planning, goals, setting, strategy

2016 Goal Setting: Choosing and Prioritizing Those Long-term Goals

The list of goals, or Reveries, I have compiled for the coming year is extensive. I’ve officially transitioned to running Infinite Reverie full-time, and along with the expanded amount of time I can dedicate to it is giving me the opportunity to honestly achieve those reveries on a realistic level.

I’ve always been a lister and a planner, but having such a long list of both short-term and long-term goals (even though I’m only considering those for this coming year), having them laid out in front of me in their crude form is extremely overwhelming. There is just SO MUCH to do!

Does any of this sound familiar? It doesn’t even have to be your whole life that is changing. It can be that one novel you’d like to finish, or maybe just even complete the first draft of.

Well, as a part of this month’s 2016 Goal Planning Session, I created a form of free-flowing template to use to remove that overwhelming factor. To chip apart and create actionable steps to achieving the final end goal within the timeframe we set for ourselves. (I thought about making this into a worksheet, but as I was doing this it made more sense and there was a stronger connection to the goals when I wrote it all out physically for each one.)IMG_0312

For the example in the image, I used the rewrite of one of my novels as the goal. (It is one of my goals for 2016, by the way.) I’ve set my due date for my birthday, It’s late enough in the year, and totally realistic considering the stage the draft it’s currently in.

The Steps:

  1. First thing is first. Rewrite your goal into at least, one fully defined sentence. For example I took, finish rewrite of “Wars Book 1”, and turned it into: Complete the second draft/rewrite of “Wars Book 1” that I have been working on here and there by my birthday, October 3rd 2016, by completing this draft, it will be one step closer to publication.
  2. Once you have a more defined goal, you can then give yourself a few ways of working toward it. I’ve added: Write no less than 10 minutes each morning while having that quite time cup of coffee. And also: When creating the next month/week’s plan, find those least busy days and schedule blocks of time (30 minute minimum, no maximum but to aim for minimum of 7 hours per week or 1 hour per day.)
  3. I’ve further clarified what each of those options can be used for. It was a necessary step for me, as a lister/planner, I can get overly carried away with the planning process. For those 10 minute blocks, working on the outlining, or brainstorming is fine, but for those large chunks of time, ONLY writing is allowed. And absolutely no editing or rewriting is allowed: make a note and move on- forward movement only.
  4. Timeline: I’ve created an actual timeline, just like the ones from History class, to give myself checkpoints if you will. I broke it down by month to allow for flexibility in my schedule. I’ve also kept it simple: just the chapters I’d like to have done in that particular month.
  5. Almost there: I’ve created a list of steps based on the above steps for myself to follow. As well as tips and reminders. This is something I can keep posted where I write or even at the front of my Story Binder for this particular story. If some of these will help you, use them, but absolutely create your own based on your life and schedule. Think about your day to day, where and what can you fit into those little bits of time? What  normal daily processes do you currently have that may be able to be done more efficiently? What tasks can you delegate out to someone else?

 

Long-term VS Short-term

I haven’t been able to find a clear-cut defining line to instantly determine if a goal would be considered long or short in term. It seems to come down to the type of goal, and what you, as the goal setter, deem to be considered a short timeframe. To be honest I’ve set short: less than 3 months, mid: 3-6 months, mid-long: 6-9 months, and anything after 9 months being considered long-term. But it does depend on what type of goal I’m setting. I’ve also set goals in categories that weren’t considered long term until it hit that 1 year mark, or even multiple years. I guess my issue with keeping short-term really short, is that I’m leaving a lot of future time clumped into one “term”.

Leaving my insanity behind, for the sake of the goal example I used, short-term is whatever happens (or is planned) in the next 3 months. In regards to Infinitereverie.com, my short-term is anything less than 1 year. For me, it comes down to the final completion date.

For the novel example, I have an estimated publication date in less than 2 years, while that full goal is long-term, there are multiple other things that need to be done for that publication date to be achieved, and a few of those items can be done in the next 3 months, such as rewriting 6-9 of the chapters.

When considering Infinitereverie.com, there is no end date. As of now it will run indefinitely. Therefore the items that made it to my short-term goal list are anything that I plan on in 2016.

Short-term goals give us something to be excited about. Allow us to see progress being made, that our hardwork, dedication, and effort weren’t for nothing. When considering how to structure your terms, think about what seems soon enough and what seems too far away. If 6 months from now seems really far away, make that your long-term line. Make smaller goals that work into that larger one to see progress. This creates motivation when those actionable steps have been completed.

I could sit here and tell you that for all general purposes just use ______ as your determining line, but that would be ridiculous of me, it isn’t how I think or work myself. If I gave myself too much time and didn’t break things down to even monthly and daily goals, nothing would ever get done. I like to do things at the last minute sometimes, sometimes I even do my best work at the last minute. But if I left one real goal deadline for finishing my novel, it wouldn’t get done. I’d be far too overwhelmed to even attempt finishing it at the last minute.

 

So, grab a notebook or open a document on your computer:

  1. Spend the next 20 minutes or so brainstorming all the things you want or want to accomplish.
  2. Define them, work them out, term them, chunk those bigger ones down.
  3. Grab your favorite planner.
  4. Write in anything unchangeable for the whole year.
  5. Write in anything planned: Add these as soon as they become planned.
  6. Write in any due dates for goals or even the chunks.
  7. Plan out your time with however you are comfortable (actual time schedule, checkbox, task list…)
  8. Follow it, adjust it when things happen that can’t be ignored, breath when plans get messed up and refocus.
  9. And of course celebrate, even the little things.

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