Noodling Out My ROW80 2018 Round 4 Goals

I’ve struggled in the past  with setting simple goals that are challenging but attainable, that will move me closer to my vision, and will allow me time, space, and energy for the rest of life – which includes learning to live as a grieving solo parent, supporting my kids through their teen years, home improvements,  personal development, and time just for myself.

The best goal-setting system I’ve found so far is Brian Moran’s The 12 Week Year. I’ve had some success with it so far, but I’ve never worked through the entire system.

So, my objective for this round – to use this 12 weeks is to work through the process of setting coherent, quality goals with strong foundations, using the 12 Week Year system.

I’ll update my progress on Sundays and Wednesdays.  I’ll assess what’s  working, what’s not, and come up with ideas to adapt to changing circumstances.

My Approach:

I’ll reread and work through The 12 Week Year  as I refine and progress toward these goals. I’ll check in regularly, as detailed in my Selftending goal below.

This post is long; those that follow will be condensed.

Categories, Visions, and Goals:



I learn to set and achieve goals that allow for both productivity and sanity. Essentially, I learn how to put on my own oxygen mask first, so I’m ready and able both to help others and pursue goals that go beyond survival level.


I prioritize and work toward one goal per category, which I evaluate with daily checklists and notes; twice-weekly #ROW80 updates; weekly check-ins with my accountability group;  in-depth analysis in Weeks 4, 7, and 10, and a final evaluation of the year in Week 13. I adjust goals/tactics/lead and lag indicators at these quarterly checks, as needed.

Evaluation by lead/lag measures; stress-level rubric; and percentage of Action Plan attained for the time period.


 * I prioritize one goal per category (although some are still a bit bloated).

I updated/ assessed progress via notes and informal check-ins  with accountability group. This is my first ROW80 update of the round; less progress there.

This Week:

* I refine goals as needed.

* I continue accountability updates, and post two ROW80 updates.

* I create an Action Plan, lead/lag indicators; and a stress rubric.



I tend to the repair, maintenance, and beautification of our home, and encourage the kids to take an active role in this endeavor, as well.


I prepare our home and yard for the winter season; work with the kids to develop a sane and functional approach to hometending which we can adapt and improve as needed, and complete all daily lessons in A Year to Clear What is Holding You Back.

Evaluation by lead/lag measures; personal and family stress-level rubric; a rubric for functionality of each room (living room, kitchen, dining room, porch, bathroom, and my bedroom); check-ins with the kids to assess the functionality of their spaces; and percentage of Action Plan attained for the time period.


* I oversaw the completion of the well pump upgrade.

* I signed a contract, and made a down payment to the roofers for work to start by the end of the month.

* I weeded, hometended, checked in with both kids, and purchased new items for our home.

This Week:

* I schedule an estimate with electrician.

* I continue tending, beautification, and winter preparation.

* I create an Action Plan and lead/lag indicators.


I anticipate and attend to the framework of our lives (homeschooling, finances, pets, passions, provisions, travel, family goalsetting and relationships), and I facilitate the kids’ growth in learning to anticipate and attend to these quality-of-life items, as well.


I create a workable, sustainable, adaptable system/schedule to facilitate attending to homeschooling, finances, pets, and travel/events; organize and anticipate each day/week/year’s needs; and attend to them in a timely, measured manner. I experiment with bullet journaling, Wunderlist, calendar, and budget, and evaluate the functionality at the times I do my Selftending goal, above. I share these systems with the kids as they’re interested, and offer chances to accept delegation and conversation around these topics at least weekly.

Evaluation by lead/lag measures; personal and family stress-level rubric; a rubric to assess functionality of each system attempted; checking in with kids to assess the functionality of delegation and any systems they’ve employed; and percentage of Action Plan attained for the time period.


* I offered the kids chances to accept delegation of hometending and shopping.

This Week:

* I create an Action Plan for this goal.

* I create lead/lag indicators.

* I update my calendar for October/November events.

New Writing:


I rediscover the passion of writing, and use this to create projects for sale and for sharing my passion freely – projects which will ignite and replenish my writing habit and discipline.


