Annual review of 2017

As in previous years I’ve been thinking alot in the last few weeks of what I’ve acheived in this year and what I want to do in 2018.

Looking back

My goals for 2017 were:

  • Dutch exams
  • write every day
  • time with family every day
  • proactive

The two big things that I’ve achieved this year are that I passed my Dutch exams, and that I’ve written every day. These are two big things that I am really pleased to be able to say.

The other two goals I had for 2017 (time with family and being proactive) are things that I have been successful with at times. But I still need to work on these, as I don’t want to get complacent and stop doing these.

Looking forward

This year I know that 2018 will be a very different year, as starry girl will be starting school. So I will suddenly have a lot more time to play with. Because of the changes I have been trying different things this year for my process of review and goal setting. I have worked through Susannah Conway’s Unravel Your Year workbook, and I’ve also taken part in Quest2018 run by Tracking Wonder. (Though it was probably a bit over the top to do both!) I will comment at the bottom on each of these processes, but first to my aims for the next year.

With all my extra time I have decided to focus on my writing, as I want to see where it will take me. I want to spend time exploring what I can do, trying things out and seeing where it takes me. I have no current plans to publish what I write (at least in the short term), although I may add some things to here to see what response I get. Actually publishing a book will be my 2019 goal! One thing I have been worrying about is how I set any sort of goal for this for next year. I have no idea how much I can realistically write in a year, or how much I will actually write in a year. This is going to be such a big change that I will have to see how it works. I want to have something to work towards, and yet I don’t want that to be so big and scary that it detracts from everything else in my life. When my children are around I want to be able to give them my full attention, without stressing that I haven’t done whatever self-imposed task of the day.

Though saying that, as I found the 365 Club so useful this year, I have signed up for 2018 with a target of 1000 words a day this time. That is my initial stab in the dark based on how I’ve done this year, and I shall see how feasible that is. Along with that I want to take myself as a writer more seriously and be more professional about it.

In addition to this I want to work on my daily routines. Morning especially has become a bit chaotic. So I want to prioritise making that run a bit smoother. As well as other key points through the day, eg evenings, back from school, etc. As I mentioned when I was talking about writing I also want to focus on me. I need to look after myself and not push myself to do too much at the detriment of other things. Making sure I get enough sleep, being active, eating well, and consciously taking time out to relax and do nothing productive. The key word in that last one in consciously; as it is too easy to just drift and get nothing done, which is not what I mean.

Lastly I want to talk to my friends, so making sure that I see people here and also calling people I don’t see frequently. I’ve been working to contact people as a way of staying in touch, but that doesn’t replace conversations. So I will be phoning people to chat. I’m not a big fan of the phone (which is why I don’t do this very much) but I really feel that it’s important to actually talk.

Goals for 2018:

  • focus on writing
  • improve daily routines
  • look after me
  • talk to friends

The two programs

Quest2018 is a really interesting program, which included a weekly recorded conversation from really interesting people. It was quite intensive, but very thought-provoking. It is a four-week process, as the recordings and emails are timed through December. So there’s not so much flexibility in when you can do it. And I was quite shocked when I went to listen to the first recording and it was over an hour long. That’s quite a commitment, but they were really interesting to listen to and I found lots of new people to follow and ideas to think about. The instigations were very well thought out and all tied together very well. As part of this I signed up to an accountability group, but it didn’t really get off the ground as the only person who replied had already dropped out of the process. I would’ve been really interested to have this extra encouragement so I’m a bit disappointed that it didn’t work out. Though there is a Facebook group and hashtags to follow to link up with other people working through these instigations.

Unravel your year was much more spiritual and internal looking. It’s also self-paced as it’s a workbook you can work through when you have time and the inclination. I found this really satisfying to work through and the questions were insightful and thought-provoking. It is also a solitary process, though I know of some people who have sat down and worked through it as a group.

I found both of these processes really interesting, and they both made me really think about what I do and what I want to do next year and beyond. There were some overlaps between the two, which made the two of them synergise. I’m not sure that I will continue to do both, though it would be difficult to say which I have found more useful and would choose over the other.

Sorry this was so long and all the best to you all for 2018!


  1. “I want to spend time exploring what I can do, trying things out and seeing where it takes me.”

    I think this sounds interesting, productive, and most of all, happy-making. I know there’s a lot of groups/stress on writing some daily quantity of words, and maybe some folks find that helpful/motivating, but there’s also great satisfaction in giving yourself space to explore, wallow, reflect, and rewrite. You cannot control whether someone (other than yourself) will publish your book, but you can continue to write the books you want to write. Happiness to you in 2018.

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