How Important Are Milestones?

Today, I’ve got a snazzy Life List Club Milestone Party for you, which happens to coincide with my 200th post. Is that some serious New Year’s Karma, or what?!

Holy cowbell! TWO. HUNDRED. POSTS. Whoa.

I’ll confess that when I started More Cowbell, I imported 40 posts from my time at Writers In The Storm. Still, when I launched on April 1st, in my wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined writing 200 posts in my lifetime. What a difference a year makes!

Really. I’m doing a post next week for the New Year that talks about it. I’ve discovered that even when I’m not accomplishing the Big Kahuna goals, the change to my writing mindset over the last 12 months (hell, the last six) is mind-boggling.

That’s the real importance of a milestone to me. Whether or not they’ve made me change my habits. For example, I write about 6 days a week now. I used to average 3-5 days a month.

While I wasn’t unhappy before, I am SO much happier now. My husband thanks me all the time for chasing my dreams. I’m a better wife and mother because of it.

Your actual goal, in my opinion, is the smallest part of a milestone. The mindset required to complete the thousand little steps that get you to that goal…THAT’S where the magic comes in. It’s important to celebrate those baby steps on the way to the Big Kahuna.

My critique buddy, Laura Drake, did a post on celebrating the process just last week called Writing and Hershey’s Kisses. It’s definitely worth a read if you’re having the holiday/New Year’s writing angst that I’m seeing floating around. Or even if you’re just feeling worn out with your quest to achieve.

Back in early July, I joined up with the Life List Club. I figured I’d try it a few months and see if I liked it. We blog-hop every other Friday and focus on writing inspiring and thought-provoking posts. I had no idea I’d love it as much as I do.

A great definition of The Life List can be found here. This is my second Milestone Party (we do them every quarter) and they’re all about reflecting on our goals, partying down and giving away really groovy prizes!

I am giving away two prizes – one to a commenter on this post and one to a subscriber. If you do either of those things in the next week (between now and midnight on 1/5/12), I will enter you into the hat for your choice of the following:

  • A guest post by me at your blog.
  • An interview of you and promotion of your cause/site here at More Cowbell.

Both prizes should be a BLAST and I hope you’ll join in by commenting below or clicking on the “Sign Me Up!” subscribe button in the upper right of this screen (by my picture). Maybe you’d like to do both…don’t be shy! I’ll announce the winners on Friday 1/6.

I have an interview with Kate Wood, one of my last Milestone Party winners, coming in January and I did a guest post for Stacy Green at her snazzy blog in November.

Other Milestone prizes (below in bold):

  • David N. Walker – 2 Prizes total – one commenter/1 subscriber
    To a lucky commenter or subscriber, one interview on his site and one guest post swap.
  • Jennie Bennett – 2 prizes total to her commenters
    A copy of Totally Cliche’, the ebook in which her work is published.
  • Gary Gauthier – 1 ebook to a new subscriber
  • Pamela Hawley – 2 Prizes (1 subscriber and 1 commenter)

Winner’s choice of one of the following:

  1. Winner publishes a guest post at Hawleyville.
  2. Interview the winner for a future post in Hawleyville.
  3. OR Pam will guest post at winner’s blog and promote at Hawleyville.
  • Sonia Medeiros – $15 Amazon card to 1 commenter
  • Marcia Richards – 1 Prize to a current or new subscriber
    An Amazon gift card and the opportunity to guest post or be interviewed on Marcia’s sexy, fun blog.
  •  Jess Witkins – Prize to 1 winner
    One lucky subscriber gets an iTunes gift card and the opportunity to guest post or be interviewed on Jess’ blog.

Be sure to visit all Life List Club sites to see their posts – comment/subscribe to win prizes! You can click on each person’s name above or find the entire LLC Blogroll in my right sidebar.

What exactly is The Life List Club?

The Life List Club is about connecting, and publicly stating some life goals you’d like to accomplish over the next 12 months (for me that will be by the next 4th of July). It’s about encouraging others in their goals. Think ROW80 with some more life-focused goals in the mix.

