Meeting Our Goals

I began 2011 with lofty writing goals. And broke those down into month-by-month goals.

How did I do for January?

I met almost every goal I set. The first goal I didn't meet was finishing the current draft I was working on with my WiP. However, I did finish that draft during the week. I don't think being a few days late is too bad for someone who hasn't had a structured writing path for more than a year.

It was good enough for me that I gave myself a quick pat on the back.

The other goal I missed was finding names for every main and secondary character in my next manuscript. Again, I came close.

Now I have new goals for February.

One of them is to see if I can increase my writing time by half an hour a day. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but it will take a little doing on my part. I have two ideas on how to accomplish this, so I'll have to experiment to find which works best. Or if neither works and I have to find another way. Or if I have to use both of them.

Another one is to decide on names for the three remaining nameless characters in my next manuscript. All males. And find a name for a business that involves food.

In addition, I want to complete the next draft of my WiP, but that's a HUGE goal all by itself. It may not be possible, but I'm going for it.

How about you?

How are you doing on your 2011 goals so far?


The Happy Whisk said…
Adding 30 minutes is a great goal. Go you. Woohoo.
Joanne said…
I'm pretty much on target. I keep a weekly to-do list and it definitely helps to have that visual, with the items checked off. I'm working on lots of smaller tasks, a couple interviews and essay submissions, and beginning a ms revision, all as I continue querying.
VR Barkowski said…
Congratulations on meeting your target!

I've met my hourly goals, but my output isn't what I'd hoped. I need to increase my writing time too, but 30 minutes isn't going to do it. Think I'll follow your example and start with 30 minutes then work my way up.
Carol Kilgore said…
Happy Whisk - Baby steps :)

Joanne - I'm using my planner, which has both time and project goals, as well as a place for how I'll accomplish the goal. I also keep a separate to do list. Together it's all worked for a month. I have hope :)

VR - If this 30 minutes works without a big problem, I'm going to try for more time next month, too. I write like a turtle, but I've noticed that by having this schedule that my speed is picking up and I'm getting into flow more often. Good luck to you!
Colette said…
Carol, I've heard that most people don't meet the short term goals they set out for themselves, but they accomplish more than they expect to in the long run. As long as you have forward momentum you are doing great!
Holly Ruggiero said…
My mistake was not making monthly goals. I’m going to correct that now. Names are the absolute hardest part of writing for me. I hem and haw over names and even change them half way through the actual novel until they “fit.”
Clarissa Draper said…
I've met almost every goal except for my exercising one. But, like you, I'm setting new goals every month. That way I feel re-energized rather than deflated.
LR said…
Sounds like you're doing pretty well! :)

My plans were to return to novel peddling and 2nd novel. Instead, I spent all of January writing a short story I'm about to submit.

But I'm not going to sweat it. If I felt inspired to do this story then so be it. At least I did "something."
Tara said…
Congrats on finishing the draft! And, seriously? You're going to try to do an entire draft in Feb.? I bow to you and your lofty goals ;-)

Zack. Okay, have no idea where that name came from, but it's the first male one I thought of.

Good luck on this month's goals.
Terry Odell said…
Ah, monthly goals? That doesn't allow for as much 'cheating' as annual goals.

I'm going to keep plugging away.

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery
Lydia K said…
My goals are going slower than I expected but they are still going. Good luck on your February goals!
Carol, that is very impressive. Congratulations! I didn’t set really specific goals, but your post made me think I should try your approach.
KarenG said…
If you read my recent post you will know I'm not doing real well! I decided to make areas of improvement rather than specific goals, which has worked for me before so I don't know why I changed.
Talli Roland said…
I'm doing okay. I didn't set many goals, really - so that's why! My main one was to be neater. I think I've achieved that, somewhat!
I really like your idea of breaking goals down into baby steps; not too scary, far more attainable.

Many congrats on keeping on the straight and narrow. Despite my best intentions, I seem to spend far to much time off the road sitting in a lounge chair eating a cupcake.
Alison Stevens said…
Sounds like you did rather well with your goals (does anyone actually meet all of theirs?). I didn't submit as many articles as I'd hoped for January. But my big goals for this month are to submit one of my PBs to publishers and to query my MG fantasy. We shall see how it goes.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!
Carol Kilgore said…
Colette - I'm glad to know that bit of info. Thanks. Yes, moving forward...but not too quickly. Yet.

