I haven’t had really any goals for several years. I’m not sure when I stopped, but I think it might have been when I started working for Amazon. That job was so absorbing in every way: mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

You know, that has to be it. I had fitness goals, word count goals, and lots more before that job. And while I don’t regret taking that job and all that I learned and gained from it, it feels like that period of time- especially the first two years and four months- are a blur. A blur of me coping with relentless stress, fighting to keep my head above water, struggling to meet incredibly capricious expectations of my constantly changing managers, and then travelling way more than I ever thought possible.

So it was cool, but it was hard. And blurry. And I gained forty pounds. And tore a meniscus and got arthritis. And my wife made the amazing choice to enact a plan to rescue me from the corporate world and then we moved twice and life has been insane.

Now I’m here with a writing career that could continue to slowly build into something that becomes a hobby that more or less breaks even or that I could hit the gas and really make a go of it with.

The fact is that life is short and I’m not done making trouble. I make the most trouble when I have goals. I’m an achievement-driven person. So I’m going to list the goals I have for 2019. I intend to make this a year of me doing everything I can to control the things I can control to make my family, myself, and the people in our community happier, healthier, and better.

I’ll curate this list regularly. I will definitely update it as I achieve certain goals. The list is mostly for my purposes. For those who read this, if you have ideas for very easy ways to be accountable for certain goals- especially the weight loss goal- please let me know.

Here we go:

  1. Have at least one ministering/friendshipping interaction each week – NOT on Sunday. Sunday is full of these.
  2. Lose at least forty pounds. That’s 10 lbs every three months. That is eminently doable. So the first milestone is to weigh 255 lbs by March first. The majority of this will be achieved by changing my diet.
  3. Publish Red Prince by the end of February.
  4. Query 50 agents for my memoir by the end of January- until and unless I sign before I query all fifty.
  5. Finish Passenger to Carthage by the end of April. Unless it turns into a full length novel, which I think I can avoid. Steam punk time travel to save Joseph Smith so he can win the United States presidency.
  6. Do the first draft of Secret Project 1 by the end of March. This is a thing I’ve been considering doing for a while. And this is all you’ll ever hear about it.
  7. Complete the Front Runner Century bike race (62 miles) in five hours or less. This happens in May. I have four months to train.
  8. Deliver all of my work projects and each milestone by deadlines or early. Never late.
  9. Outline the rest of the series and books in the Dragon Scale Posse book series. So many monsters; so little time.
  10. Outline the series and first book in the A Town Called Solemn series. Unicorns are demons.
  11. Record the audiobook for Push by the end of February. Maybe March if things get too crazy. No later than the end of March.
  12. Make a decision about the audiobooks for the Guide and the Sword series by end of March and get going on those, depending on the decision.
  13. Write at least one short story. Probably the nightmare one.
  14. Be able to do at least five pull-ups. I have never in my life been able to do five pull-ups.

And that’s it for now. I might remember some others I’d been thinking about, so I will come back and add those if necessary. I think this is a good list of totally achievable goals.

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Jared Garrett

Author of the Beat Series

Goals for 2019