Below, I highlighted the goals I’ve achieved (even parts of) in green. The rest are a work in progress. Those that I’ve decided are unfeasible, I’ve crossed out.

Jenny’s Life List

  1. Finish the polished first draft of my high-risk pregnancy memoir.
  2. Visit ROW80 blogs and bloggers every week – encourage at least two new people.
  3. Exercise a minimum of 3 hours a week. (HIGH on my list! Current avg = hr/week)
  4. Try kickboxing classes at 24-Hour Fitness. (I signed up for 10 weeks yoga instead)
  5. Send the rest of last year’s presents – with death, moving and baby I’ve been pitiful in this department. (I’ve gotten some out still trying to find the others. Oy.)
  6. Make more time for reading – at least two hours per week.
  7. Implement guest bloggers on More Cowbell.
  8. Research climbing vines for the back yard perimeter wall – plant them.
  9. Create an area to plant potatoes – plant them.
  10. Plant the 3 bags of bulbs in my garage!
    [I just hired a gardener who’ll do the 3 above FOR me! WOOT!]
  11. Read “Save The Cat” and Christopher Vogler’s “The Writer’s Journey.”
  12. Take Bob Mayer’s Warrior Writer again when I have time to devote to it.
  13. Take two courses from Margie Lawson’s Lawson Writer’s Academy.
    [I’ve signed up for two – one worked out and one didn’t.]
  14. Look into teaching at LWA or elsewhere online.
  15. Attend the 2012 DFW Conference (I’ve started saving for this.)
  16. Begin submitting freelance pieces to build writing income.
  17. Take Baby Girl to Gymboree at least 1x per month. (I’ve focused on church playgroup so far…Gymboree is still on the list.)
  18. Take Baby Girl to Story Hour at the library at least 1x per month. (Didn’t care for this.)
  19. Entertain at home every few months. (Success – every month but one!)
  20. Have one night a week that belongs solely to my honey. (We’ve managed this about every other week so far.)

Have you made a Life List yet? What about some writing resolutions? Are you willing to share a goal here? If you’re not to that place yet, we’d love to hear about the latest milestone you’ve achieved in your life. Enquiring minds always want to know here at More Cowbell!

Good luck achieving your dreams!
Jenny

Attention: Writers! A writer who would like to become a contributor at The Life List Club, guest posting with us, please contact Marcia Richards: marichards320 AT yahoo.com or Jess Witkins: jessi.witkins AT gmail.com. At this time, the Life List Club accepts one new contributing writer per month. Membership is open to all – just state your goals publicly in a life list page on your site and come see us on Twitter at #LifeListClub.

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
This entry was posted in Inspiration, The Life List Club and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to How Important Are Milestones?

  1. Pingback: Milestone by Milestone | Sonia G Medeiros

  2. Jenny! Wow! twenty items on your life list.. impressive..😉
    I have thought about asking to be a part of the Life List.. but then I get all tripped out and doubt creeps in. Hmm… I do have many goals for this coming month and year.
    This month I will be revising the first draft of my NaNoWriMo book. I haven’t looked at it for 30 days (per Stephen King’s advice) so a lot of stuff should jump out at me.
    I have zero time to write today/tonight.. but tomorrow it is me and the laptop! Oh, and coffee..

    Great post, Jenny.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Darlene,

      If you’ve thought about it and you feel that you have inspirational posts in you, you should email to one of the gals at the bottom of the list. They’ll chat you up and check out your blog, etc (you’ve got to be really regular on that).

      But ANYONE can join the Life List Club, just by being brave enough to publicly state their goals and let us know about it. It is a scary thing to do…I had to strap on the titanium panties just to get it done but it made me feel SO much better to see all my weak areas laid out like that.

      Like

  3. Amber West says:

    I love your point about mindset. I don’t really set resolutions so much as get pumped for what’s next. I find things that motivate me and then run with them.

