How To Set Goals, Meet Them, and Make New Friends

2016 Retrospective

2016 has been a long year–full of ups and downs and the unexpected. We’ve lost celebrities and loved ones, health issues have plagued friends and family, politics seems crazier than usual.

On my blog though, I’m just going to focus on my writing.

Here I can pretend it’s a bright and shiny world. I may not have ended my year with a signed agent, but I blew away all of the goals I set.


My Writing Goals This Year

I made sure to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound) goals. Here are the very pleasing results.

checkbox-tick-md Finish 3rd re-write by March. I finished early! On January 26th.
checkbox-tick-md Send to Beta Reader(s) as soon as re-write is finished. Success.
checkbox-tick-md With feedback, finish next rewrite before July. Early again! I finished the 3rd round of re-writes on June 9th.
checkbox-tick-md After final rewrite, send to at least 3 publishers/agents. I’ve submitted to 7 agents. Check out this chart!


checkbox-tick-md Win NaNoWriMo (write 50,000 words in November). Intimidating success! I wrote 75,076 words. (Since then, the only thing I’ve written is blog posts and that short vignette. Although, not working on my main stories may explain why I actually wrote a vignette…)
checkbox-tick-md Make a blog post at least twice a month. With this being my 62nd post, I’ve got more than once a week on average. Another outrageous success.


My Top 10 Posts of 2016

For my newcomers and/or people looking for reading material/favorites from this year, here’s my top posts of the year.

My Top 3 Posts of 2015

You’re probably a new follower this year. I mean, I just showed you my stats. So, for all you new followers who probably missed them, I wanted to share my best posts of last year with you.

My 3 Most Under-Rated Posts:

Some posts do well because of day of the week, or you just joined a new group so everyone’s popping over to say hi. And some posts inexplicably seem to be ignored.

This next list is completely my opinion, there are no stats to back up my selections, but here you go.

Social Media Stats

Following advice I saw Jane Friedman’s blog, I went ahead and joined a few more social medias. I thought I was just reserving the names, but1 I got a bit carried away.

The goal I dared not list was my social media goals. I had no clue where to set my goals for those. But I wanted to reach out and find new readers, to find writers to connect with.

With the help of joining the #PitchWars community in July and Raimey Gallant’s NaNoWriMo bloghop in December, my tiny little blog has found an amazing audience of writers who are right with me on this crazy journey.

I like stats and tracking progress, so here are my numbers for 2016.

wordpress-logo-stacked-rgb    WordPress

  • I started this blog in April of 2015.
  • I posted 62 times this year.
  • I have 186 new followers.

WordPress is happy to help you calculate growth and stats, so here are my stats from this year, compared to last year.


Other Social Medias

  • twitter-square-logo Twitter – MorganHzlwood
    • I joined in March
    • I posted 3,157 times this year
    • As of today, I have 1,775 followers
  • tumblr-logo_318-41096 Tumblr – MorganHazelwood
    • I joined in June
    • I posted 135 times this year2
    • As of today, I have 57 followers
  • glyph-logo_may2016_200 Instagram – MorganHazelwood
    • I joined last year
    • I posted 157 times this year
    • As of today, I have 295 followers
  •  pinterest-logo-circle_318-40721 Pinterest – MorganHazelwoo
    • I joined last year
    • I pinned 59 things. Not sure how many this year
    • As of today, I have 88 followers
  • facebook-fanpages-logo Facebook Pages – MorganHazelwoodPage
    • I started the page last year.
    • I probably shared about as much as my Tumblr. (There was some issue with cross-posting not happening for a while, but that’s fixed.)
    • As of today, I have 88 followers. (Hopefully, blog-hopping will increase that number)
  • facebook-logo_318-49940 Facebook – MorganSHazelwood
    • I opened the account in 2013.
    • I posted probably around 1,562 times this year (counted 6 months and doubled).
    • As of today, I have 375 friends. (255 new ones! Welcome <3)
  • google_plus_alt-2-128 Google+ – Morgan S Hazelwood
    • I opened the account in 2013
    • (My cross-posts of my blog were sadly marked private for a bunch of them, so fewer than my FB fan page or Tumblr.)
    • As of today, I have 55 friends (35 new ones! Welcome!)
  • 15dd0e_983b7450c2c94e1db859367a3d0b3319 GoodReads – Morgan Hazelwood
    • I opened the account in January 2016
    • My bookshelf holds 256 books, w/3 to-be-read
    • As of today, I have 512 friends.
    • 4 reviews and 252 ratings.

How well did you do on your goals? Have you given up on them, or do you think you might do better with concrete, SMART goals?

1 – Just as my blog started off as an author landing page
2-  Admittedly, it’s mostly reblogs from here and my Instagram, for followers who prefer tumblr


  1. Nice work accomplishing your 2016 goals, especially surpassing your target dates. I had a good year, but didn’t hit all my marks. My plans for next year are more focused and in some ways less ambitious, but if I hit them all it will be an excellent year.

    Liked by 1 person

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