Yep, it’s that time when every other blogger posts their “how to” on goal setting, starting a calendar for the new year, journaling, etc. I’m no different. My particular take on it though is to create a calendar filled with intentions, goals, rewards, and magic. So without further delay, let’s manifest together!
- Set down your broad strokes goals.
I keep what I call a spell book and in it, I write down my broad strokes goals. (Think about it. It’s like that cute meme with the witch sitting in her rocking chair, waving a pair of wands (knitting needles), muttering an incantation (swearing and talking to herself), and voila, like magic, she creates something magical (wooly socks.)
Same thing. Thus, I begin my annual journal with “First Quarter Goals”. That does several things. It identifies what I hope to achieve, and the time frame in which I hope to achieve it.
My goals are simple, and my desires are even more modest:
- Maintain regular blog posts
- Solidify my niche
- Complete one novella
- Expand current book distribution.
Okay, in all honesty, second, third, and fourth quarter goals aren’t even written in my journal yet, because I’m not sure how much I can accomplish in one quarter, but there’s room there to add in after-thought goals. At this rate, I will have produced four novellas in a year. Can I do that? I haven’t thus far. I’ve produced full-length novels in a year, but… We’ll see.
That’s an example of my “work” goals. In addition to those goals listed above, I’ve also got a page of “home” goals, and “learning” goals. “Home” goals consist of home repair and renovation and world-building. Those goals all revolve around making our home a magical place. “Learning” goals are just that – things I want to learn. I need to brush up on my French in the first quarter in preparation for a little trip to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. As far as the acquisition of things? Nah. I don’t really want anything. Maybe a pair of those sweet wooly socks I saw in an advert the other day, but, nope. I don’t really want for things, but you could make that a broad strokes goal. No judgment. If you really want a, er, I don’t know, let’s say a home office, then make that one of your goals. For really big goals, you may want to break them into parts per quarter. (That was my goal in 2020, and voila, I waved a wand, a.k.a., a hammer, spouted an incantation (plenty of swearing), and here I sit in the Word Crone Cottage. More on that later.)
2. Create a daily breakdown with benchmarks for achieving those goals within the time frame you’ve allotted.
I usually write my blog posts on Friday, but I’m a day ahead of schedule, so I’ll probably spend tomorrow – and the next week – outlining this quarter’s novella. (I’ll let you know how that’s going.) I “completed” a full-length novel last year – 300 pages – but I think it’s going to sit in a drawer for a while. It has… issues. Onward and upward.
In order to fulfill my goal of a novella before April 30th, I’ll have to make note of the benchmarks to completion. This next week is all about outlining. Hopefully, I’ll have a completed first draft by the end of February, and a print-ready manuscript by mid-April. In and around that, I’ll probably identify a couple of books in French that I’ll read by the end of April to beef up my school-girl French. I’ll probably add in a couple of French films, maybe one per week? That could be a nice reward to me for completing the reading tasks.
This brings me to…
3) Tracking, and
Tracking is just that. I create a page in my calendar at the beginning of the quarter to track with a simple check mark, those things that I need to accomplish in order to reach my goals. If I need to read 10 pages in my French novel every week in order to reach my goal, then I’ll acknowledge the accomplishment with a simple check mark. In addition, I try to reward myself for tasks completed. This next week, I won’t be treating myself, but rather, I’m being treated. My birthday is next week and my sweetheart is taking me out for dinner with some of the people I love.
I cannot imagine anyone is really interested in my line-by-line calendar journal as everyone’s goals and method of tracking will be different, and you know what they say about seeing how the sauce is made. Ewww.
In the meantime, I hope you have a fantabulous new year filled with goals of your own making and intention. I’d love to compare notes with you to see how those goals are coming along! As ever, I hope you find time in your busy schedule to make some art and read a book!