Monday, January 01, 2007

2006 Evaluation and 2007 Goals

1. Take some time and look back at 2006. Write a few summary paragraphs (NOT A LIST) to evaluate the year.

I could call 2006 a season of growth for me. It was also a season of conflict and confusion in many ways. Of course, the conflict and confusion created the growth, so I'm not going to complain about that! For six years after my divorce, I avoided relationships. I told myself I didn't want to take the risk, that I didn't want to open up to someone just to get hurt again. But at the beginning of 2006, I actually managed to let someone in. The relationship didn't work out, he was not the right person for me due to our differences in opinion about several very important matters, and due to our priorities being totally different, but here's the thing. I don't regret the relationship at all, because it taught me something. I can love again, and I will love again. Just because he wasn't the right one, doesn't mean there isn't one out there who is.. right. 2006 saw the beginning of that relationship and then the subsequent breakup. I had never broken up with someone before. As painful as it was, and as horrible as I felt about it, I knew it was the right thing to do. And it was a huge step for me personally, because I made a decision to be in charge of my life and I realized it was better to be alone than with the wrong person. 2006 brought my 30th birthday, which was an important moment for me. My twenties were filled with conflict, difficulties, and some pretty awful situations, so I was fairly happy to leave them behind. I went forward with the lessons I learned from these situations. I think those lessons will serve me well for the rest of my life. I have gained confidence in myself and in my abilities, and I'm finally ready to stop putting myself down about my physical apperance. I also feel that I grew professionally. I've become a lot more confident at work, and my skills at my job have grown tremendously. I'm especially pleased with my grant writing skills and how they have grown over the past year. I have a long way to go, but I feel good about the way things are going so far. Overall, 2006 was a very good year.

2. What achievement left you proudest last year?

My grant record. In 2006, I wrote 22 grants and we were funded for 20 of them. I'd say that's something to be proud of.

3. What were your disappointments?

I had some personal disappointments. I thought I would be in a different place this year, that I would have a family or would be ready to start one. I feel years and years away from that happening, if ever, and that is a disappointment in a way.

4. What do you wish you had done differently?

When I knew something wasn't going to work out, I let it go too long. I know now that I should have stopped it much sooner.

5. How did your goals for the year evolve and change over the course of it, and what were the unexpected experiences?

As always, my goals evolved. One thing that I get really frustrated about is that I have a hard time keeping with my long term goals, especially the ones that deal with personal issues, like losing weight. I did write a lot more this year than I ever have, so that was one great result of making these goals. One other way my goals evolved was that I decided to do some new things, to shake things up a little. This has proven to be a good decision, as I've picked up a couple of new hobbies and have met some very interesting people as a result.

6. What was the best unexpected thing to happen in your year?

Knitting! Who knew I would enjoy it so much? I know that's a strange thing to name the best unexpected thing, but it's great to find a new hobby that I can really enjoy and that helps me relax.

7. Looking ahead, what are your goals for 2007?

- finish Deadly Council
- finish Under the Magnolia Tree
- continue pitching Summer's Blossom
- finish After the Storm
- start the YA fantasy that's been in my head
- read the Bible all the way through
- read more classics
- take some art classes

8. What steps do you plan to get you there?

I just need to have some discipline to do these things. They are not difficult, I just have to work hard and do them!

9. What are your dreams for 2006?

Get published!

10. What steps will you take to bring you closer to them?

Keep writing, keep pitching, keep going until it happens.

11. What are your resolutions for 2006?

I resolve that I will do everything I can to meet my goals. I also resolve that I will take the time to relax and enjoy life more, so that I don't look back on it and wish I had experienced more and worked less.

12. How do you plan to get there?

By taking a look at my life every day, by continuing to work toward my 101 in 1001 list, and by enjoying my hobbies and developing new ones.

13. What changes has the last year brought to your long-term plan?

The last year helped me realize that I need to stay where I am a little longer. I need to learn more before I can attempt to get a director's position somewhere. It has also taught me that I need to look at my motivations for wanting to go to grad school. Is it because I want to accomplish something that my friends have accomplished? Do I feel a need to prove myself? Or do I want to go because I think it would be best for my career? I have to decide that before I can make any real decisions about what I want to study.

14. Where would you like to be one year from now?

One year from now I would like to have better control of my finances. I would like to have sold something I've written (short story, novel, novella, article, etc)

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