Reviewing My Goals: What I Learned This Year

Like most years, this year has had some really great spots and some really low spots. I put out two journals this year, got a fair amount of work done on my novel, and started riding more. I also lost my mother.  In this post, I look back at my goal plan for the year and figure out what went good, what went bad, and some changes I plan to make for the new year.

reviewing my goals what I learned this year

The Positives This Year

Let’s start with the good stuff. This year I was able to quit my railroad position and focus on my own business full-time. This was a huge, scary, thing and so far I haven’t gone broke.  On my list of goals, this was way up there and I am so glad I made it happen.

I also completed a riding lesson journal with my friend Jordan. This was something we came up with years ago and finally decided to put some effort into it to bring it to life.  This project was fun and led to my favorite compliment of the year.

One other big goal I had this year was to study the Bible more. While I did do this, it wasn’t quite as big as I had planned. I have grown in my faith, and am participating more at church. So this one goes in the win column.

michele cook riding a horse
Michele riding Atticus

Too Many Big Goals

This year I over did it big time in the goals department. While I was successful in some of my goals, many fell by the wayside or were just done halfway because I was trying to do so much at once. This also led to some challenges in the personal relationships of my life. I wasn’t present. I was trying to accomplish 27 things at once.

My Happiness Journal is one of the things I feel like fell by the wayside.  I love the journal, don’t get me wrong, but I put almost no effort into marketing it once it came out.  Not surprisingly sales have been slow.

This was the biggest things I learned this year. One of my big changes for next year will be to limit my goals.I want to have three big goals, and that’s it. Sure there will be a lot of little, supporting goals, but there will only be three big goals for the year.

Planning For Next Year

In January I will be doing a goal development day and I am going to take a hard look at what I really want to accomplish in the coming year. My goal planning day is something I look forward to each year. One day, away from everyone, to just focus on my goals for the year and get them down on paper.

These days bring so much excitement and invigoration to accomplishing my goals, I think next year I will schedule a few more days during the year to review my goals and make sure I am on track.  This will also give me an opportunity to battle the Idea Monster.

Beware of the Idea Monster

There is a monster who lives in my head. His name is the Idea Monster. I will be going along, staying focused on my tasks and BOOM, the Idea Monster throws something at me. Suddenly, instead of staying focused on the things I want to accomplish, I have run off down the rabbit trail chasing some idea the monster dropped on me in the middle of my work.

I have to beware of the Idea Monster. If you have an Idea Monster in your head, you should do the same. Sometimes the monster has good ideas. Even great ideas. However, I will need to put all ideas on the back burner until I have had a chance to evaluate them. I don’t want to put any time, money, or effort into something that will distract from my goals.

The Emotional Turmoil

In September of this year, I lost my mother. This created quite an upheaval in my life. Besides mourning the loss of my mother and dealing with the paperwork death brings, I had to deal with a few new things.

I am now the matriarch of my family. I am not sure how I feel about that, but I suspect it will take me more than a few months to fully come to grips with it.  I also suspect it will be a long time before I am done mourning my mother. Either way, it will be something I will have to keep in mind when planning my goals for the year.

One thing my mother’s death has shown me is that when it all goes south, it’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to deal with the tragedy right in front of you and let the rest fall to the side. There is no Queen of keeping it all together. I didn’t need to fill that role, and neither do you.

How Was Your Year?

How did your year go? Did you accomplish all of your goals? Did you learn any great tips? Leave your answers in the comments or email me at





  1. Jordan D.

    December 13, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Love all of this! Can I come to Idea Day? Slippers ready, Captain 🙂

    1. Michele Cook

      December 13, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Thanks for the compliments! Yes you can 🙂

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