I talked about action in my first April post, now I'm going to talk specifically about goals. I don't like goals if they're vague, like, I will have a new job by next year. That's a nice goal, but how would you go about doing it? You need to have your action steps planned, and you need to have a way to measure the results.
Recently, as I've been reading a lot of writers' blogs, I see a few have adapted a similar way to measure the path they're taking to their goals. Let's say a writer's goal is to complete a first novel in a year. That's huge, but non-specific on method. Here's what I've seen some writers post on their blog, in different variations:
Short Stories Written: 2
Submissions Still Out There: 4
Word Total: 17,390
This author may be keeping track of things on a monthly basis. Their method of tracking tells me a lot: they know that if you don't write stories, you won't meet your goal (perhaps the goal is to publish a book of short stories, or to gain recognition by having short stories published in a variety of venues); they know that if you don't submit, you can't get accepted; and they know that they must write, write, write, if their goal is to be a writer.
My goal is to sell more jewelry. Here's how I might modify the above list, with the expectation that submitting pieces to contests or magazines will increase my exposure and possibly result in sales:
Pieces created this month:
Pieces still out there:
Pieces showcased on my blog:
Pieces posted on Etsy:
Pieces sold this month:
How do you quantify your steps toward your goals? Have you been writing or making art this month?