Saturday, January 05, 2013

Jennifer Ashley - Goals for A Happy New Year (with giveaway!)

One of my friends says he doesn't make New Year’s resolutions, he makes goals for the year. I think that’s a good attitude, one I’m adopting.

Resolutions sound like constant determination, as though you always have to be on, focused on that resolution 24 / 7. Maybe that’s why so many people lose their resolve after about a month. It’s tough to be resolved all the time.

Goals, on the other hand, sound more forgiving. You work on a goal as much as you can, but sometimes, you have to take a break from it. But as long as you keep the goal in sight, you’ll come back to it. Also you’re allowed to work on a goal little by little, in bite-sized pieces, to get there or as close to there as possible by the end of the year.

My goals this year are to:

1. Lose weight, at least 50 pounds. I can break that down into 4 pounds a month (4.167 if you want to be specific), or a pound a week. A goal of a pound a week sounds much more accomplishable than saying: “I resolve to lose 50 pounds this year.”

2. Get my schedule under control. I’ll be writing a lot this year, and I want to make sure I take as much time as needed on the stories but turn them in on time as well.

I’m doing this by making a master schedule and calculating the minimum amount of writing I need to do per day to get the books done on time. Sometimes I’m on fire and write like crazy, but on the days I’m not on fire, my goal is to write a small chunk anyway, so the story keeps moving forward, no matter what.

3. Spend more time enjoying life (directly related to number 3). Writers can get frantically busy on deadlines and forget to come up for air. That can burn us out (which happened to me in a big way this fall).

I’ll go at this goal not only by slowing down and working steadily instead of frantically, but also by making myself stop working at a certain time each day (clock out). I’ll use the rest of the day to spend with family and friends, to cook, shop, exercise—participate in my life instead of having my nose in the computer while life goes on around me.

I know that I won’t be able to work at these goals all the time. I’ll slip and gain a few pounds; be on so tight a deadline that I keep on working far into the night.

But if I think of the above as goals, I’ll come back to them. If I think of them as resolutions, the minute I lose my resolve, they’re gone.

I did start my New Year by having a book come out on December 31—The Seduction of Elliot McBride, the fifth in the Mackenzies series. This is a Scottish historical, set in 1884, with a tortured hero in a tumbledown castle. I love Elliot, and thoroughly enjoyed writing his story.

Leave a comment with one of your goals for 2013 and enter to win a copy of this new book!

Take care,

Jennifer Ashley

***The winner is Barbara E.!  Please send your mailing information to!***


Eli Yanti said...

Reach my challange reading book and do more charity :)

Mary Kirkland said...

Spend time getting to know my grandson when he's born and being a great grandma.

Laurie G said...

Eat more fruits and vegetables
Exercise daily
Smile more often
Clean out clothes that I no longer wear
Clean out my basement
Share my books with the hospital waiting room patients

Debby said...

I have decided to go for goals this year as well. So far so good. I am helping get my daughter back on track and taking a look at my health issues.
debby236 at gmail dot com

pamerd said...

My goals for the year are to read more and make time for charity.

Thanks for the chance - I love this series!

Karen H in NC said...

My primary goal for this year is to lose weight...finally. That's been a goal of mine for a long time...but instead of losing, I've been gaining. Gotten to the point I'm unhealthy now! Gotta do something about it! Jenny Craig is my new best friend!

Love your books. Thanks for the giveaway.

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Stefanie said...

I want to loose a few pounds and try to exercise at least once a week.

Kaelee said...

I like the idea of goals. That said I would like to clean and organize my house, one room at a time. I'd also like to lose weight and exercise more.

Pat Cochran said...


1. Continue weight loss program

2. Organize my "library."

3. Reduce my TBR "mountain."

Pat C.

Marci Stamas said...

Be more accepting of myself and others.

Aly said...

I want to finish all my reading challenges, lose 10 killos, spent less money :D

Carol L. said...

