The New Year is just hours away, and I wanted to talk about setting goals. I know, again, lots of blogs and articles appear today on this very subject. I apologize and hope my thoughts are of value and perhaps freeing.
Goal setting for me gets complicated. It’s supposed to help set a course and give direction. But for me, goal setting ties me up in knots, because I can’t keep it simple. Which means I set myself up for failure before I begin.
As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m a list maker and they can get quite long and exhausting. Unfortunately, that is the way I approach goals. If three goals are good six is better and four hundred nineteen are optimum. I exaggerate. Well, maybe a bit.
Let me explain. I can’t make myself settle for a few specific goals. I must grab as many as I can, like a child who doesn’t want to share any toys. They fall out of my hands and into the hole of failure. Can any of you relate?
This year I want to strive to keep my goals simple: write, social media and sell books. Only three. Sounds reasonable, right?
- Write 1,000 words on my novel a day.
- Write two blogs a week.
- Write one guest blog a month.
And then take my hands off the keys before I add write five articles a week and fifteen devotionals a month. Some writers can do all these additional things handily. I am not one of them.
Next, I’ll break down social media into manageable bites. I have a marketing person who does much of this, but I still need to interact personally on social media. Overthinking content makes this a hard area for me. (An excellent idea for another post.) I often place my hands on my keys and can’t think of anything earth-shattering to post, so I post nothing. When I post a picture of my elderly mom or share, I’m ill that often produces more responses than clever prose. This year I want to try to be more fun and spontaneous and see if that doesn’t promote more interaction.
Sell books is a large category with lots of sub-goals. I need to decide which book events or local festivals I want to devote Saturdays to and add them to my calendar now. Find book clubs, talk to bookstores about book signings. (There aren’t that many in my area anymore.) Decide where I’ll invest my money online to make sales and look for podcasts and radio opportunities. And write a compelling newsletter every month that keeps my readers eager for my next book.
Few goals still take time
I think even these simple goals will take more time than I expect so I’m going to tie my hands behind my back least I’m tempted to add writing three novels at once while editing four others.
I’ll let you know if I kept it simple in 2020. I’d like to know your thoughts on goals setting and what you hope to accomplish this year.
May you have a productive writerly 2020, my friends.