34. Congratulations on all the goals. I was reading your answer to Susan's question...interesting. I would imagine about the getting back to the routine bit.

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    1. It's awesome when it's solid though. Think two school years worth of curriculum in 4 months. That's not an exaggeration.

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  35. I going with #2 because it sounds true.

    Netflix is the ruin of me. At least I can only watch it at night after the kids are in bed.

    Homeschooler? You have my undying respect and admiration. The public schools here are good and the time to myself? Priceless.

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    1. Our schools are the best in the state, but it's more than just the school. It's the kids, the propeganda, the spoon fed education robbing children of their curiosity... It's so many things.

      Delete
  36. You're a busy lady, Crystal! Home schooling must be hard but rewarding work. Hope you've had a great summer.

    Annalisa, I'm going to guess #3 is the lie.

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    1. Definitely hard and rewarding. Anything we do had better be worth hard work, or it's not worth doing, eh?

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  37. Crystal - you rock!!! I home-schooled full-time for a long, long, long, long time. But, it was awesome, and challenging, and rewarding, so worthwhile. :)
    Way to go with your goals!!! I do the monthly thing because it keeps me on track. I like to write down "accomplishments" daily, which makes me feel better than a list of goals that I might not have scratched off . . .

    Yay for Misha and Annalisa - I have both of those books, and they are awesome! :)

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    1. I like that -- the daily accomplishment list.

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  38. I'm guessing #1 is the lie as i can't imagine that happening! Yeah, I've been doing a monthly goal thingy but it gets repetitive. I know what I want, just have to find more time to do it! And go you, home schooling must be wonderful, yet exhausting. I'd be very interested to know why you do it. It's certainly a rarity in Australia. :-)

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    1. There are so many reasons. The biggest one is that learning is a life long endeavor, and I'm cultivating young minds that will always dare to question, push, and grow.

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  39. Loved your list of how not to accomplish goals. Guilty on several fronts. But, hey--good start on yours!

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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  40. Good for you on the homeschooling! That's fun and invigorating and exhausting!!
    From my twitter timeline, I think you can probably add Pokemon Go to your list there along with Netflix! Glad I don't have either - no way do I have the time! :)

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    1. Lol. It's true! This could end up being an epidemic, eh?

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  41. Aah, yes. Goals. Great things but so slippery, and life ... so distracting. I'm a lists and graphs kind of person. Things going good so far this year.

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  42. Crystal, I need to make daily lists and work off them too... I used to do them all the time in my 20's and I would accomplish so much... I think when I finally start working from home I might be able to implement a list so that I can accomplish more xox

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  43. My goals are weekly, kept on weekly lists that get shredded at the end of the week. If anything wasn't accomplished, it gets put on the new list.

    Since I'm 0 for whatever this year, I think I'll guess #2 as the lie.

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    1. Weekly lists would kill me. I'd be drowning in chocolate, to quote my son. (Who hates chocolate.)

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  44. That baby's head dunked in chocolate...priceless!
    On certain days, I feel like I could do that with coffee...LOL
    I already have Annalisa's book - it's fabulous!!

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  45. Hi Crystal - it's so easy to get side-tracked ... I must settle myself down and get on with things ... clear the papers and find a clean page and write a list ... I'd guess #2 is the lie ...

    Cheers to you all - Hilary

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    1. It's hard when you're getting settled in.

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  46. Let's see... I don't have Netflix and I am not social media dependent... But that chocolate really looks good. No wonder I refuse to wear skinny jeans ;)

    Hi Crystal!

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  47. Congrats on finishing the book! That's a huge accomplishment. I totally gave you a virtual high five back. Lol

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  48. A huge congrats on finishing and I think #1 is the lie.

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  49. Great accomplishments, even with the distractions, Crystal! Congrats! I think number 3 is the lie. Have a great week. And YAY for Cherie - I guessed the mashed potato lie too. Who would go to the trouble of peeling,cooking and mashing before one could satisfy a need :)

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    Replies
    1. I know, right? A bag of twizzlers is so much easier.

