Friday, December 30, 2016

On Goals

For more than 30 years I worked in a deadline-driven business. The publication I edited had a schedule. Advertising campaigns had due dates. Projects began and ended -- on a timetable. I like deadlines. They make me get things done -- when I would really rather be doing something else.

So, last year, to keep this happy retired self on track, I set some goals (not resolutions)  for the year. And then I promptly forgot what they were until I went to check up on them! (That's when you get the deer-in-the-headlights look!)

What I discovered is that if you make reasonable goals that fit with your life, maybe you don't have to pull an all-nighter to make them! (Well, I may have to do that with one -- but read on!)

I wanted to meet three bloggers in person this year -- and I failed on that one. I met one, a terrific one (Mae) and we met up twice! And I met a number of people who I had no idea read my blog but came up to me and said "I read the Marmelade Gypsy all the time!" One person even came to my art sale. So, that was a more-or-less fail, but still very, very good.

I would take three art classes. I had no idea what I would take, because they hadn't been offered but I ended up enjoying a colored pencil class and two watercolor classes. I went from this... this.

And they were great motivators to focus on painting in the summer.

I would visit a foreign country. OK, I knew right away that was a no-brainer because my friend Suzanne lives in Ontario, right across the river, about three hours away. But I did visit several times and more to the point, during one of those visits really explored new territory. So, definitely not a fail!

I would write more, procrastinate less. And I've done that -- not only on blog but with some contract work writing direct mail solicitation pieces. social media for two organizations and especially with the essays for "Modern Creative Life." I was so excited when Becca and Deb decided to include two of those in the first "Modern Creative Life" anthology (Amazon.com -- it's free on Kindle!)

I would continue purging the basement. And I'm doing that. Not that most could tell, but the Goodwill boxes are going out the door this week! I also passed some of the Christmas things I have to others, happy to see them in someone else's home or on someone else's tree.

I would complete a big home maintenance project here or at the cottage and that I did, getting the foundation fixed up north. We went from tear-up to time to paint!


We do have to do a little more painting on the new part, and need to get a step, but the real work is done. And I took care of some badly needed tree trimming down at home.

I would dig into family history. Talk about falling down the rabbit hole! I've found out some amazing things I never knew, started a family history blog and newsletter to share with other family members and am hoping to coordinate both the family info and historical research into a narrative. That'll take some time, but it's part of the 2017 goals to get a good start.

Finally, the all-nighter -- read 60 books. As I write this a few days before it posts, I am on 59. I might be up till midnight to finish a 60th but I'm committed to try. (And it's a real page-turner called "I Let You Go" so I just might make it!)  Unless life gets in the way!

The Lake Bookshelf -- kids books, mysteries, Ethan Frome. Diverse!
Not bad! A pat on the back for me!

New goals for 2017? I'm sure there will be some. And I'd better start thinking about it!


  1. Sounds like a good year for you. Love the art you made. Hope you will enjoy reaching your goals next year! May it be a great one for you! Hugs, Valerie

  2. Ohhh, good job! I think this year I may start a reading list somewhere on my blog. (More so I can refer to it and know if I've already read something or not the next time I go to the library). Deadlines are extremely motivating, are they not? -Jenn

  3. Thank you for another stunning post of yours, darling Jeanie !

    May the New Year coming sparkle with joy and contentment, peace and health to you and yours,
    with much love and utmost gratitude

    Xx Dany

  4. Oh, Jeanie, you are so TOGETHER! And I'm again so flattered to be in your choice of a photo. You are the only other blogger I ever met in person as a pure blog friend, too -- not just this year, but ever! Maybe we should make a JOINT goal to meet a third one (though I know you have met others before 2016). There would be lots of opportunities for museum visits and food-related activities.

    Congratulations especially on your writing goals achieved. And happy continuing in 2017.

    best... mae at

  5. Great job, dear Jeanie. Hope you meet more bloggers this year and one of them is named Katie Clooney!!! Hope you have a happy, healthy new year!!!

  6. Good for you for keeping track of your intentions for 2016. It looks like it was an accomplished year for you. The very best to you for 2017!

  7. You accomplished so much!

    Bravo..and Happy Happy New Year..Rick on the bicycle is so super!