    Glad your year has been so productive with a regular writing schedule. Amazing the changes that take place in less than a year!

    Like

  4. Woo-Hoo, Jenny on 200 posts! I did a happy dance when WordPress gave me my 20th post gold star. Baby Step. But, you rock!

    I finally signed up for HootSuite. I thought you were pushy–er–persistent, Jenny. Kristen Lamb takes no prisoners!

    You got me going for Row 80. Now, the Life List Club. Kristen knocked me into next Tuesday (January 3rd) with #WANA112. But, it makes sense.

    Life List Club: my 2012 goals. Row 80: rounds of baby steps leading to the annual goals. #WANA112 to elevate blog presence for a rocking 2012. OH! And I live close enough to join David and the WWBC crew on Saturdays. I suspect they’ll kick my procrastinating, perfectionist rear into gear to get my WIP ready to pitch at DFWCON. Save your moolah! I want to meet you.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You are correct…I am a cupcake compared to Kristen. She is a Force of Nature! But in a good way…she’ll never lead you to a place you shouldn’t go. You’ve just got to be brave enough to embrace the vision she shows you.

      How do you think I got More Cowbell??! Hello? WANA311 here. I’m soooo proud of you for jumping in to these things. The world opened so much for me when I did some of them – 2010 was a major eye-opening year for me.

      I want to meet you too! It’s a rough year though because I have a big anniversary trip coming up for family over the summer so I’m having to save for both. However, I’m trying to figure out a way.🙂

      Like

  5. Pingback: Awarded! | subtlekate

  6. Oh my goodness, 200 posts…that’s EPIC! So stoked for you!! You’ve got some serious forward momentum going!

    Like

  7. Julie Glover says:

    Congrats on the 200th post! I’ve had a 40 After 40 List for a while – items I want to accomplish in my life, after I turned 40 (which, sadly, was a while ago). I’ve knocked off a few, but still have plenty to go. I’ll share a few from the list: learn to tap dance (own the shoes, haven’t taken a class); take a family vacation (don’t do this often enough, hoping for summer 2012); sing karaoke at a club/bar (I heard talk of this for DFW Con 2012, which I have already registered for!); fire a gun (I think my hubby’s taking me to a shooting range for Valentine’s Day). Good luck with your list! Happy 2012.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      What an AWESOME list, Julie!!! However, you could maybe combine the DFW Con and your gun-firing experience in to one, especially since Kristen and Piper (and hopefully I) will be there. The three of us gals LOVE firearms.🙂

      Like

  8. hawleywood40 says:

    Congrats on such a great year, Jenny! Your thought about being a better wife and mother because of chasing your dreams really resonated with me. I feel like I’ve become a much better partner, daughter, granddaughter, friend and even employee this year because I am a happier person who has come to believe her “dream” can happen and takes the time to work towards it. So glad I became a part of the LLC and looking forward to an amazing New Year!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Awwww, thanks, Pam! I am positive that you have shined brighter in every area of your life from chasing dreams. It’s a lovely, important thing to do. Thanks for sharing (and I’m glad to be in LLC with you too🙂 ).

      Like

  9. Wow! 200 posts? That’s pretty darn awesome. Congrats on the milestone and your impressive list! 2012 is going to totally rock.

    Like

  10. You seriously inspire me! I think your goals are fantastic! Love ya girl🙂

    Like

  11. CONGRATS on this fab milestone, Jenny! I love that you’re celebrating by setting/sharing goals and inspiring others to follow suit. (Duh, no wonder your blog’s been a success. :))

    I haven’t made a life list, but I continually strive to move forward and accomplish goals. This year I plan to finish my second novel, start my third, continue to grow as a writer, connect more with others and incorporate music into my daily routine. Can’t wait to follow your progress!

    Like

  12. Jess Witkins says:

    Jenny, I can’t get enough of your sense of humor. I like how expansive your goal list is too. Plant potatoes, write a book, play with Baby Girl. You are one superwoman! Here’s to another year of phenomenal writing and fellowship from the Life List Club!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      See, Jess, I’m so NOT Superwoman, and I’m really forgetful. I included all those on my list so I didn’t end up looking at bags of bulbs in my garage next March and going, “DANG! I was gonna plant those!!”