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  50. Great accomplishments. I'm not sure I'd attempt the home schooling everyday and stay sane.

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  51. I totally high-fived the screen. You are doing well with your goals. Seriously. You've more than halfway through the reading goal, which is awesome. You finished Timeless, which is incredible, and you're making progress on the other book. You should be feeling great about all this.

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    1. I am. Super great. Now on to all the publishing hubbub.

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  52. Sounds like you're doing good on your goals. Congrats to Cherie for winning the last giveaway. :)

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    1. The key is learning how to plan goals that don't overwhelm you, eh?

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  53. where do you find the time to read 60 novels with that schedule above??? :)

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  54. Appreciate this goal keeping reminder. I must admit that I'm better at not keeping goals. But with your example and inspiration and a lot of cheese, I'm planning on making a better showing for the second half of the year. Thanks for always making me smile. Best wishes to you and Annalisa! :) Happy weekend!

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    1. Smiles all the way, eh? You start where you are, and if today doesn't go as you'd like, you try again tomorrow.

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  55. You are a busy lady! Awesome goals.

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  56. I'm a list maker/breaker...it all depends on my mood and energy level. (That's why I never home schooled- one week I'd be spot on the next nothing but a blurry spot!) I seriously do not know how you do it all.

    As for Annalisa's lie...I'm going with #1.

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    Replies
    1. I hear you! Three days of awesome, two days or suck, and a constant desire to do better.

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  57. I know some home schooling families who represent that remark.

    I would guess #1 is the lie.

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  58. That's such a cool post, dear! My first time popping by & I'm loving it. Do let me know if you're following me in the social media sites, & I'll follow you back right away. Happy weekend! xoxo

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  59. Chocolate and cheese are my favourite food. Great post, I smiled all the way through!

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  60. Great common sense points! The pics are funny too, but dear Lord, who would give a baby that much chocolate? ;)

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    1. Right? I mean, but at the same time, how could you resist?

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  61. Congrats on finishing TIMELESS!!! I'm afraid I fall into the How NOT to Accomplish Goals category. I've gotten caught in the web of social media, and although it's awesome for promo-ing, I haven't written anything new in 3 months. *sigh* Congrats to Cherie for winning Misha's book!

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    1. There are seasons of promotion and seasons of writing. I'm convinced of that.

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  62. You're doing well with your goals - especially when you're homeschooling four kids. That can't be easy!

    I'm just trying to revise manuscripts this year. I have five more to do, and I'm not sure I'm going to get it done. I've been so distracted by my music career and kid stuff.

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    1. Your music career is epic, and the kids, well, it doesn't get more awesome or important than that, eh? Writing can wait.

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  63. You homeschool 4 kids and I can barely take care of myself. Hey, could you homeschool us? Bring plenty of cheese and chocolate. We've already got the Netflix. Thanks in advance.

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    1. Lol. Why do you need me when you've not Netflix to educate you? ;)

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  64. I like lists. Lists are good. Goals, now they are tough. Congratulations on finishing your Trilogy! You are amazing.

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    1. You are amazing. We're both amazing. ;)

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  65. Ha, Crystal, your to-do lists and your internet high-fives. Good for you for just scratching out things as you go--concentrate on what you HAVE gotten done! And wow, 60 books. I set a 35-book goal on Goodreads and figured that was enough; it's almost 3 books a month! Good luck with the writing, and nice to see the books being featured here!

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    1. Ideally, I'd like to read 2 books a week, but life gets in the way, eh? It was that 2 years of online school that changed my world. It's not a big deal to burn through a couple books a week when they only take between 3 and 5 hours a piece.

      Delete
  66. Congrats on finishing TIMELESS! And congrats to Cherie for the win!

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  67. Seriously Netflix is the worst (bestest thing ever). I it the one thing that has had the greatest negative impact on my reading. I'm trying to do weekly goals now because the big list freaks me the heck out, but even with weekly goals, I lose myself sometimes. It is indeed, hard. Good luck with the writing! Are you recording the audiobook yourself? How awesome is that!

