Wildly Improbable Goals 2013 Update

It’s that time of year again! Time to look back and see how far I’ve come this year. Back in January, I posted my Wildly Improbable Goals for 2013 and encouraged you to do the same.

Now it’s time to do a little reflecting and celebrating!

I recently wrote about times when I use my goals (Wildly Improbable and otherwise) to berate myself and feel bad—that is not what this post is about. I choose to feel good about everything I’ve accomplished and to use the goals I haven’t achieved to help me think about ways I can make changes so I can achieve them in 2014.

So, here’s my update:

WIG: Become a published author in 2013.

  • Okay, this one didn’t happen. I did, however, make a lot of progress with my writing (see below) and this goal is one I’m going to keep for 2014.

WIG: Publish a magazine article in a magazine in 2013.

  • This one didn’t happen either. I did do a lot of research on magazines and find out which ones I’d like to submit to, so I’m well set up for success next year.

WIG: Become newsletter editor for Martha Beck Inc. in 2013.

  • I applied for the job and didn’t get it. I tried, that’s the important thing. I feel good about the whole process and plan to apply again when the opportunity presents itself.

WIG: Polish and pitch my novel in 2013.

  • I did do this, sort of. I worked on my novel and I did talk to an agent about it, but my novel has morphed and I’m not sure exactly what genre it fits into anymore—so my conversation with the agent was more a fact-finding mission than a pitch. It was still fun and exciting!

When I wrote my WIGS, I also wrote out first steps to reach my first WIG: Become a published author in 2013. Here’s how I did:

First Steps:

  1. Have something for critique every time my writing group meets (every other week.) I did submit to my critique group, but definitely not every other week. I’m proud of myself for sticking with it for the whole year. At one point, I went back to my novel (on the advice of my writer’s group) and looked at every scene in my novel and figured out the goals, motivation, and conflict for each—very instructive!
  2. Write in journal every day—prompts, free-writes, anything that fosters my creativity. I have kept up with my daily journal but can’t say I actually wrote every single day, although I did write most days. I have journaled a lot more this year than I did in 2012. I did prompts and free-writes, which I love, as well as my regular journal writing. I don’t think committing to do anything every day is going to work for me.
  3. Print out novel and line edit by March 1st. Did not do this as I realized I had “big picture” rewrites to do (which I made a good start on!)
  4. Commit to monthly accountability meeting with L. Did this and found it extremely helpful.

Lessons learned: It’s nice to have WIGS, but it’s also nice to have smaller goals. Also, I’d like to figure out a way to note my progress on totally abstract things like “Spend more time in the zone and less time feeling blocked and hopeless.”

I’m always going to be a person who makes lists and set goals, but I’ve learned over this past year that I need to check in with myself (physically, emotionally, spiritually) before I make my list for the day.

One of my favorite quotes is the following, which sums up current philosophy on goal-setting:

We vastly overestimate what we can accomplish in one day and we vastly underestimate what we can accomplish in five years.

–Peter Drucker

What happened with your WIGS this year?

Diane MacKinnon, MD, Master Certified Life CoachDiane MacKinnon, MD: is a writer, blogger, life coach, mother, stepmother, and family physician. I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks of family, fun, and festivities, and then I’ll be back to my desk, setting my goals for the new year and creating a calendar that includes all my favorite things (especially writing!) Happy Holidays!

11 thoughts on “Wildly Improbable Goals 2013 Update

  1. I find that setting goals is a very useful tool to measure where I am in a year – what I have learned is that we over estimate sometimes what we can achieve in 12 months – life gets in the way. I have a five year plan to take me to 65 – it is ambitious. My goals for 12 months on the other hand are stepping stones without too big a gap in between. Trouble is we are our own worst judges.. but you need a few small victories along the way.

  2. I couldn’t agree more to what you did last year -I keep my goals high too. I think this motivates me to work harder. 😉
    This was an inspirational post though. Keep writing, I wish you 2014 as year when you accomplish something that means to you. 😀

  3. WIGs: Finish sequel to first published novel – no; Polish two short stories for contest – yes; Finish family history project – yes; Rebuild personal web site – yes; Weekly blog post – no;
    Not even thought of last January: Book of grandchildren’s sayings – yes; Novella ready for first review – yes
    No writing involved: Dental mission to Dominican Republic – yes; Substitute school administrator – yes; Volunteer computer maintenance – yes; Vegie garden big enough to feed family and friends – yes: Cross country road trip with grandkids – yes; Road trip to Canada with grandchild – yes; etc. etc.

  4. Dear Diane,

    Your first WIGS was the same as mine. To become a published author, unfortunately that didn’t happen. I was really working hard in the summer but otherwise I would never get time. Hopefully….it will happen in 2014. I like your other WIGS and good luck writing in 2014.

  5. Very inspiring post – thank you! You are well on your way to accomplishing your WIGS. You’ve planted the seeds for them, and they will grow, in their own time. I have similar WIGS as yours, so your post encourages me to keep at it.

  6. Diane,
    I really enjoyed reading this. Love the clever acronym WIG and the quote by Peter Drucker. I hope you don’t mind me using that quote on my blog. Keep pushing to accomplish those goals because they’re worthy and attainable. Be blessed!
    -Tanya G. Marshall

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