      The list helps keep me accountable and moving forward.

      Like

  13. Happy New Year, Jenny. Congratulations on reaching your milestones. I notice you have a big long list of goals.Maybe I should take a cue from you. I only have a few. I need to come up with more goals!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Happy New Year to you too, Gary! You probably put a few BIG goals on your list, which is fine. I included all the smaller, life-focused goals for the reasons I put above to Jess. They’re important to me, but they tend to get lost amongst the big things if they aren’t stated (at least for me).

      Like

  14. Whoa! I had to reread and sit with this post. First, I’m hoisting my “just consumed Chipotle tacos” self up onto a chair to cheer for your 200th post. Whee! Now adding in a balanced high-kick for how you rocked out on your goals, even through sickness and other life events.🙂

    I’m inspired over here and sitting with how true it is that one’s mindset is the true bearer on how goals and progress are made. The best gym, story plot or time management gadgets will not get the work done if the mind isn’t committed to go along. Good stuff, Jenny!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      YUMMY…Chipotle tacos! Sorry, shiny object…haven’t eaten lunch yet…

      I so appreciate your sunshine and cheer, Barbara. Friends like you are part of what keep me going when bad days or raging PMS rear their ugly heads.

      I’m putting money on your mindset, girlfriend…You’re gonna ROCK the ROW this round.🙂 I hope you consider making a life list as well.

      Like

  15. Yea Jenny!!!!

    Whatever you do, don’t stop! I think you’re on a serious roll! Do you sleep? lol

    And what is up with planting potatoes?🙂

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I am on some forward momentum. Kristen Lamb does that to a person once we get out of our own way, don’t you think? And no, I don’t get tons of sleep, but it’s worth it.

      On the potato front – I’ve never met a spud I didn’t like and they’re really good colder weather crops here in Southern California so I want to plant some and grow my own to have them through the winter and spring.

      Like

  16. Annie says:

    You are an inspiration. One of my goals for the New Year is to give my blog the boost it needs to run more smoothly. It takes dedication, drive, and determination…all three characteristics that I have seen you embrace for the past year. Congrats on your empowering success. Happy New Year, Jenny!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Annie! And I say, JUST DO IT. Throw it down and see where the momentum takes you. You have a WONDERFUL blog and I’d love to see even more of it.

      Happy New Year to you too.🙂

      Like

  17. Awesome, awesome, awesome, Jenny! I love the way you put things. The mindset for the thousand little steps is so important! Thanks for reminding us. And congrats on your 200th post! Woohoo! That is a great milestone. It’s one I’m aiming for too (am at 176, I think). Yeehaw!😀

    Like

  18. Jenny, I can’t believe you started blogging about the same time I did. I consider you to be the epitome of what a blogger should be. Figured you’d been doing it for years. You rock!

    Like

  19. Jenny Hansen says:

    Wow, y’all are sending me into the New Year with a turbo-charge! THANK you for that amazing compliment, David. It kind of puts me in awe of the universe to be anyone’s epitome for anything.

    We started our solo blogs at the same time but I got to get my practice in on Writers In The Storm, which started back in late Spring of 2010.🙂

    Like

  20. Emma Burcart says:

    I love what you said about the actual goal being the smallest part. It really is the mindset and all the little steps we take along the way that make the difference. I guess whoever said that quote about the journey being the important part was right. Thanks for the reminder!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Emma! I read your comment and Marcy’s all in a row and I’m smiling because I’ve learned to appreciate and enjoy the milestones more in the last year or two but I used to do EXACTLY what Marcy says she does.

