Instead of the usual breakdown of goals (for example, I will write 500 words a day, or I will send out 10 query letters a month) I have decided to try something different this year.
I plan to examine my goals in detail with respect to my personal values – those things I feel are most important in my life. I picked my top six values – health, learning, family, friendship, variety, and humour – and wrote at least two specific goals to pertain to each.
For example, I plan to attend The Word Guild’s Write! Canada conference in June. This goal supports my values of education, variety, humour, and friendship. I plan to read one fictional novel that has “laugh out loud” as a credit on the cover. This goal supports my values of education, variety, and humour.
I have twelve book projects that I am currently working on. However, instead of stressing about working on one and getting it done by a certain date, I plan to work on the project that fits my fancy for the day. This way, I continue to move toward my goal of completion but without the added stress of finishing to a deadline. I want to enjoy the whole writing process! This supports my values of health and family.
The other thing that I am trying is to break these projects down into smaller chunks. I’ve often read that it is not the best idea to start writing a book; but instead, to write smaller articles towards the goal of a book. For example, I want to write a book about the different types of trees in the Bible. What I have just offered to do is write a small chapter each week to be printed on the back of the church bulletin. (This is not an original idea…I took it from Peter Black’s Parables from the Pond. Great idea Peter!)
I don’t have an agent. I don’t have a publishing contract. And I don’t plan to stress about it. My goal this year is to get back to the joy of writing. To write what I want when I want without a schedule to bog me down.
Who knows…when a writing project is done, maybe I’ll feel motivated and energized to pursue publication. Maybe.
It’s the first time I’m trying this new approach to goal planning. Have you ever tried a new method of goal planning?