My first goal will be to stop buying new books and hit the "to read pile". I have to start making a dent :)
Also to rearrange my basement and get rid of things I no longer use or need. Thanks Jennifer for this awesome giveaway. Look forward to reading this.
Carol L.
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

Nicole Laverdure said...

I do not make resolution because I do not keep them. I, too, prefer making goals. One of my goal is adding new authors to my reading list. I tend to always stay with the same authors, but now, I want to challenge myself by reading books from authors I am just discovering! Thanks for the giveaway of "The Seduction of Elliot NcBride".

Barbara E. said...

One of my goals for this year is to read at least as many books, if not more, as I did last year. My TBR shelf is groaning and I need to make a dent in it.

Lil said...

One of my goals this year is to be a more patient parent. I have teens and it has been difficult to keep my sense of humor and composure at some of the antics for this age group. But then I really think about what they are achieving and what they are aiming for in goals, and realize that they really are good kids.

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

erin said...

Thanks for a great post and congrats to Jennifer on her newest release! Some of my goals for 2013 are to take more "me" time, say no guilt free and more often, and to tackle my TBR mountain range that I created in 2012 b/c I worked way too much to read.

Jeanne M said...

Just like your books always do your wise words about setting a goal and not a New Years resolution was exactly what I needed to realize the perfect ending!

For years my husband and I had said our New Years resolution was to sell our home and move from New England to South Carolina to be near our grandchildren and yet another year would go by and we wouldn't get the renovations completed so we could list our home.

This year on New Years Eve we decided instead to set it as a goal instead! We've already drawn up a plan on which renovations are necessary and priced out the costs and know that this year will be the year it gets completed. I think since it's a mutual goal with us working together on the same goals that next New Year's Eve will finally be celebrating the holiday without having to shovel snow first!

MsAwesome said...

Learn to ride a horse and a motorcycle! Not at once mind you LOL

June M. said...

1. Lose weight/become healthier (Eat better & exercise more)
2. Reduce the TBR pile by reading at least 1 book from it before buying a new book--unless they are freebies or really good sales ;)
3. Finally get my disability case closed!

manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

megblod said...

My main goal for this year is to lose weight.


Mary Preston said...

I don't make resolutions. At this moment I don't have any specific goals for 2013. I'm sure some will turn up along the way.

crystalg123 said...

My resolutions are:
1) Lose Weight (30lbs) and get in shape and toned
2) Stop Smoking

Crystal Guidroz

Lory Lee said...

I only have one goal this year and that is to practice proper posture. No more slouching!

JulieM said...

My main goal this year is to de-clutter. We're moving to a smaller property and I need to think carefully about what we take with us.

Leah Weller (leahluvsmedieval) said...

I'm with you on the weight loss thing. I've already lost 46 lbs. over the last year and need to lose another 45 to 50 lbs. It isn't an easy thing to do.


Sunnymay said...

My goal is to organize and get rid of a few things that I keep stepping over. I'm wearing a pedometer that you can put in a pocket and it keeps track of steps, miles and calories.

Di said...

My big goal of 2013 is to find a job - I have lots of other smaller goals but it often seems that when I make a plan it gets derailed by something that I didn't even envision as a possibility, so my goal is to get one "extra" project done every day - if more happens so much the better.
sallans d at yahoo dot com

ChristyJan said...

To laugh more and worry less is my #1 goal - and then of course to read more books this year than I did last year. :)

Karen H in NC said...

Hi Pat,

You've hit on a couple of items I should really add to my list of '13 things to do! Organize my library...I have books available for trade or sale that are in 3 different spots. When an offer comes in, I have a terrible time finding it! And read faster....last year my goal was 60 books. I read 52. So to ease my shame a bit, my goal this year is 55! Sign...that number should be higher, I know.

Queen City E said...

To manage my time better so I can write more!

Niesh said...

great post tote bag