Are you ready for the very last monthly goals recap of 2017?

giphy (70)

Now that we’re fully in the holiday spirit over here in the Kosik household (more on that later this week), it’s a little easier to believe that we’ve actually made it to December — but I still can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that these are the last goals I’ll be sharing before totally starting fresh in 2018.

Anyway, here’s how I did in November:

  • Land one new outlet.√ YES! Catch something exciting and fun live on a new site in mid-January. I’ll be sure to share it with you!
  • Work on my book at least three days of every week. √ YES! All the praise hand emojis for the fact that I’ve maintained momentum on the book into November. If you’ve been following this journey for a while, you know how major this is. I did make an exception for this the week of Thanksgiving with all the travel and general chaos, but I’m still going to give this one a big, fat check mark.
  • Pitch something new or “big” weekly. The plan here was to stay motivated about pitching to a new editor or sharing a big idea for a new story with an editor I’ve already worked with — and to do one of those things on a weekly basis. I didn’t do this every week of November, but I did it almost every week, and sometimes more than once. I call this goal a success because it definitely kept business development front of mind.
  • Research “low stakes” writing classes. √ YES! I got the chance to talk to a few of my friends about writing classes they’ve taken here in New York. Based on their feedback, I can’t say I’m itching to go sign up for any of those options, but it’s good to have the info as a starting point.
  • Circle back with a few of my favorite outlets. √ YES! I’m working on a few pieces for The Kitchn that should be live in January. I’ve really missed writing for them!
  • Research podcasts and other new projects. √ YES! I started investigating the basics of starting a podcast, and I’m thinking more and more that it might be something I’m interested in doing in 2018. Would you listen? Is there a type of podcast that you’re always looking for, but constantly struggle to find? I’d love your feedback in the comments below! Don’t forget to check out my guest spot on the Day in the Life podcast right here.
  • Read three books. My November weekends ended up being a bit busier than I expected, so I (sadly) didn’t get a ton of reading time. I finished Sourdough (really interesting, creative magical realism vibes with an awesome San Francisco setting that took me right back to our October trip to California). I’m also quite literally a few pages away from finishing Hillary Rodham Clinton’s What Happened, which has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. It’s a pretty intense read — and a long one, which is part of why I didn’t make my three-book goal for the month.
  • Stick to our new monthly budget. √ YES! It feels good to be tracking our spending in a more specific way. I don’t know that I would recommend launching a new budget plan in November and December — basically the two most uniquely expensive months of the year — but I’m still glad we started taking steps in this direction. And, hey, at least I already know that our spending will go way down come the new year, right?
  • Work on self care with journaling and midday walks. I’ve been a bit inconsistent with journaling, but I’ve definitely worked more walks into my routine.
  • Cultivate the holiday season early and often. √ YES! We got an early start this year with some Hallmark holiday movies (sorry, Matt) and plans for lots of fun to come for the rest of the year.

Not bad for November! After a sort of dismal goals review in October, it feels really good to be back on track this month. I’m hoping to keep it up in these final weeks of the year. Here are just a few of my goals for December:

  • Be more intentional about early morning work time. If I’m being totally honest, I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed by my workload over the last week or so. Having a big pile of work is actually a good problem to have — but getting through that pile and somehow managing to keep your cool while you’re at it is another story entirely. Since I’m hoping to be able to take a little down time at the end of this month, I’m forging ahead, and I’ve found that setting the alarm between 5 and 6 A.M. a few days out of the week has been really helpful in setting me up for success with my to-do list. It’s nice to have some quiet time early in the day (AKA before the emails start rolling in) to get things done. I love the way it feels to look at the clock, see it’s only 9 A.M., and realize that so much has already been accomplished.
  • Start 2018 planning. I have some big picture goals in mind for the year ahead, but I need to actually put pen to paper on them and to start breaking them down into smaller pieces. I’m hoping to spend a good chunk of time doing this (in my Passion Planner, duh) during the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
  • Work on the book three days a week, every week. This goal was a great way to stay focused on my creative writing last month, so I’m bringing it back for December.
  • Read three books. I have such a stack of reading material to get to!
  • Successfully pitch to editors at my focus outlets for the month. I’m going to keep the outlets I’m talking about on the DL, but I do have a short list of sites that I’m planning to focus on before the year is out. The plan is to effectively target those sites instead of obsessively emailing new editors all month, when people are in and out of the office, anyway.
  • Avoid shopping for gifts last-minute. I’m making this an official goal because I want to get it in writing so you can (hopefully) hold me accountable to it! Somehow, no matter how hard I try, Matt and I always end up running around Brooklyn one or two days before pretty much any gift-giving holiday, gathering presents for loved ones with just hours to spare before they need to be wrapped and packed up. We still always end up with thoughtful presents to share, but I know that’s not the best way to make it happen. I’m hoping to get an earlier start this year so we’re not rushing at the final hour!
  • Continue to cultivate holiday excitement. It was so nice to make this a priority in November, so I’m going to continue it!

How are you planning to kick butt in this final month of the year? Share your goals in the comments below!

And don’t forget to sign up for the FREE webinar I’m co-hosting with my boss lady friend Brittney Lynn tomorrow (Wednesday 12/6) at 8 EST. The webinar is called Better Together: How to Reach Out to Journalists and Get More Media Mentions, and it’s going to be a super fun and casual (but also extremely informative!) conversation about how small businesses and hustlers of all kinds can work more effectively with writers like me! Sign up to join right here, and feel free to let me know if you have any questions!