Actually, I lied. There is one itsy bitsy thing we have to discuss first.
Ok, so my 2017 goals were off. Like way, way, way off. To the point where I updated them about 4 months after making them. Even with that update, I still ended up only meeting one of four writing goals, although I did meet all of my business goals. But the latter might be because the April update modified my business goals to be easier...which was needed since I had set some way-too-aggressive-goals-that-only-a-newbie-author-would-even-think-of. So yeah, I've got some work to do with goal setting. Which I might as well do now. You know, before I set my 2018 goals.
First and foremost, I set aggressive goals. And this isn't necessarily wrong. After all, I'd rather set aggressive goals that are almost impossible to meet than ones that are so easy to meet I could do it in my sleep (you know, that whole "If you shoot for the moon, you might end up in the stars" thing). And those aggressive goals did encourage me to prioritize, focus, and ultimately work harder and longer, all of which help me publish books faster, find new readers, etc. But based on how I missed on all but one writing goal after updating my goals in April, I think I could be a bit more conservative with my goals.
The good news is that I got better at this by December--I even have a decent estimate for how many words I can edit per week without losing my mind. I have less good estimates for writing and my later stages of editing, but one step at a time.
The takeaway: Use numbers and data whenever I can to make challenging but realistic goals.
And now we can move to 2018 goals where I will try to use numbers and data whenever I can to make challenging but realistic goals.
Having written these goals down, I still feel like I'm probably being over-aggressive here. But save plotting out when I'm working on what for the entire year and then having it completely change on me because I didn't estimate quite right (and thus rendering the entire activity useless), there's not much I can do.* I'm still at the point where there's a good deal that's unknown about my writing and editing speeds, including how much I can improve between books such that I write faster and/or better. And I do think I did better here than with my 2017 goals. But we'll have to see about that.
*Believe me, that whole "let's spend an hour or two planning everything down to the minute" is very tempting--we're talking Eve in the Garden of Eden tempting--but based on my experience, everything will just get blown up about two months down the line, so it's a better use of my time to guesstimate then move on.
And there we go, 2018 goals that are hopefully more realistic than 2017's.
Want to receive updates directly? Join The Troupe (Betsy's readers group)!