Goal Setting for the New Year

Since I was a kid, I’ve always been a big list-maker. One of the most satisfying experiences, in my opinion, is making a list of all the things I hope to accomplish in a day/week/month/year and ticking them off one at a time till they’re all done. I love that sense of completion I get from looking at a list upon which every task has a corresponding checkmark. I also learned early on to break up large jobs into small tasks so that I could simultaneously give myself achievable goals and positive reinforcement that would see me through to the end. This system has stood me well as a writer as well.

I have very ambitious long term goals, but the only way I’m going to see them to fruition is by setting a series of short term milepost goals that will lead me in the direction I want to go.

With this in mind, here are my goals for 2014 (yes, I realize this is a long list, but they’re all attainable given the proper planning):

Writing Goals

  • Find representation (In process) for the book series with the goal of publishing Book 1 within a year
  • Meanwhile, write manuscript for Book 2 between January and May.
    • Write summaries for each character’s storyline, with their key scenes detailed
    • Outline the chapters in order, interweaving those storylines
    • Organize the book into 3 acts (30-35 thousand words per part) in order to give the story structure
    • Create the Scrivener project for the book
    • Set a schedule for each week with a deadline for completing each of the parts (one per month?)
    • Maintain a record of words completed each week
    • When first draft of each section is complete, take a couple of days off and then do at least 3 rounds of revision
    • Update outline as needed until the entire manuscript is complete and ready to begin editorial process
  • Write at least 2 short stories in the summer of 2014 (related to the novel? unrelated?) and shop them for publication in the fall
  • Determine what manuscript I want to work on during The Stanley Hotel Writer’s Retreat

Social Media Goals

  • Set a weekly/monthly schedule for regular blogging/posting
  • Learn how to use analytics to determine content goals
  • Find an admin assistant for my FB and Twitter to help manage postings if needed

Personal Goals

  • Schedule exercise into my weekly calendar 3 x per week and take it as seriously as I do my writing goals
  • Expand my container garden to grow more than just tomatoes this year
  • Reorganize my laundry room and consider purchasing new equipment
  • Learn to crochet
  • Dedicate one room for hobbies and organize supplies
  • Spring cleaning during the week of Spring Break to sort clutter, then store, toss, or donate as appropriate
  • Read 50 books using Goodreads to keep track of my goal

Notice that these are goals, not resolutions. Resolutions seem to always be broken. I am going to do these things, not just say I’m going to. Getting out my calendar now to make my plans. 2014 is going to be a good year.

What are your goals for the New Year?

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