At the end of each year I like to take stock of my accomplishments by making a list.
It’s a trick I learned from a previous job. At first, it was an unwanted task assigned by management to provide validation for time spent. But as I started to put it all down on paper, I realized that it is a valuable tool to remind me of all that I accomplished. It’s a good feeling that helps to me to see that even if I didn’t get everything done I set out to do, I have not been idle or wasteful with the time I spent.
I recommend that before you start making goals for 2019, you spend an hour or so listing all your achievements from 2018. Evaluate the items that weren’t completed. If they are still valuable, add them to 2019, and build from there.
When setting goals for a new year, I try to include areas for improvement in ongoing items, and to add new things I have never done before to keep growing. This allows me to maintain the investments I have already made in my business as an author, and continue to learn and improve.
Lots of folks will tell you what you should include. Evaluate their suggestions carefully, but make sure you are also including things that important to you personally.
This list is about you more than anything else, and that should be taken into account every bit as much as standard industry recommendations for your author growth.
Once you have your list, look at it critically, and rank the things you want to achieve, high to low. Then split the list, keeping the top 5 or 6 items as your true goals, knowing you can easily bring the others into play if time allows.
Splitting the list is important because a list of goals that is too big to manage will overwhelm you, and the turn the list that is supposed to help and guide you into a negative tool. If too many things slip by, it becomes harder to use it because it can make you feel as if you are failing, even when you are not.
Last, for the top 5 or 6 items, add target dates for completion. For example, if one of your goals is to publish a new book, set a date for that publication, and then walk back through the timeline to establish specific milestone targets, like editing, proofing, cover selection, preorder set up, etc. Once the dates for each is filled in, you will have an attainable goal set that you can use to support your plans for the coming year.
Need help? ALAREON can work with you to determine your goals and how best to achieve them, establishing project timelines and defining milestones that keep you on target all year long.
Jo Brown is an award winning author, experienced journalist, blogger, and graphic artist, with an extensive background in business project management. ALAREON is the culmination of her life experiences, the place where her passion for storytelling and creative design come together with the best business practices to help Indie Authors make their dreams come true.