I create, revise, and submit three poems, three flash fiction stories, and one short story to 518 Publishing Company’s upcoming anthology, Influences of the Moon, and complete NaNoWriMo as a rebel with 50,000 words of Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction (probably not all the same story, but rough-revised and posted daily to

Evaluation will consist of lead/lag measures; word counts, completed pieces, and number of items posted/submitted; and percentage of Action Plan attained for the time period.


* Some very basic brainstorming/story spark collection.

This Week:

* I create an Action Plan and lead/lag indicators for this goal.

* I type up my brainstorming notes for the Pub 518 stories.

* I locate end points of all potential NaNo stories.

Professional Development:


I create a platform and marketing that support and grow with my writing career; and provide a sustainable income using the gig economy and my personal talents/interests to ensure financial security and schedule flexibility for our family.


I launch,  develop, and promote my website using Pixels to Platform; create and post newsletter freebie and twice-monthly newsletter based on the freebie; make public promotional appearances for Pub 518 as they are available; apply at Uncommon Grounds coffee shop; cultivate freelancing and dog-care opportunities, and create a rough draft of my poetry chapbook, Epic Hours.

Evaluation will consist of lead/lag measures; completed projects; percentage of promotional opportunities accepted and executed; and percentage of Action Steps attained for the time period.


* I launched my website (that’s where you are – finally! – reading this update!)

* I continue to develop and promote in a leisurely manner.

* I have a Welcome email drafted and polished, but it’s not making it through the test stage. I have nearly finished my Welcome Gift (the freebie for those who subscribe to my newsletter).

*I reread the 24 poems that will appear in Epic Hours.

This Week:

* I create an Action Plan and lead/lag indicators.

* I add three posts to the website, and add the four anthologies where my stories appear to the Writing page.

* I complete the freebie (Welcome Gift), send it out to those already subscribed, and draft premiere newsletter.

New Learning:


I delve deeply into new learning opportunities, using them to further my goals, better my life, and enrich my soul.


I complete the 12 Week Year process with this set of goals, and stay current with the DIY-MFA 101 course, using the book as a supplement.

Evaluation will consist of lead/lag measures; completed processes; and percentage of Action Plan attained for the time period.


* I have done some reading in The 12 Week Year and the DIY MFA book (companion to the course).

This Week:

* I create an Action Plan.

* I create lead/lag indicators.

* I complete the DIY-MFA 101 Week One module.


  1. This new 12-week year goal-setting looks like it will integrate quite well into ROW80’s twice-weekly accountability report. I appreciate the emphasis on vision and then those action steps, making what is most important very clear. May this last round of 2018 bring you that very rich balance between writing, commitments, creativity, family, and joy in each day.

    • Hi, Beth!

      It’s not exactly new, because this is my fifth 12 Week Year, but this is the first time I’ve decided I’m really going to go through the whole process of goalsetting. By giving myself 12 weeks to do it, I hope to avoid the time crunch I’ve had in the past, which led me to rushing in before I was ready.

      Yes, I’m still working on the goals as I craft the plans, but, by the end of the round/year (they do line up fairly well), I’ll have a better sense of where I am, where I’m aiming, and how to get there.

      The next round of goals should be an outgrowth of this set, and the groundwork will have been laid.

      I’m less looking for balance, than for the ability to shift with life rather than struggling to make it fit my desires. But all those other things – yes, please. I’ll take a rich blend of them all!

    • Beth, this is a lovely comment, and I’m sorry it’s taken me this long to get back to you!

      I really like the way the 12 Week Year System is evolving for me. I’d like to say I was a little further along than I am, but that’s part of the learning process – understanding how much I can do – and what matters most….

      What I’m learning here will help me tremendously when I set up Year 6 in a few weeks.

      And, yes, btw -it fits perfectly into the twice-weekly update formula. I have my Weekly Accountability Meeting on Saturday nights at 11pm – and finish up right on schedule to post the end of week link and work on my update, which is a lot easier since I’ve just used it in the meeting. =)

    • Hi, Beth!

      Not sure if I responded to this yet – comments got embarrassingly backlogged for a few weeks.

      But, yes, the 12 week years line up well with ROW80. They actually go to the ends of the weeks, and I can use the “break” as my assessment/evaluation week for the Year just past, and setup for the one to come.

      I’m still working through the system, but this is quite a bit further than I’ve ever gotten before, so I think taking it on this Year was a good call for me.

      I hope your move is going/did go well!

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