Monday 17 December 2018

End Of Year Goals & How To Do Them - The Creative Process


It's coming up to that time of year again when we all look back to the year behind us, and forward to the year ahead. We all talk about how this time we're gonna do this or that and then we make goals that most of the time, we have every intention of doing, but forget about by the end of January. I have always done monthly goals on a private blog, and recently started to do bi-monthly goals on my Authortube channel. I also do end of year goals and had done that for a number of years, both here on this blog and on my channel.

So why did I add bi-monthly if I already did goals every year? Because I found that people were really interested in how I was doing goal wise. It also made sense to start working on the short term as well as the long term. I have my goals for 2019, but I also have the goals for every two months and those are widely varied. While one goal on my list for 2018 was to publish two books, my bi-monthly goals are based on writing chapters, reading a certain number of books, and also hitting certain smaller targets that get me on the path to publication.

2019 is gonna be a big year for me. It's not just because every new year I feel like I'm doing something different and going bigger and bigger, but I'm releasing three books and with it, the series that has been by my side for the majority of my writing career will come to an end. It's gonna be strange in 2020 to be releasing a brand new series and not have Tara and the Dying Thoughts series on my goal list. But I'm getting off target here. What happens to the end of year goals and what have I learned in the time since I started them, and then changed to focus more on the bi-monthly ones.

While I always made sure to keep my goals broad and long-term, there were some things that when I made them in December, I didn't realise I had no chance of doing. Like choosing to do 12 events in the year. What was past me thinking? Others were fine because, as I said, they were always going to happen. It was just how I went about doing them. So my advice for anyone wanting to make long term goals is to bear in mind that things can change in an instant and from there you may find yourself not wanting to do a certain thing, or not being able to.

I mentioned this a little in the first point, but you're wanting to think beyond one month. I always do the Goodreads reading challenge and one of my goals for this coming year is to do that again. But I didn't think to include that in my yearly goals for 2018, though I did include things that I expected to take a year - some did, some didn't. If you're looking at where you are right now and wanting to think further ahead, decide what seems reasonable. I always include things like getting to a certain level of reviews on Goodreads, and while I don't have a lot of control over that, I did make the goal in like November time.


Going on from that last point, don't set goals for certain number of followers on a social media site. I've done this over and over and have ended up being unable to meet the goal. Why? Because I don't have any control over who subs on youtube or follows on Twitter and the like. It's nice to have an idea of it, but in practice, it won't help you and it's just something to stress over and not be able to do anything about. On top of that, the numbers will change, they'll spike up and down and really, does it matter that much about followers when you're wanting engagement. That's not a criticism, I've done the same, but in the past year I've realised that I actually am okay with being a small fish, who gets people talking to them.

Now one of my main goals for the majority of the past few years has been to finish two books and start two new ones. This is a good goal for me because it takes me about 5/6 months to finish two books. This is something I know I can manage. But setting that for someone who takes longer to draft would be pointless because all it's going to do is set yourself up for failure. Remember what you're capable of and remind yourself of this if need be. There's nothing wrong with being realistic.

And finally, #5 - CHECK IN FROM TIME TO TIME
I did, for the first time actually, a six month check in. I realised when I did that that so many of my goals were easily met or were never going to be. That's why this year, I've made them more broad and within my own scope of ability. Don't push yourself to check every few weeks, but also don't leave them unchecked until December rolls around and you realise you could've reached this one or the other if you'd actually remembered it!

So there you have it, my five tips for making end of year goals. While I will continue to do my monthly and bi-monthly ones, I do like the idea of yearly goals as well. I think it's nice to have something to strive for in the long term and with that it means I'm able to look ahead to the year coming up! Good luck with your goals!

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