In the next week I’ll be taking a look at my 2012 goals again. It’s important to know which goals I met, which I failed, and which need to be more realistic in the coming year.
Analyzing my past performance helps me make plans for moving forward into this fresh new year. I already know one full-time commitment required more ongoing time and effort that I realized at the moment I took it on early last year. Which means I ended up meeting only one third of my word count and daily writing hours goals.
Now that I have a realistic estimate of the time required for my other work, my writing goals can be adjusted this year. Hey, there’s no point setting goals you know right off the bat you’ll never reach. That’s only going to cause stress and discourage me before I get started. But I do intend to put some “reach” into those writing goals. Because there’s no chance to grow and improve if I set my goal so low I can crawl over it. I’ll figure out how much I think I can accomplish. Then I’ll add about 15% to that target. Stretch….
So here’s how it goes. This week I finally have time to take out the big calendar I bought – the one that has lots of room for notes and updates for each month. I’ll use a colored marker to draw a line through the weeks allocated for my full-time project, showing how much longer it will continue at the level of effort I’ve expended in the past year. After several more months the time required to support this project will taper off.
The next line(s) will be in a second color, and will indicate specific writing jobs as they fall across the months. A third color will indicate time periods dedicated to editing.
Once I have my visual map for 2013 I’ll be able to create writing goals I can more comfortably reach this year.
Setting goals is an art. And like any other art, it takes practice, failure, and reworking what you’ve already done. But isn’t it a kick when you learn from the past and step into a new year, fresh and ready to create something wonderful and amazing?
Ladies and Gentlemen. Start your computers. Ready, set… goals!
What kind of writing goals are you setting for yourself this year? What did you learn from last year’s goals? How will you be stretching your writing skills this year? Share with us in the comments.