A Rapid, Last-Minute Reset and Replication: My Fourth-Quarter 2021 Goals Check-In

As the famous saying goes, it ain’t over till it’s over.

After my mediocre showing in Q3, with its debilitating heat during both the Pacific Northwest Heat Dome and the hot-hot east coast where I later fled home expecting cooler climes, I was determined to finish the year on a positive note.

Once the temperature finally dropped, I was back at it, and did fairly well if I do say so myself.

My goals for 2021 and results for the final quarter of the year are as follows:

1) Writing life goals

  • Query my completed novel – Resumed (Q1: In progress, Q2: In progress, Q3: Halted)
  • Read four key reference books in support of my next novel – 40% (25%, 40%, 40%)
  • Draft my next novel – 25% (~5%, approaching 20%, 20%)
  • Start researching my next-next novel – Begun yet paused (0%, begun yet paused, begun yet paused)
  • Read the first draft of my WIP’s sequel and make general/overall revision notes – 100% (completed)
  • New for Q2: Make a beat sheet for the next draft of my WIP’s sequel – 0% (Q2: 0%, Q3: 0%)

Summary of progress: I had a strong finish in Q4 in my writing life. I completed the R&R I was working on in Q3 and sent it back to the agent who requested it. That agent is still reviewing the new version. With the R&R done, I also resumed my querying, right up to mid-December, when the publishing industry basically shuts down for the Christmas holiday. My querying will resume in 2022.

Alongside my R&R, I also continued work on my new WIP, which is dual POV. I’m making slow, steady progress on it, having drafted all of Act 1 for Character A and about half of Act 1 for Character B, and am enjoying how it’s coming together so far.

I didn’t do any more research on my next-next novel, nor did I read any more reference books for the current one. I did, however, complete a 21-day speed reading course, which was in equal parts a long-awaited and impromptu decision. I will write about this course and the many insights it’s offered me about reading in general and my reading life particularly in a future post.

I also didn’t end up ever starting the beat sheet for the sequel of the book I’m querying. This initially felt feasible after I quickly completed the read-through and annotation of the sequel back in Q1, but it was clearly too ambitious an addition to the list.

2) Real life goals

  • Get more exercise (closer to my pre-pandemic amount) – Achieved (Q1: In progress, Q2: Maintaining current level  Q3: Maintaining current level with increased strength/endurance)
  • Make a will – Started (0%, 0%, 0%)
  • Miscellaneous career goals – 100% (completed) (Q1: In progress)
  • Finish de-cluttering my apartment (continued from 2020) – Resumed (0%, 0%,0%)

Summary of progress: I was ordered back to work at the office for at least one day a week in December, so I parlayed this into a return to the gym two days a week starting at the end of November (the gym is at the office).

These gym visits were in addition to the two days a week I go running in my neighbourhood. As I also rode my bike to work anytime weather permitted, this is very close to my pre-pandemic amount of exercise (less three more days a week of biking to and from work).

I finally made a start on getting my will done. I also resumed decluttering my apartment, and while I didn’t complete this project, I did get through some of the larger parts of it, notably my bookshelf.

I am keen to get through the last few items of my decluttering checklist and get the donation boxes moved out during Q1 of 2022 while I’m still well-rested after Christmas and the weather is cool and conducive to active housework.

De-cluttering Checklist:

    • Living room

[X] Bookshelf
[ ] Desk
[X] Armchair
[X] Magazine box
[X] Couch

    • Dining room

[X] Table
[ ] Side chair

    • Kitchen

[X] Fridge
[X] Cupboards
[X] Drawers
[X] On top of cupboards
[X] Behind the oven
[X] Behind the fridge

    • Hallway

[X] Coat closet
[X] Shoe trays
[X] Storage closet

    • Bathroom

[X] Shower caddy
[X] Medicine cabinet
[X] Cupboard under the sink

    • Bedroom

[X] Closet
[ ] Top of dresser/ornament shelf
[ ] Dresser drawers
[ ] Smallclothes drawers
[X] Bookshelf
[ ] Nightstand
[ ] Under the bed

What’s new for 2022?

In a word: nothing.

Rather than come up with all new goals, I’ve decided to stay the course with what’s still outstanding from 2021, with a special focus on finishing the draft of my new WIP. Should I finish these things early, I’ll reassess as to whether there’s more I could be doing.

With so much uncertainty for the future given the ongoing pandemic, and the rapid rise and spread of the omicron variant, while I still want to accomplish things, I also want to do so in a manner that prioritizes conserving my mental energy.

In the long run, this will enable me to achieve so much more, and to do so even better!


A/N: In the name of the energy conservation I mentioned above, I’ll be taking a short hiatus from blogging during Q1 of 2022, historically the busiest and most hectic quarter of the year for me. See you again in Q2!

(Image source)

3 thoughts on “A Rapid, Last-Minute Reset and Replication: My Fourth-Quarter 2021 Goals Check-In

  1. Well done Janna, your goal-setting and perseverance is admirable. Yes, get that Will done and signed, am I in it? Will be interested to hear about the speed reading. I could do with speed typing all right but I have the wrong sort of fingers for it. Happy New Year.


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