Goaling to Success – Day 7

28 Jan

I did get tweets yesterday! Thanks all. We had no power and/or internet for a large part of Wednesday night/Thursday so I’m just getting to post the last post.

We’re ready to wrap it up. You’ve got all your tools and data in place to extend your goals forward and backward. Congrats. You’re almost done.

So you have your 1 year plan mapped out by the week. You’ve made sure that no week is too heavy. You’ve made sure you haven’t overloaded yourself. You made sure you left room for specific yearly/quarterly/monthly barriers AND for surprise ones.  You’ve also given yourself time to take breaks, scheduled vacations and conferences. (If not, go back and do all that)

Now you have one year mapped out. This is your test year. It could be wayyyy to hard or wayyyy to easy. Very seldom do you hit your test year just right. You’re probably going to tweak it a little after doing a few week’s planning.

I think Quarterly. It breaks down my year one more chunk and let’s me get closer to my daily goals without the insanity of a huge mind-jump. You might not have to with your year mapped out.

Anyway you look at it, here is where you start making some tough decisions. I’m going to stick with writing even though I’ve already been told a non-writer is working off-screen with us (waves)

Where does your writing fall in the hierarchy of  your life. There are things that naturally have to come first: Friends, family, caring for those you’re responsible for, etc. But, you are not the end all be all of everything. Drawing those lines (like we did with the Dream Big) is important. Knowing when your kids should be doing chores or when you don’t drop everything for someone is important. A happy, healthy you is vital to being able to love those around you to the best of your ability. And if writing (or your thing) is vital to your happiness, then make the time.

The next tough decision: Time and what’s your minimum. For me, I decided I want to work on my writing for a minimum of 6 days a week. I want that to be at least an hour, but my drop-dead minimum is 15 mins. I allow myself breaks after a Fast Draft sprint (although usually, I’m itching to work on something else) OR after a project is done.

This year, my majoriest goal (yes, it’s a word in my head) is to multi-task. Learn to work on 2-3 books at a time. 2010 was kind of a lost year for me. It ground me to a halt as I reworked 1 book over and over and in the end tossed it all. I don’t want to play the hurry up and wait game again. I want to play the hurry up and then work on something else while I ignore that I’m waiting. There’s a lot of waiting in writing, so learning that balance is going to be vital to success at the level I want.

Which brings that question: What level do you want to be producing at? Not “I want to write the best books” – we all want that (if you don’t, go review what you want), so you’re producing is more the How Much type. How many books, what genres, word count slotting – If one YA book a year at 55k is your goal, your writing schedule is going to look a lot different than someone trying to output 3 books a year.

Don’t panic, I’m a HUGE believer in daily focus – like I said, even if it’s 15 mins that day, I can say I did it. Some people already can’t swing that right now (although, I challenge them to try. 15 mins doesn’t have to happen all at once. How many minutes do you sit in the car waiting for your kids, at stoplights, in traffic. Write in your head and squeeze notes down…but wait, this is a different blog *note to self: blog about creatively finding time again) – Some people write on the weekends. Some write just week day mornings before everyone gets up. Whatever yours is, you have to know so you can plan.

So, you’ve decided how much you want to give to writing each week (number of days) and what your days look like. Now, using that and your year-by-week, start making those goals for your first week.  

Again, you may have to do some changing up. If you said you could write a book in a certain amount of time, but now that you’re slotting daily, you’re not so sure. Fix that. Do NOT set yourself up for failure.

The first few weeks aren’t “real” – I know, that sounds lame, but stick with me. If you’ve ever dieted you know the first few days you’re super gung ho. You rock that diet…until you don’t. Writing goals are just like that. So, let yourself get even and then adjust. At the beginning of each week, look back on how you did before looking forward to write that weeks goals.

It’s a good practice, a good gut check. AND it makes you think about your goals each week as you write them.

You CAN look at your 1 year goals list now and bring that out to 5 years using logic and timing. But, I’d suggest waiting about a month to do it. You’re going to play with your plan a little after seeing what you’re capable of for realzies in one week.

So, there you are. From I Wishes to I Wills – remember, goals are just dreams in action.

Now, go goaling!

One Response to “Goaling to Success – Day 7”

  1. Sabrina January 28, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    Thank you so much again Bria for doing this. It’s been awesome. I’m still finalizing my excel spreadsheet, but it really was an amazing process and I think will really help me be more productive.


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