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    1. Yes, I will be doing to audiobook myself. We could hire someone, but I have a history of theater and vocal performance, including studio singing, so I might as well, eh?

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  68. I've considered getting Netflix, and now I'm reconsidering. Might be a bad idea as I never seem to have enough free time anyway. >_< But my major goal for 2016 was to get another book done, and I just finished the second edit on mine, so I think I'm doing all right. ^_^ Not sure if I'll be able to get another book or two plotted by the year's end, but...

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  69. Congratulations on finishing your series!

    There's no way I'd have guessed Misha hated mashed potatoes. Who would have thunk it? My goal for this year was getting my next book out there and it's happening.

    I'm going with #2 as the lie.

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    1. Yippee! Way to reach your goals. You rock!

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  70. My year long plans are trash right now. I'm so far behind. Annalisa, did you really try the driver's test six times? I'm guessing that because it's kind of funny.

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    1. You know, some years we just have to reevaluate.

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  71. I think 2 is the lie. Congrats to Cherie.

    High fiving you. :)

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  72. I fall into the Netflix trap at least once every few weeks. It's better when I don't find something to watch. I'm up to my elbows in Star Trek - Voyager and it's not pretty. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  73. I am hoping that the 6 attempts in a lie :)

    And I can say from Experience that Netflix is an awesome way to not accomplish goals LOL

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  74. Annalisa's cover is beautiful. I think #2 is the lie. And the picture of the baby in the bowl of chocolate? Too cute! I'm still working on my to-do list from three years ago, so...

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    1. Hey, as long as you're making progress, that's all that counts. One day at a time.

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  75. LOL, good list. Netflix is the devil for sure when it comes to sucking time. Luckily my kiddo is 14 now so he doesn't interrupt writing so much :)

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    1. That's awesome. My oldest is 15, so he definitely doesn't cause trouble, but my 1 year old is a bit of a challenge.

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  76. My writing goals are coming along pretty well. I'm hoping to finish revising another draft of my WIP next month, so please cross fingers!

    Congrats to Cherie! I think #1 is the lie!

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    1. Crossing my toes for you. (Fingers are busy.)

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  77. This is actually a good reminder to check out my goals for 2016 to see how I am doing. I have been busier this year than I ever have been and haven't really checked back at my list. I do make a daily list for myself and I do pretty well with that. :) Great list of things we do to distract ourselves!

    I think the lie is #1. I have been seeing this cover around and am most curious about it! :)
    ~Jess

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    1. You know, I think that added busyness comes with being published. That's why I tell people to enjoy their pre-pub troubles.

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  78. Why does it take an hour to find something on Netflix? Lol! I do weekly goals with a friend of mine. Helps me not get overwhelmed. After reading this post, I am in dire need of chocolate and cheese. I think #3 is the lie. xoxo

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    1. I love the accountability idea of using a friend. That's what my hubby and kids do for me--keep me on track. (Especially when my kids start begging to read what I'm writing.)

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  79. I'd say I've completed and on goal for 3 of my goals for 2016. Right now YT, Viki and now Netflix have become my kryptonite. As for the lie I think it's #3.

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  80. Why can I so relate to these. :P
    How are your goals so far this year, Crystal?

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  81. Congrats on finishing TIMELESS!!! I think getting anywhere near your goals is amazing! And, yes, Netflix...my most recent obsession: Parenthood. I was through the first season and a half in about two days. Think I got any reading or writing done that week? Nope. Great work! Have fun finishing PROJECT ALASKA! You're well on your way. Goals will become very important to me this updoming year because I've decided to self-publish and tentatively plan to release five books while teaching full time. And I've only just begun this journey. We shall see where it takes me and how I manage. EEEK!!! <3 Christy

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  82. Oh crap. I can't see to comment. I've got this big palm print on my monitor.

    (I'm binge watching House of Cards.)

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Hit me with your cheese!