  8. Very motivating, Jeanie. Thanks for sharing the review of your Goals. That's right, to make it more reachable, 'Goals', not 'Resolutions'. Looks like you've had an immensely fruitful year. Hopefully the 'meet the blogger' program will have one more result next year. -:)

  9. Reading this wonderful post, I have a whole new perspective on 2016: a happy and productive year for you, thanks to your goals! I hope you have many new adventures in 2017!

  10. Wow, Jeanie -- what an awesome year! Sure am hoping that we finally get that lunch together in 2017... As ever, though, I will enjoy following your adventures here (and maybe especially seeing where your creative impulses might take you). xoxox anno

  11. I think you did really well on your goals!! I didn't set any this year except to survive it and that seems like I attained that at least. OH and read at least 100 books and I've surpassed that! Yay! This year more purging of 'things' will be going on. It has to start soon so I can move around my home and breathe again!
    Happy New Year!

  12. Love the painting of St. Jacobs, Jeanie. And of course, Lizzie, too. Your blog is so fun to visit.

  13. Not bad at all! Those sounds like good goals. I am impressed you made 59 books-or hopefully 60 if you pull that all nighter. I didn't read as many books as I wanted to (if you don't count art or cooking books), but maybe in 2017 I should pick a number to work towards. Have a happy New Year Jeanie! Hugs-Erika

  14. Love your goal accomplishments. Good luck with the 2017 list. I made a list about a week ago and immediately forgot about it. Must go back and see what it says. I know one thing is to learn to make a good pavlova. Now that is a goal I will like.

  15. I'd say . . . a very GOOD JOB . . .
    I think you accomplished, stayed true . . . way to go . . .
    I am turning the corner . . . my 2017 theme is . . . "cutting back" . . .
    Motivated more than ever . . .
    I will let you know how I makeout . . .
    Hapoy New Year Jeanie . . .

  16. Jeanie, you have had an amazing year, accomplished so much! Wishing you much happiness and fun times in 2017!

  17. That's an amazing list, Jeanie! I'd say you accomplished so much and they are good things. To read 60 books in one year would be a dream to me but I might have to stop reading blogs to do that. ;) Your creativity always inspires me so keep up the good work and sharing on that front. Come to Texas and meet me for lunch!!

  18. That's awesome that you did such a good job with your 2016 goals. I look forward to seeing what your 2017 goals are, and to finding out this time next year how you do with them.

  19. Excellent achievements, Jeanie! I too believe in goals, not "resolutions" - goals are driving forces, resolutions seem to involve limitations. Keeping things positive while forging ahead automatically slough off the unnecessary, streamlining our journey to a new land. I have one more week left before returning back to school, and I hope to clean out the basement. I took 4 bags to the Goodwill yesterday already!

  20. Wow, Jeanie, I'm MORE than impressed. If you were an employee getting a performance review, I'd say exceeded expectations! I'm a list-making, check-it-off type A+ person, and this is the kind of stuff my nighttime lullabies are made of - reviewing and checking off things accomplished as compared to the list, lol. I may have to do this for 2017, and while I don't make resolutions, I definitely have some goals.
    Happy New Year, friend, you rock retirement!

  21. HI Jeanie! What a year and Happy New Year!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  22. I Let You Go is the perfect last book of the year because if you like it as much as I did, you'll be willing to stay up late to finish it. Especially once you get past the first twist in the book!

    You did great on your goals! Well done!

    I didn't accomplish all of my goals in 2016 but I accomplished many of them and did more than I would have if I hadn't set them!

  23. Good goals and good results! You are always working on something interesting! Happy 2017.

  24. Bravo! 2016 was a year to accomplish much! I never set such lofty goals, but I should. You've inspired me to make my own list today, and I never do that. Right it down, I mean! '-)
    I read that you will be in Dallas to meet friends in January. I wish I could be there too, but already have a commitment on that date. Let me know if you are ever in Austin.
    Happy New Year, my friend!

  25. I'm late here because, well because life is good to me and I've been making merry with family and friends. I could not let this fabulous post pass with no comment. Awesome Jeannie! I like the way you think and at 59 I would be pulling an all night reading marathon too! i hope I can make and reveal my success for next year!
    Let the new year begin!

  26. Hi Jeanie - so happy to have "found" you this your blog...very impressive list! Happy New Year!

  27. Good for you Jeannie. You got a lot accomplished. I read a lot of books too. When we were in Hawaii for a month I read a book almost every other day some days a full book. Have always been a fast reader and it is the most relaxing thing to do.

    I am sure you will meet all your goals in the New Year.


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