Planning a Happy Life Worth Living 2019

View before sunrise to the East from Mount Moriac (1854) by Michael Minter (b1807) artist via State Library Victoria

Before we start planning 2019, let’s take a quick look back.

According to global horoscope predictions, 2017 would be a difficult year full of turbulence (check). and 2018 a year or rebuilding and gradual progress (maybe). And now 2019 brings positive change and offers hope for a joyful and focused year (about time).

2019 Vision, Misson and Virtues

Last year I focused on being a dynamic business woman. but as the year progressed, it became apparent that is not what I am. So I need to readjust.


At the most basic level, I am a writer so writing has to come before business (otherwise there’s nothing to sell).

I am a prolific writer, making a good living. I am lean and healthy, happily married, living in a beautiful house, with a tranquil garden.


I’m actually going to leave my mission the same because it’s all about the writing.

Entertain and share my wisdom by writing prolifically, and publishing widely.


I’ve looked again at my virtues, and I think the broad categories are still fine, and just need a little tweaking. And reprioritising.

EnergyMy health never really got going in 2018, so it’s time to make that a priority. It remains taking care of physical and mental health to maximise my ability to achieve my goals, but takes the top spot.
FocusStill trying to keep a line between work and home (snort), but building a catalogue of work.
FriendshipBy nature, I am a solitary creature, and there have been times in my life where I have not spoken to another person for days. And in general, that’s fine, but I also like lunching, so it’s time to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones.
ProsperityProsperity remains the feeling of wealth, of having sufficient resources (time or money) to meet my needs and some of my wants.
WisdomAgain, the combination of street smarts, logic and innovation.

I think that’s a pretty good start, so it’s time to come up with some goals.

Planning 2019

I recently watched a lecture by Dean Wesley Smith, about staying focused (on writing) throughout the year. He broke the writer’s year into four times:

  1. Excitement (Jan – Mar), when you dive right in and you’re having a great time, achieving your goals.
  2. Great Forgetting (Apr – Jun), other things become more important, and you just forget to keep up with your goals.
  3. Great Regret (Aug- Sep), you’re looking backwards wishing you hadn’t lost track, and beating yourself up for being so stupid.
  4. Restart (Oct – Dec), you get back on track and get all excited about doing it differently in the new year.

And I can say, that is pretty much the way every recent project/year has gone for me.

So how do you deal with that?

Well, according to Dean, a combination of:

  • The smallest possible daily goals, that are almost impossible not to achieve, and
  • Accumulating your daily achievements into streaks, you don’t want to break.

This prevents you from looking too far ahead, noticing how much elephant (project) you still have on your plate and getting discouraged. Though as you finish your elephant, set a date to start eating the next one. Ideally, the very next day. Or maybe the following Monday.

Though of course, now and again, life gets in the way and you’ll miss a day or more. But the important thing is not to get all waily waily, but to skip the time of Great Regret and just start up again when circumstances permit.

So, to make a short story long, this year, I’ll be trying some daily goals. Though I haven’t yet figured out how I’m going to track them.

2019 Goals

EnergyEat well, move well, sleep well, avoid added salt and sugar with the goal of getting to that medically recommended weight 60 kg. (Though I’d still rather do 59 kg.)

Daily Targets:
• Not eat processed/manufactured food where possible.
• Walk 10,000 steps.
• Sleep 8 hours.
FocusThis year, I’m planning around a working year of 40 x 5 day weeks. This gives me scope for 4 x 10-week projects, with a buffer for a vacation and life events.

Daily Targets:
• Write 1,800 saleable words.
• Turn off the computer by 7 pm.
FriendshipFriendship is tricky for a daily target, aside from getting on Facebook for 15 minutes/day. The downside to that is it’s not the kind of real connection that grows relationships.

Weekly Target:
• Connect with someone (other than DB) by phone, mail or in person.
ProsperityMy definition of prosperity is the feeling of sufficiency, suggesting my goal ought to be a feeling too, and that brings to mind the feeling of gratitude. Or perhpas even better, appreciation.

Daily Targets:
• Find three things bout being alive to appreciate.
• Find three things about being a (prolific) writer to appreciate.
WisdomDeveloping street smarts, logic and innovation, still seems to be about learning. And maybe finding ways to practice what I’m learning. I’ve set a target of reading 78 books during 2019 ( a novel each week and non-fiction fortnightly).

Daily Target:
• Read 20% of a book each day.

Now, I feel that there are some things missing here (like visiting galleries, date night or taking a course). But perhaps the things that build up to a life worth living are the kinds of things that you do every day.

Perhaps it’s time to follow my pretty girl’s lead – start with one day, and make each day that follows better with more of the things we enjoy. Like walks, naps and tasty treats.

How is your 2019 planning shaping up?

For more, see the Project Life Worth Living page.

26th January 2019

If I amused, entertained, or informed you today, feel free to leave me a small gift. Click to go to PayPal.

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