      You are very, very welcome for the reminder. As you can see, I give it to myself as well.🙂

      Like

  21. Congrats on hitting 200 posts. That certainly is something to celebrate!

    I tend to be too driven, so in the past I’ve neglected celebrating anything, either milestones or achievements. I always mean to celebrate and promise myself I will, but then by the time I reach that point, I already have my eye on the next goal/milestone, and I can’t seem to find the time to celebrate. That’s something I’m working to change, and hope to continue to change in the New Year. I don’t want to always be so focused on the end goal that I forget to enjoy the journey.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Marcy, I’m laughing because my husband would tell you I’m the same way, only recovering slightly. I find life fascinating, that we get to learn and grow and change and get NEW LIVES. How cool is that?

      You go with your new leaf…I expect to be encouraging you in those milestones in the coming year. I think you’re amazing already.🙂

      Like

  22. Marcia says:

    Congrats on your 200th post and on your 1 year anniversary coming up! You have really raised the bar of success for 1st year blogging, Jenny!
    You did really well on your goals this quarter–keep it going! Small changes, baby steps-that’s the way to go. I agree that the way the process of striving toward a goal changes us is as important as reaching the goal. Savoring the positive changes along the way gives you the motivation to keep moving forward until it becomes a habit you don’t want to give up!

    Like

  23. Hey Jenny, 200 posts is an awesome milestone. Congrats! Amen to having the mindset to achieve our goals. Blogging and social media was a huge leap for me in 2011 and I can’t believe how much I’ve changed since starting out. Looking forward to your post 300. Happy New Year!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I feel that way too, Kate! I think the world of blogging writers and WANA help keep us all going. It’s such a community and we all so enjoy each other. It’s extremely motivating on the goal front.🙂

      Like

  24. This is one impressive list, Jenny! You are so inspiring🙂 Congratulations on the 200 posts – they are all fascinating! And congrats on your one year anniversary coming up soon.

    Milestones are important to me. I ALWAYS celebrate even those small ones. A few months ago I had a post about milestones – it’s a great subject and I’m so glad you are exploring it here.

    Happy New Year! Looking forward to hanging out in the Cowbell in 2012!!!

    Like

  25. Congratulations, Jenny on the 200 posts!!! What an incredible milestone!

    Happy New Year and I look forward to even more inspiring posts throughout 2012! 🙂

    Like

  26. Pingback: Sharing is Caring: My Weekly Finds – The Rocking New Year Edition | Barbara McDowell's Blog

  27. 200 POSTS – woot woot – that’s awesome! Raising a celebratory glass of champagne in your honor – that’s a fantastic milestone to reach. Your blog totally rocks my world and you are a huge inspiration to me (and many others) so here’s to you and the next 200 posts!🙂
    And wow on your life list and the accomplishments thus far. I can see 2012 is going to rock!!!
    I love the perspective you bring on celebrating the million baby steps it takes to master the major goal and you are right…that is where the magic is! Hoorah…

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Nat. It’s good for me to have these quarterly check-ins because otherwise I spend all my time thinking about what I’m NOT getting done. Friends like you help too…THANK YOU!

      Like

  28. Congrats on the 200th post! My next milestone post will be…wait for it…30! WooHoo! But I’m getting there and striving to hit the balance between working on WIP and blogging 3x a week. Life list sounds great, I’ll have to check it out. 🙂

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      It’s one blog at a time, Serena. Good for you. By the time you get to 200, your head will have spun around about 5 times. It’s mind-blowing, and very fun.🙂

      Like

  29. Hi Jenny. Congrats on making so many of your goals. And 200 posts?! Blimey (as the limeys would say), congrats on that, too. No-one combines advice on Word with high risk pregnancy like you! Really.
    I love your give-aways. If I win I’m taking the guest blog. A day off – woo-hoo!
    Happiest of New Year’s to you out in California land.
    Cheers!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I love the word, “Blimey.” You have SUCH a turn of phrase, Nigel. I hope you do win. I haven’t picked yet…waiting until Thursday night so we’re all surprised.🙂

      Happy New Year to you too.🙂

      Like

  30. Pingback: Milestone Winners + More Cowbell Coming Attractions | Jenny Hansen's Blog

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