Goals, Accountability & Blog Plans

The Writer IconIt’s the time of year to talk about New Year’s Resolutions and Goals.

But what if you don’t want your hopes, dreams and plans to go the way of every other year’s abandoned or failed New Year’s resolutions?

Last year, I joined an accountability group and learned goals must be WRITTEN down. Committing goals to a fixed form helps keep your eye on the prize instead of watching good intentions disappear with those New Year’s champagne bubbles.

Goals

Once you have them written down, take a close look at them. Are your goals, S.M.A.R.T.? That is to say, are your goals

Specific

Is your goal clear and unambigous? What exactly do you want to accomplish?

Measurable

How will you know when you’re done?

Achievable

Can you realistically attain this goal? What changes will you need to make in order to reach this goal?

Relevant

Why is it important to accomplish this goal?

Time-Bound

When will you have it completed by? How long will it take you? Is this realistic?

Bob Mayer in his Who Dares Wins book and Warrior Writer workshops, teaches the idea that not only do you need to know WHAT you want to accomplish, but WHY you want to achieve those goals and HOW you plan to overcome any obstacles along the way. These ideas, learned in his Green Beret days, dovetail nicely with the S.M.A.R.T. goals mentioned above.

Accountability

Now that you have your set of goals, you need to make sure you keep working toward hem. Personal accountability is only so good. It’s been proven we do better if we have to answer to someone else. If you don’t belong to a writers’ group (online or off) or a writing forum of some sort already, these can be great sources of support and people who can hold you accountable.

Other ways to hold yourself accountable include:

  • Posting your goals publicly on your blog.

  • Write your goals on a post-it and tape it to your monitor or something else you look at every day.
  • Sending email to your future self via a service like futureme.org
  • Posting your small daily goals on Twitter some #hashtags already exist for writing: #amwriting, #writegoal, #goalwar
  • Using task management software like Things for the Mac, or Lifetick online

Also important is the periodic reviewing, adjusting and reality checking of your goals. You need to make them and your daily routine work for you and change what isn’t working.

Blog Plans

One of the goals I promised myself I’d work toward this year is having a more active blog. I brainstormed a long list of topics and then organized them into several categories. I want to keep exploring the creative process of writing, but I also want to explore more of the Regency Era of early 19th Century England as well as improve my Regency Resources Page.

I’ll be covering a wide array of topics I hope will prove interesting and valuable resources in the future. The writing categories I’ve chosen (The Writer, Writing as Art, Writing as Craft, and Writing Life) will rotate on a weekly basis and I want to do at least one Regency Resource post each week. So I hope you’ll follow along this year and chime in too!

 

So, are you gonna reach your goals in 2010 and beyond? I came closer than ever before in 2009 by using these concepts, and I know 2010 is going to be even better!

10 responses to “Goals, Accountability & Blog Plans

  1. Good for you, Kaige! I _know_ you’re going to be even more awesome than you are this year! :)

    • Thanks, Rosalind. I’m worried about burn out and biting off more than I can handle, but knowing I have a plan and I can work ahead when I have time and interest is helping ease those fears.

  2. Wow, I love the look of your blog. Its fabulous and your goals and plans are perfect. Can I cross link with you? Bravo.

    Um what’s the template called?

    • Thanks. The template is one of the options of the Day Dream theme, but I’m not sure it’s still available in the list to pick from on wp.com though.

  3. Katrina Williams

    Hi Kaige, great blog! I’m sold on the goal thing and I agree, writing it down is key. It spurs me to add things I never would have thought of otherwise and keeps my eye on the prize. Oh and I love the futureme email idea. I didn’t even know that existed! Thanks for the fantastic info.

    • I find I have to watch out that I don’t add too much when I write stuff down. I try to keep the high level strategic goals in one place and then detail the tactical goals I need to reach them in another.

      Futureme.org came up in one of our discussions last quarter in the goals group. Bria had us make a list of our priorities and then we’re supposed to check it against reality again in February. That seemed the easiest way to do so! LOL glad it was useful info for you, Katrina!

  4. Great tips! I like the idea of sending myself emails in the future. :)

    Another tip is using online project management tools like teamworkpm.net – you can set anything up like a project with goals and milestones and it sends you email-reminders of upcoming goals. I used to use it and I’m thinking of starting again.

  5. I might not write regencies anymore, but I love the research articles. :) Although…hmmm, I also like Hugh Laurie in the Black Adder series, not sure if that’s good or not.

    Way to go, Kaige. I’ve got to check out futureme.org.

    • Heh. What’s not to like about Hugh Laurie?

      I’m going to try to do seasonal articles as well as some general ones in between. They should be the fun ones. ;)

      Have fun with futureme.org! It’s kinda wild the first time you get an email from yourself you’ve forgotten you sent.

Leave a Reply