A Shiny, Brand New Year

Cork PopIt’s that time again. A New Year and new goals. Or perhaps the same goals as last year carried forward, or revised.

Just by Googling “Goal Setting” you can come up with lots of information about how and why to set goals. The why, according to Psychology Today, is that when “we’re making progress on our goals, we’re happier emotionally and more satisfied with our lives.” The how to set goals is to make them SMART Goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely). Michael Hyatt says that writing down goals gives them power: “When you write something down, you are stating your intention and setting things in motion.”

I’ve been writing down my goals for a few years now, but I didn’t always review them throughout the year. Often the only time I looked at the goals I’d written was when I created new ones. Big mistake. Hyatt says that reviewing his goals frequently “turns them into reality. Every time I review my goals, I ask myself, What’s the next step I need to take to move toward this goal….The key is to let them inspire and populate your daily task list.”

So in 2014 I took a slightly different approach to my goal-setting. I broke my goals into personal, marketing and writing goals. I also set monthly goals. If nothing else, setting monthly goals forced me to check in on my goals more frequently and measure how I was doing.

So how did I do? In the writing and marketing categories the results are mixed. I completed two of the books I wanted to finish, but I neglected one series completely, and I’m not nearly as far along in developing two other series as I wanted to be. In marketing, I put my name out there (I hope) by holding an event I called Jana’s Birthday Book Giveaway in November. I created a Thunderclap promotion for it and posted multiple Rafflecopter contests, both things I’ve had limited or no experience with before. In addition I was on a blog tour in January 2014 for a newly released book, and I’ve written more guest blogs in the past year than I can count. I’m pleased with what I’ve accomplished. On the down side, I still don’t have a Pinterest account, which was one of my goals for 2014.

By reviewing my goals monthly, I discovered that not meeting a goal isn’t always because I didn’t get the job done. Sometimes my priorities shifted, or I simply changed my mind. For instance, one of my 2014 goals was to investigate agents more closely. But as the year progressed, I decided to push that goal forward until I have a project ready to pitch. One of my marketing goals for 2015 will be to compile a list of agents so that when my project is ready, I’ll know who I want to approach.

My writing goal for 2015 will be simple – increase my overall word count for the year. I was inspired by Samantha Ann King on one of her previous posts here at CRC, and by a post by Jeffe Kennedy, who has got to be one of the most organized and prolific authors I know, not to mention one of the smartest. I’m using Jeffe’s advice to help me ramp up for a writing marathon this month.

Here’s to the successful completion of all our 2015 goals!

Have you set any New Year goals for 2015? Care to share?


A Shiny, Brand New Year — 8 Comments

  1. Fantastic post, Jana. I’m thrilled that you were able to get so much on your list completed. You make a really important point about how crucial it is to revisit our goals regularly, otherwise they are soon forgotten. I think it’s also important to categorize them, as you did. I’ve been doing that the past couple of years, too. I also break my weekly goal list down into categories.

    • By breaking down my overall goals into more manageable monthly goals and “to do” lists, I was forced to actually take a look at occasionally. It surprised me how some of my priorities shifted over the year. Something I thought was really important at the beginning of the year could be less so by July. And that’s okay. Things change.

  2. Geez, ladies – I feel all verklumpt! I hope the method works for you, Jana! You GO, girl!!

    As for revisiting and modifying goals, I totally agree with this approach.I think it can be deadly to cling to a goal in the face of shifting priorities/serendipity. It’s wise to recognize what’s flowing and what isn’t. Good luck on the 2015 agent hunt!

    • Thanks Jeffe! I’m always impressed by your spreadsheets, so yesterday I stole a page from your book and started a word count spreadsheet for the year. It will give me a better idea how productive I really am.

    • Liz, there’s still time to set goals if that’s what you want to do. I never thought of choosing a word for the year. Is that a word that embodies what you hope the year brings? If that’s the case, my word for the year is Prosperity!

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