Last week, I went over the good, the bad, and the truth about 2013’s goals. Even though many things DID work, I’m always looking to make things much better.
Because I found that so much can change in a year, I wanted to shorten the timeframe of some of my goals. Instead of planning for the whole year, I wanted to leave some wiggle room–wiggle room for anticipated projects, anticipated learning opportunities. And I also wanted to be more organized with how I focus my learning and writing.
I am going to make quarterly goals in 2014. I’m going to look at three months at a time and make overall goals. So here is my quarterly breakdown.
For example, I’m going to plan for January-March now, in December. I’ll plan for April-June at the end of March.
1) Effective Planning
I think this will work better for setting realistic goals. I will know my personal schedule that far in advance. Frankly, I have no idea what next October will bring, so while I have an idea of what I’d like to do, I’ll be able to plan much more effectively in September for that time of the year.
2) Less Time to Procrastinate
If I plan for something to be due in October, I will probably procrastinate until the last possible minute. However, if I know something must be done in the next month or two, then I can set goals and tasks to complete those goals more realistically.
Why I’m Excited About This
I think in several month spurts. I think it’s the teacher in me. Sometimes it’s harder for me to predict how much I can get done in 12 months, but I can usually anticipate 1-3 months in advance.
In addition to quarterly goals, I’m going to make monthly tasks lists in an effort to help me focus more. I have so many things I’d like to master, but when I think about them all at once, I get overwhelmed and think I don’t have time to do any of them. So, each month, I’ll have a different focus for my writing and a different focus for my learning (new things I want to master).
Here is my template for each month:
This is where I’m going to pick something to focus on. For example: “Revision of XXXX Project”
This is the place for all of those things I want to master. I’m keeping a list of courses I’d like to take, conferences I’d like to attend, and researching when I can fit them in. For example: “Complete the Video Idiot Boot Camp” and learn how to make videos.
I have several non-fiction projects I’ve been putting on the back burner. I want to make them a priority in 2014, so every month, I’ll research something. Also, I’m doing quite a bit of research for my fiction WIP, so I can add that under research as well.
BOOKS TO READ:
I tend to buy books and then forget I have them or never read them. When someone recommends a book to me, I want to add it to my list. I’ll fill them in. For example, I want to read about how to make better PowerPoint presentations because I have a couple of those coming up in the first quarter of the year. For example: “Read BEYOND BULLET POINTS by Cliff Atkinson”.
These are the big projects I’m working on. I’ll list names of projects I’m focusing on. For example: “Finish revision of XXXX Picture Book.”
I have some goals that are blog related, so I’ll put these here. For example: “Research NF PB for mentor text post.”
I keep major writing deadlines for various projects or upcoming contests on Google Calendar. I’ll add pertinent dates for the month here. For example: “January 31 Highlights Fiction Contest Deadline”
I’m going to post this above my computer for the month. This way I can stay focused when I start to engage in another project that isn’t a priority.
Weekly To Do Lists
I mentioned last week that my weekly to do lists were something that helped me to focus. I posted my template for my writing to do lists here.
I’ll use the monthly template to help me create weekly to do lists.
Keeping it All Straight
I have a Scrivener File that has everything organized.
My plan is to do a follow up reminder post just before the beginning of each quarter. If you are doing quarterly goals, then you can remember to create ones for the new quarter. If you are doing yearly goals, I think quarterly check-ins are great ways to stay focused.
2014 and You
What are YOU doing in 2014 to keep your eyes on your writing goals? Leave me a comment and tell me what you’re doing!