Holly - I sometimes change them, too, but I absolutely must have them before I even begin on thinking about who they are.

Clarissa - That's how I feel, too. It's a good feeling.

LR - Exactly. Now get that story out there!

Tara - I truly don't know if I can do the draft in a month, but if I don't try, I won't know. The good thing is that with each draft there's less to do. This is #4. I'll post an update in March. I'm adding Zack to my possible name list :)
Carol Kilgore said…
Terry - You're correct. I'd gotten way too good at cheating. Finally I've found something that is working for more than a couple of weeks. I'm thrilled.

Lydia - You're still moving forward. That's what counts.

Jane - I needed accountability. This is giving it to me.

Karen - I absolutely love how different things work for each of us. And we never know what we say that will give someone a new idea or the help they need.

Talli - That's all good. Cool about being neater, too.
Laura Eno said…
You sound sooooo much more organized than I am! Pass some my way, will ya?
Maryann Miller said…
Good for you for meeting your goal of finishing the first draft of your book, Carol.

I didn't set a specific deadline for finishing my WIP, but I did set the goal of writing at least an hour a day, or longer. I am also doing some freelance editing, so I have structured my days to include time for that each day. So far, it is working out pretty well.
Carol Kilgore said…
Elspeth - I think I'm learning that I'd rather accomplish ten baby steps than one huge leap. You have cupcakes?

Alison - Good luck on your goals. Keep reaching for them.

Laura - I wouldn't bet on that, but I'm happy to share what I have. Here you go :)

Maryann - have a plan that works for you. That's a big part of it.
Arlee Bird said…
You're doing well-- congratulations. I'm not doing to well with my writing goals yet, but blogging is going well. Now I still need some steady income.

Tossing It Out
I've totally missed the goal-boat. But hopefully, the rest of the year will be less eventful and I can find a strategy for all the elements that I want to fit into my life, writing being paramount.

Sounds like you've done well. Names are tricky for me. I can't just pull them out of a hat and some names need to have a particular meaning for me. Good luck finding the right ones!
L'Aussie said…
Carol, these are great goals. It is so satisfying because as they say: If you aim for nothing you're sure to hit it!

I've emailed you about the CP thingy. You may not be up for it now. Not sure...

Carol Kilgore said…
Arlee - Steady income is always nice :)

Words Crafter - Names are important for me, too. Mine don't usually require a specific meaning, but sound and feel are important for me.

L'Aussie - Exactly. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'll check my email now.
Mason Canyon said…
Congratulations on reaching your goals. I need to get more organized.

Thoughts in Progress
Anonymous said…
So far so good. I have my Media Kit on my blog, entered a book contest with Penguin and Amazon, and joined the A to Z blog challenge. Thanks for asking.
Carol Kilgore said…
Mason - Try working on it for 15 minutes a day. That was the best tip that helped me. And from my CP :)

Stephen - You're doing great! Fingers crossed for you on the contests.
I think you're doing great, Carol. You can't walk before you learn how to crawl, right? Adding 30 minutes sounds like a good idea but instead of time, why not add words or pages instead? My friend says that she would add 1,000 words at a time which is approx. two pgs. You could add one page. RE: my goals, I think I'm doing great. I said I would post once a week and so far, I've done so. ;)
Hart Johnson said…
Excellent progress! I think you're doing great! I definitely agree that a couple days late is still a goal made--things like 'finish' are sort of hard to pin from the front end because you aren't sure exactly how many words you'll need.

Carol Kilgore said…
Claudia - I've tried daily word/page counts, and for me they didn't work for more than a week or two. With the help of this planner designed by Kerrie L. Flanagan, I plan short and long-term goals, a plan for reaching them, what I want to accomplish with each, and it's broken into yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily. So by upping my daily time, I also up what I'll accomplish. I saw a difference yesterday.

Hart - Thanks. I'm getting better, but I'm still having difficulty in judging just how long it will take me to do some things.
Manzanita said…
I'm so happy to know goal keepers. No wonder you said you'd be the drill sargent too. You really have to come with self GUSTO to be disciplined. That kind of life is sooo meaningful.
Love and Peace.
Carol Kilgore said…
And now you know :)
love and peace back
Jennifer Shirk said…
Just setting goals is very important. So that's great!
I'm doing really good with my goals too! I even blogged about my progress. :)
Carol Kilgore said…
Yea! This is the first time in a while I've set real goals and written them down. It really feels good to be on track.