It’s been a well established part of my writing life to set goals for each year to try and keep me focused, otherwise I would end up flitting from project to project and tweaking things here and there, and in the end never actually get anything done. Having goals gives me motivation to keep all the hamsters in my brain going close enough to one direction to get some things done.
However, a year is a long time. There’s a good chance of growing stagnant, of thinking “oh, I’ll just play around with this other thing for a bit, I’ve got all year,” of just being lazy with writing altogether. Sometimes a bit of playing with other projects or spending evenings with games is all fine and good, often encouraged, however it’s pretty easy to do it more often than intended. Before you know it, it’s August and you suddenly realise you’ve made no progress at all on the things you were supposed to be working on.
Let’s just say I’ve been guilty of that a few times… and considering that October, November, and December are taken up by NaNoWriMo plotting, writing, and recovering, it’s less than ideal. So this year to help combat that, I’ve revived a habit that I used in 2017 which was very, very helpful. Basically, it’s a bastardised version of bullet journalling, but the part of it that I’m specifically talking about here is setting monthly goals.
It sounds obvious, but setting small monthly goals which break down the big yearly ones keeps them attainable. By ensuring that I chip away a little each month instead of in intense bursts a few times throughout the year, I get steady progress, which in turn means I’m more likely to actually achieve my big year goals.
There are a few criteria I have for these monthly targets. Setting too many or making them too difficult to do in a month means that I’m not going to achieve those either. Small but achievable goals make me not only work on my projects, but often do more work on them than I’d planned, and without burning out.
I nailed my January goals and did more work on my target projects that I have planned for. For February, I’ve already made a good dent in them. I’m going to work hard to keep this up because with my sights set on self publishing in the future, getting things finished has become even more important – though more on that in the future! To keep myself double accountable, I’ve decided to add these goals on to my progress board.
Do you have any methods to make your goals attainable?