Review Last Year, Set Goals for Next Year

Last year at about this time, I suggested you set some goals for the new year. How did you do? What went right? Take time to celebrate your successes. That will give you hope and inspiration for the future. It will also help you set new goals that stretch you.

What went wrong? More importantly, why did things go right or wrong? And what are you going to change next year?

Goals for 2016

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I had mixed results. I achieved my goal of writing 10,000 words every month. Which means I’ve written over 120,000 words this year. If they had all been on the same book, I’d have been done with it by now. But I spread them out over several works.

Why did that happen? Because I set aside time every day to write, and most days I sat down and wrote until I had met my daily goal (10,000 words ÷ 26 writing days a month = 385 words per day). After a day I didn’t write, I’d recalculate the goal and write enough words to catch up. So for example, if by the 15th I had only written 4,000 words, then I had to write 6,000 words in 13 writing days. That’s 462 words per day. There were months I had to pull some all-nighters to get the last 1,000 words in, but I did it, just to prove to myself I could.

What will I change for next year? I’m going to schedule my writing time earlier so it doesn’t fall off the end of my schedule. And I’m going to increase my output to 15,000 words per month (577 words per day). Because I know my writing speed is about 600 words per hour, I can do this in less than an hour per day.

Knowing your writing speed is essential for planning. Download my Writer’s Work Log to measure your productivity.

I failed at my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of reading 30 books this year. I read only 25.

Why did that happen? Because I spent a lot of my reading time on blogs and Facebook instead of books.

What can I change for next year? I could decide that blogs and Facebook are important to me, and lower my goal. I could read shorter books. 😉 Or I could decide that no, books are more important and block off time in my schedule for them. I will probably choose the latter.

Remember that a good goal is not only specific, it is realistic. If you write 800 words an hour but can only devote half an hour per day to writing, it would be unrealistic to set a goal of writing 800 words per day. Your goal would need to be 400 words a day. That would still yield over 120,000 words in the year. That’s two short books or one epic.

Here are two great resources to help you plan your time and use it well:

Time Management for Creative People – free e-book by Mark McGuinness
The No-Excuse Zone: A Writer’s Guide to Productivity in the Real World — a 99¢ Kindle book by Terri Main

How was your 2015? What are you going to do differently in 2016? Whatever choices you make, I pray you will find fulfillment and prosperity.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: The Amazon link above is an affiliate link. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a pittance of a commission from Amazon. Regardless, I only recommend books I believe will be of value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

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