On January 1st, I posted about setting SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely.
In the comments here and on my post for Insecure WritersSupport Group, several people mentioned breaking down big projects into smaller more manageable goals. Mind you, sometimes parts of our goals depend on someone else. For my main goals, I have to depend on the time beta readers, my editor, and cover designer can get back to me.
So, as promised in my post, I’ve written out my SMART goals for this year.
Goal #1: Publish Rescuing Mara’s Father by March 31, 2019.
· Final review and edit manuscript by Jan. 10
· Contact cover designer by Jan. 15
· Submit to beta readers by Jan. 20
· Revise returned ms by Jan 30
· Send to editor by Feb 5
· Set up pre-order by Feb 28
· Revise edited ms by Mar 15
· Format ms for e-book and print book by Mar 24
· Upload final ms by Mar 25
· Rescuing Mara’s Father available for purchase on Mar 31
Goal #2: Develop promo plan by Mar 1
· Promote Rescuing Mara’s Father on a minimum of 10 blogs by April 30, 2019
· Set up blog tour by Mar 30
· Write 10 blog posts by Mar 10
Goal #3: Publish The Spy by Aug 15
· (same breakdown with smaller goals as above)
Goal #4: Develop promotion plan for The Spy by July 15
Goal #5: Publish the 4th Alex O’Hara novel by Dec 15
As you can see, I’ve taken big goals and broken them down into smaller ones. Some items overlap, and I can do certain steps during “down” time (e.g., when the beta readers and the editor have the manuscript. As I see what promo I need to do for Rescuing Mara’s Father, I’ll use what works for the other works. Or, I’ll try other methods.
Am I being too ambitious? I’ve never published three full-length novels in one year. But, Rescuing Mara’s Father is completed and revised/edited. The Spy is half-written, and the 4th Alex O’Hara mystery needs 50k words. I think I have a shot at this.
Then again, maybe I’m expecting too much of myself. I need balance in my life. I have a family, grandchildren who need babysitting and/or would like my presence at their sports’ games and dance recitals. Even though Hubs is really understanding, he needs some of my time. We have vacations planned, vacations where it’s understood I leave the laptop home, willingly. LOL I need to refill that creative well with reading, movies, and other experiences.
Last April, I joined Weight Watchers. I lost 28 pounds by August. Then, I got negligent and, even though I attend meetings each week, I've gained back 8 of those pounds. I’m sure you’ve all heard of the yo-yo effect. I lose two, gain back one, or gain three, lose one, etc. If I let it, those pounds will continue to creep back on. With the new year, I’m determined to get back on track. So, here's my personal goal: I will lose 20 more pounds by April 1st. No fooling. 😊
I hope you have your goals for 2019 prepared. If my example helps, great. But I’m sure you’ve figured out a better way to kick off your career this year. Please share.