One thing that has always helped me is setting a goal. A goal is anything you want to achieve. I will be discussing 2 of the goals I'm working on. A personal goal and a writing goal. I have no special training. This is what I do. I'm not as stressed so hopefully some of the tips I have will help you. Let's begin. I've been doing this since I was little for well over 20 years.
Step 1: Decide on one goal.
Choose only one goal. You can add more goals as you're working through goal planning, but do only one goal for now. Be specific on that goal. You need to be able to measure the goal.
Have you heard of the SMART goals?
S - is for Specific (Step 1)
M - is for Measurable (Step 1)
A - is for Achievable (Step 1) (and I'll add Accountability (Step 2))
R - is for Realistic (Step 2)
T - is for Timey (Step 2)
My writing goal is to edit book 3 in my book series, Superior Species. My other goal is to get a massive tree cut down in my yard. It is leaning and needs to go.
Here is the tree:
Step 2: Breakdown your goal.
Here is where we get specific and how you can achieve it? What is your action plan?
Be realistic. You can't write 50,000 words in a day.
What are the outside factors? Anything that you can't control.
Let life happen! This is a big one. Life gets in the way, let it. But don't let it take over. It might and you might have to let it. Acknowledge it and then get back to your goals when life is less hectic.
Okay to edit my Superior Species Book 3, I need to edit 2-3 chapters a day. I edit Monday to Friday 2 chapters and on the weekend 3 chapters. Book 3 has 31 chapters. So I need less than 2 weeks for this edit.
For the tree, I called and found out it will cost $1,000 to remove my tree. My outside factor is I have to set money aside so I need to budget.
Here is where we break everything down more and add in our action plan:
Start with the most important goal. The thing you need to get done first.
For example, with my book, I started editing it in December. My plan was to let life happen and be done by January 10th, 2023. I planned on skipping days I was busy. Life will happen. It will get in the way. Let it. But don't let it take over.
I also have to admit this was the easier edit. I had an editor for this book. You'll see my editing process later.
For the tree, I'm saving $100 a paycheck. I was able to save this amount for this goal by cutting out fast food and watching what I spend. For example for meals, I check what I own and then buy the remaining ingredients. Less food waste too!
How will you make your goal? What is your action plan?
This is where I plan my whole year for writing. I break everything down. I'm not specific. I do quarterly and then breakdown to monthly. YOU decide what you want to do. If you can only handle a daily goal, do daily. Only a monthly goal, do monthly. Only one goal at a time, do that one goal. You can tell your limits when you're getting stressed. Or if there is something you can't control. My SUV had to go to the shop. I had to pay that first and then start saving again.
Not sure if you want to know my writing plan for the year. Here it is:
January 2023 Edit Superior Species Book 3
February 2023 Release Superior Species Book 3 (edit Superior Species Prequel & Book 4)
March 2023 Write Superior Species Book 8
April 2023 Release Superior Species Prequel
May 2023 Finish editing Superior Book 4
June 2023 Release Superior Species Book 4
July 2023 Edit Superior Book 5
August 2023 Release Superior Species Book 5
September 2023 Edit Ava (short story)
October 2023 Release Ava (Short story)
November 2023 Write ??? (I don't know. I plan to write it in November 2023. That is K.A. in November problem. She has this.)
December 2023 Finish Nano book...and not sure. Start to edit Superior Species Book 6?
Step 3: Work on your goals.
You have your goal so start getting it done. For writing or editing what is your limit? Find out either by writing or editing. I have a 2,500 at a session limit. I can only edit 2 chapters on a weekday and 3 chapters on a weekend because I'm busy. I found this out by testing my limits. I knew my limits when I couldn't edit or write anymore.
For my tree, I can only save so much. My limitations are bills and other things get in the way. I do plan on saving more because of taxes, increase, or etc. I'm hoping $1,200 will cover it. So in 6 months (maybe less) I can take down the tree. (I might need encouragement to call them!)
Here are my goals. All the * are when I am releasing a book. The other months are the book I am promoting. I only do weekly promotions so the numbers like HKS3 (Holiday Killing Spree Book 3) needs 5 images for the month of January 2023.
So I take the first 3 months January-March and then break those down.
Here are the goals:
Edit Superior Species Book 3.
Format Superior Species Book 3.
Do the cover, wrap, blurb for Superior Species Book 3.
Do the cover, blurb, and chapter one for Superior Species Prequel (if there is a next book, I show the preview).
Order Superior Species Book 3 Proof.
Edit SSB3 final Proof? (I'm not sure if I'll get all of this done since the book came to me on January 17th and it is 31 chapters.)
Get 5 images done for HKS3 for January promo.
Get 4 images done for SSB3 for February promo.
Get 8 images done for my social media for promo in Jan-Feb.
Release Superior Species Book 3.
Do the Website SEO, banner, and update website for SSB3.
Post a blog on SSB3. Post first chapter for SSB3.
Edit Superior Species Prequel.
Get 4 images for A Town of Murderers 2 for March promo.
Post first chapter for ATOMs2.
Get 5 images done for my social media for March promo.
Edit Superior Species Book 4.
Remove overused words in Superior Species Book 4.
Listen to Superior Species Book 4.
Run Superior Species Book 4 through 2 software.
Send Superior Species Book 4 to editor.
Write Superior Species Book 8 (77,500 words).
I broke these goals down monthly. For January 2023 is 1-9. For February 2023 is 10-21. For March 2023 is just goal 21.
Step 4: Check in.
How are you doing on your goals? Check in with yourself or your friends. Write it in the comments here. The point is to hold yourself accountable. I do a weekly check in every Wednesday. Pick a day. Do daily if you need it. I gave myself stickers for the goals I get done.
Be positive. You might not get everything done.
Reflect on your goal(s). Did you achieve everything? Great! Did you not? Why not? Can you adjust your goals to achieve it? If not, that's okay.
What I don't get done for this quarter (or month), I try for the next. I don't put too much pressure on myself. I can change my release plan. If I do get behind, I adjust or scrap the plan depending on how far behind I get.
You got this,