Why I am Not Making Yearly Goals Anymore (And What I am Doing Instead)

Happy New Year! I had a wonderful couple of weeks of rest, family time and extra writing time! How about you? How was your Christmas and New Year’s? Good, I hope. Now, I am all geared up and ready to get going again with lots of projects and working on my goals. However, I’m not making goals this year and here’s why:

Several years ago, I switched from making “resolutions” to making “goals.” It was more of a mindset and perspective but it made a difference for me. I made those goals specific and measurable and I made great strides in accomplishing my goals.

Image by condesign (2014) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Image by condesign (2014) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Nevertheless, I sometimes got overwhelmed looking at the whole year and everything I want to do. (Anyone else?) Last year in 2016, especially, was a challenge for me. I struggled physically, emotionally, and felt like failure when I feel behind in my goals/plans. Some goals, like the making videos, were dropped altogether.  By October, I knew I needed to make a change but felt stuck or trapped.

That is why I decided to stop making yearly goals, and instead, I am made an outline. As writers, we often read or hear about the importance of using outlines to guide us in our writing endeavors. Thus, I sat down and wrote a broad outline of the goals I want to accomplish for 2017 and as the year progresses, I will fill in the gaps monthly and quarterly.

For example: My over-reaching goal for 2017 is to grow my authorpreneur business here at Carolda.com. One way I want to do this is by writing books and creating training programs. However, instead of focusing on the whole year and declaring that “I will write one book a week” and/or that “I will create 6 training programs this year;” I am going to break my goals down even further.

How does this look like?

Using the writing goal, I  made an outline of how many books I want to write each month for January, February, and March. Then, before the beginning of each month, I will fill in the outline with the details for the first book I want to write. Then, at the end of each quarter I will re-evaluate and see if my goal is realistic or needs tweaking.

For January, I want to create a planner and one short grammar guide. Thus, I took some time during the week between Christmas and New Year’s to fill in the blanks: Creating a working title, scheduling writing time, and outlining the book itself.

I am really excited about this plan and I can’t wait to see what the New Year will bring. I am ready to take better control and be more intentional with my life and business! How about you? What are your plans for the New Year? What are you doing to take control and make 2017 your best year yet? Do share!

P.S. I won’t bug you will posts every month and/or quarterly with updates, so don’t worry. 🙂

*********

Tweetable: Why I’m Not Making Yearly Goals Anymore

Schedule in Some Margin Time

If you want to get a grip on your time management for the long-term, you must have a long-term plan. A while back, I discovered my new favorite time management tip: schedule everything. It made a huge difference in how I spent my time but it wasn’t perfect.

Build in Margin Time

There were time when I felt overwhelmed trying to fit everything in. I’ve had to scale back a lot but the biggest difference for me came when I started to schedule in some margin time. I’ve read about the importance of margin time from several sources and they are right.

Inevitably, you will almost always need more time to do something than you think. Whether it is getting ready to go somewhere, to writing, to handling administrative tasks, etc. There will be interruptions. There will be issues, if something can happen, it often does!

Therefore, if you build in some margin time, you give yourself breathing room. It allows you to keep the overwhelm under control because you aren’t under the gun. For me, once I built in some margin time, I have been able to keep an even better handle on my time management.

Yes, I’ve had to let some things go. Yes, I’ve had to make even more hard decisions on how I spend my time. But, that’s a good thing! I know if you build in some margin into your schedule it will make a difference for you too. It will give you greater focus and it will give you some extra space. So give it a try!

**********

Tweetable: Schedule in Some Margin Time

How to Write a Great Story

My latest obsession is Ted Talks. There are so many inspiring, challenging, and interesting topics discussed in video form. There are talks that I completely disagree with and make me mad and there are ones that I relate to on such a personal level. The ones that make me mad are my favorite because they are the ones that make me ponder and help me to grow as a person.

How to Write a Great Story

However, my second favorite videos are the ones that teach. That is exactly what happened when I listed to the talk given by Andrew Stanton entitled “The Clues to a Great Story.” If you don’t know, Andrew Stanton is the writer of such films as “WALL-E” and “Toy Story.”

The talk was given in 2012 but it is just as relevant now as it was then. His best advice? Work backward to the beginning.

I encourage you to watch his talk here. Or, if you prefer the transcript, you can read it here. (Be warned, there is some coarse language in this talk.)

************

Tweetable: How to Write a Great Story