Friday, April 8, 2011

Goals -- Who's Got Goals?

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:

Submissions: 3
Rejections: 0
Acceptances: 1
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 submitted:
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?


K.C. Woolf said...

Hi Suzanne,

I'm afraid I'm a 'vague goals' kind of person. I have an idea where I want to end up, but I prefer to leave a lot of room for flexibility along the way.

Nice post!

suzanna leigh said...

I've been thinking a lot about goals myself. I came across a system in Artist Magazine: OGSM (Objectives, Goals, Strategies, How you will measure your progress). I've started looking at the whole picture this way: Professional Development, Business, etx. It's a helpful way to look at the whole year.

I like your system for keeping monthly goals. Hope you don't mind if I post a link to your post in my post about OGSM.

Misha said...

I keep my writing goals time-based. I.e. finish first draft by 31 December 2010 (done), finish rewrite by 30 April (getting there) start queries by 1 September (could be later though, due to the fact that I am still unfamiliar with edits and revisions.)


Amelia said...

this is really interesting and good to remember. I love your extension too by the way - pangs of envy too as I would love to get a new kitchen but the upheaval is too great at the mo it seems!