Goals for the New Year Past and Present!

It's that time of year again. Time when I start thinking about my goals for the coming year. I don't make resolutions, but I did vow long ago that I would treat my writing professionally and as such, I make business/writing goals. Since I'm working on the new ones I thought I would repost my goals for last year and see what you all think... this is from December 31, 2011.     I've never been a resolution person, but I do get a little giddy when Christmas is finally over and I have some time to settle down and start working on my goals for the new year. Resolutions have never symbolized a real commitment. They have always felt more like making a wish on a star, but goals? Now, goals are something that I can do. I worked within the corporate structure through most of the late 80's and early 90's and I became quite at ease with the idea of setting goals (and what a paradigm shift is.... but we won't talk about that ). Over the years, I've written posts and taught classes on goal setting, but the idea is really very basic. They must be realistic, but not simple and must be achievable and accountable. As writers, we must treat our writing as our business. The IRS would prefer that we act as a business. So, every year I start with a simple statement of operation, or my overall expectations for the year ahead. I cover three different areas: 1) What my expectation is. 2) How I plan on achieving it. and for the last part I add in something more personal. Here's my Business statement for 2012

In 2012, the expectation is that I will act in a businesslike manner with regards to my writing and consistently produce books that will not only be saleable to large and small publishing markets, but be delightful and intriguing to readers and make them want to read more.

Does this make me worthy of a Fortune 500 Company? No. But it does set the tone for my goals. These are broken down by month, and then within the month I break it down into three areas: Writing, Business and Promotion. There is also prework that needs to be done before the month's work can begin. Confused? Let me give you an example of my goals for January.

I. January - Prework: Print out SD and edit for content changes in prep for BIAW

Writing Goals:

A. Complete 500 words needed to meet goal on SD and edit

B. Query online presses that acquire Novellas.

C. Participate in BIAW

Promotion Goals:

A. Blog once weekly

B. Write 1 article

C. Put out a call for Guest Blogs

Business Goals:

A. National Dues

B. Maine RWA Dues

C. Organize Tax Papers and get info off old drive
I'm the type that is very happy with a list to check off and something tangible to show for my time. Setting these kinds of goals gives me that happy feeling.
February looks like this:
II. February - Prework: Rework list of scenes for OH and list 10 ideas for articles

Writing Goals:

A. Finish Word Count for OH, adding required pages to meet goal.

B. Edit OH

C. Write Query Letter and find 3 outlets for book

Promotion Goals:

A. Blog once a week

B. Write 1 article and find 3 outlets for other articles

C. Put out call for Guest Bloggers

Business Goals:

A. Track Daily Progress and word count

B. Update Tax information

C. Track blog and sales information in database

D. Take 1 online class
You'll see that some of the basic goals repeat, but that's because they are necessary. At the end of the year, when I start planning I usually on plan out for three to four months. This gives me some flexibility to change as I go along. Maybe I finish a goal early and start on the next. This way it can be a fluid process.
So, here are the beginning goals for 2012. Have you made yours yet? And just what is important enough to make it a goal?
Hope this helps. I wish everyone a happy, healthy and blessed New Year! May the muses, the publishers, the reviewers and the readers be kind and appreciative to your work.


Nina Pierce said...

Wow! You are very thorough in your goal setting. I think it's one of the places I've gone wrong. I'm very general in what I'd like to do then don't follow through. This year. I'm all about writing things that make my muse happy. Hopefully the money will follow me to my happy place!

Teagan Oliver said...

Thanks, Nina. I find that the more thorough and precise I am in the goal setting, the more likely that I am to accomplish my goals. The last time that I did it this detailed I sold two books in a year. Already, I find that I've met most of my goals for this month. I'm a person who likes to check things off as I go along and that way I can see that I've accomplished something. Hopefully, it will work well for me this year! Thanks for comment!

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