Today’s January 2nd, 2019 which means the year really begins today, as does your 2019 vision for the new year. A year may seem like a long time but in fact time moves faster than we all think, especially as we age.
Each year we might set new goals but with every passing year such goals are notorious for falling to the wayside. Since I’m a writer who also happens to be a workout fanatic, I see this every year at the gym and come Valentine’s Day, the long-term New Year’s Fitness Resolution serves as an epitome for failed resolutions, which almost always fade away when the weather breaks.
In my opinion, it’s because people are fantastic at visualizing the final product, which I okay because we DO need to visualize that product as it really is the first step.
We never ‘want’ our short-term goals; we want our long-term goals.
Fantastic, because I’m no different.
However, we also need to realize that in order to reach such a lofty goal, we need smaller goals and setting them at the beginning of the year is perfect.
I’ve already shared my goals for the near future throughout 2019, but I’m going to focus on you, the reader here and explain each type of short-term goal you need to succeed in 2019.
Keep in mind, this post isn’t just about writing; it’s about any goal you set in 2019, so I’m deviating from the niche a little.
But don’t worry, because this is valuable information for writers just as it is for those hitting the gym in 2019.
It’s all about goal setting and it’s time to define the goals in the order you need to set them.
Well, you have the long-term goal. Say you want to publish your first book. How are you going to get there?
This is the first step, the first goal, at least one each day, of three-hundred-sixty-five days. Every single day, you need a list of daily goals, or just one daily goal, that will help you toward the long-term annual goal.
Maybe the daily goal is to write your first draft for an hour.
It can be anything.
Each day, before going to sleep, make sure you set these goals. Don’t do it the day of, but do so when you feel motivated.
Go to sleep, and when you wake up the next day, attack the daily goal.
You have fifty-two weeks in a year, so you’ll have fifty-two weekly goals. Every Saturday or Sunday night, whichever day you prefer to end your week on, make a weekly goal.
For writers, you might want to write for one hour each day.
That’s seven hours of writing.
In that one hour, you want to write one chapter for your book.
Or, you might be like me and write four days, and edit three days. One hour each.
The goal can be anything related to the overall long-term goal.
Each of these fifty-two weekly goals should take you one week closer to your overall goal.
Time flies, so make sure your overall weekly goal is a sum of your seven daily goals.
You have thirty to thirty-one days per month, twenty-eight in February.
We have between four and five weekly goals.
If you’re like me and writes a first draft before editing every other day, I’ll write one chapter per day that I write, edit one each day, too.
That’s fifteen chapters, three to four a week.
I should have fifteen chapters completed in a first draft by the end of the month of January.
Fourteen for February, so we’ll say the book has twenty-nine chapters.
The monthly goal in this scenario would be to have the appropriate number of chapters completed in my rough draft.
Yep, now it’s time to see what you will accomplish at the end of March, June, September, and December.
Let’s go back to the book.
We completed the first draft in January and February.
We wrote or edited three to four chapters per week.
We dedicated one hour a day toward writing and editing.
Now, the New Year’s Resolution is coming to life, and again you can use your own goals to sub for the book goal I’m outlining.
Now, by the end of the first quarter of the year, by which spring hath arrived, perhaps we completed our first round of editing.
So, the daily goal would be to edit one chapter a day.
Weekly goal is seven a week.
Monthly goal is to have all twenty-nine chapters edited.
Okay, now onto the bi-annual goals. This consists of two quarterly goals, six monthly goals, twenty-six weekly goals, and 182-183 daily goals.
So, what’s the bi-annual goal going to be?
What is it you’re working toward over the long-term?
Perhaps by the end of Month Six you’ll your book ready for beta-readers?
March, April, May, and June can all be editing months.
The goal to edit a chapter a day remains the same.
The goal to edit seven a week remains the same.
The goal to edit the whole book each month remains the same.
But the editing goal changes.
Maybe the goal in March is just to find and destroy massive plot holes.
April? Get rid of minor plot holes.
May? Minimize sentences, description, dialogue, keeping only what you need to get your point across.
June? Get rid of all grammar errors visible to you.
We’re still editing. Something I love about writing is that it’s 70% editing, 30% writing, just like how a fitness lifestyle is 70% nutrition, 30% exercise.
Counterintuitive, but it’s the truth. This is why if you’re a writer I suggest you enhance editing skills. Invest in an editing course or at least read up on the craft.
Anyway, now it’s July and before we know it the year’s half over.
Think about that.
Look at how fast time flies by.
So, while your amazing beta readers are reading away at your book, perhaps it takes one month.
Why not continue editing more?
Don’t change anything major, since your beta readers are on the case. They’ll tell you whether the story itself works. Do another grammar check. Read the story and enjoy it.
Here, we’re just putting it in cruise control, but keeping our foot near the throttle. This month is simply going to be a light editing one to keep you on track without falling off the wagon by taking a month-long break.
Working toward the ultimate annual goal of publishing a book, it’s now time to reassess your daily goals.
So, your daily goals will now consist of the following for the final six months:
1. Edit one chapter a day as you’ve been doing, but now edit according to your beta-readers’ feedback. Seven chapters a week, the full book each month. And finally, go through three rounds of this which will take you to October (latter part of the year always goes faster).
2. Final quarterly goals will consist of the same, except now upload the book to something like E-calibre, which will give you an idea of how your book looks like when reading an e-book.
At this point, your book should be pretty cleaned up. So, you need to fit the following into those daily goals:
1. Work on your book description.
2. Choose a book cover and please, don’t design one unless you’ve had formal training to do so.
3. Research keywords.
4. Research the market.
5. Build a tiny platform, but this is something we can be doing all year long which will allow you more time for a platform. This blog is one of my few platforms.
Side note: I’ll explain this in detail for later posts….GOALS!!!!
Goals, Goals, Goals
As stated numerous times, the long-term goal is great, but a long-term goal is only as successful as the short-term goals.
It’s time to write down your daily goals every day, weekly goals before the beginning of the week, a monthly goal before the beginning of the month, and a quarterly goal at the beginning of each quarter.
These goals will help you toward the bi-annual goal and ultimately, the annual goal.