Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year's Goals

I just came from a fantastic sermon from my pastor at Foundations Christian Ministries in Bastrop, Texas. He talked about setting goals for the New Year, and I think they are relevant for writers as well.
He talked about using the word S.M.A.R.T. to remember how to set goals.


The one thing he said that made the most impact on me was to write them down. Today. When you write down a goal, your brain automatically starts working to figure out how you will obtain that goal.
Writing out my goals has been the number one biggest motivator for me to get four books completed and out in the last two years. This is my process.
I write a list of basic goals when I start a book. I have a certain number of drafts and edits I know it will have to go through, along with a critiquing, beta reading and editing process. So I take those processes and divide them by month.
Then I take each month and divide it by days. I have one of those desk calendars with extra-big spaces for days. I give myself two days off each week, for emergencies and breathing room.
Then I divide each month's goal by 20. I write a word count on each day of the calendar, along with edits, cover progress, etc.
When I wake up in the morning, my goal for the day is in mind. I'm already figuring out how I will fit it into the day, and what section of my project I will be working on. I already know how much time I will need, and how I will accomplish it.
At the beginning of every month, I decide when my promo days will be and write them on the calendar. About a week before each promotion, I figure out what my budget will be for that promotion and apply to the marketing sites.

How do you plan for your writing year? Do you have goals for 2016?


  1. Thanks for sharing. I'm very focused on setting good goals and breaking them into bite size pieces which are my weekly goals. Every weekly goal is directly tied to the yearly goal. Being accountable leads to success!

  2. Attainable was always the hardest for me, as I often think I can accomplish more in an hour than what is possible. I tried to fix this by tasking out to-dos in great detail. If there's too many tasks for a week, then I know I'm being over ambitious.

    For the most part, our process is an adaptation of what many software development companies use, called agile. Every month I blog about what we learned and how the last month went, starting here:

    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
    — Mark Twain