Keeping Track of Our Goals

Why should we keep track of our goals?

The number one reason is so we don't forget our blogging date...which is what I did. YIKES!

The second reason is so we remember where we're headed and can track our success in meeting our goals, even--and especially--the small ones that will lead to the big ones.

I sat down last night and thought about the things I need to accomplish in the next month. Thanks to deadlines since last August, my focus has been on writing and meeting deadlines. Do you know why they're called deadlines? Because they can kill you! (Figuratively speaking of course. I think.) My house is a disaster. My office has become the living space for countless boxes of odds and ends and papers. I started cleaning off a shelf yesterday and now have a six inch stack of paper to shred. At least a couple of reams, probably more. There are now papers on my desk that need to be filed...but my file cabinet needs to be moved to my office.

I made a long, long list of all the things that need to be done to make my life go more smoothly in the future. It was a list of cleaning jobs, not writing, but for now I'll put the writing aside. My focus in February must be to dig my way out of the disaster I'm surrounded day and one step at a time. One box sorted a day. I have a feeling I'll be doing a lot of paper shredding in the first couple of weeks. One small area of the kitchen a day, since it's become the biggest sore spot of all. By the end of February, I hope the kitchen is sparkling, the laundry is caught up, my office looks like an office, instead of a war zone, and even the cabinets are in order.

But what about writing? Oh, I'm sure there'll be a little of that. While I'm washing dishes and scrubbing the floor, I can decide what it is I need to work on next, because that's really been the big question in my mind. Once that decision is made, I can use those washing and cleaning and scrubbing times to let my characters develop and maybe have some idea of their stories. By the end of February, I should know exactly where I'm going and with what. I also expect copy edits to arrive sometime during that time, so there'll be writing, of sorts, going on. I'll be keeping a watch on the calendar as the month goes by, knowing that by this time next month, I need to set my goals for the year. Better late than never, they say.

Setting goals takes brain time. Working toward them takes staying on track as much as possible. There will always be times when something keeps us from reaching a goal at the time we planned. When that happens, we need to ask why and find a way to correct it. Maybe we've over-goaled ourselves and need to revamp both our large goal(s) and the smaller ones that will get us there. The three schedules and the calendar I created to help me with my February goals will help keep me from wondering what I should do next--the way I'm doing with writing. I've found that having to look at what needs to be done and checking it off when it is done will go a long way in in helping me reach that final goal.

If you've made goals for 2010, how are you making sure you'll reach them?


Reese Mobley said...

Nice job, Rox. I've been keeping track of my goals this year which is something I've never done before. I made a grid and mark off every five pages I complete. They are small measurable goals that I can easily attain and that makes me feel good about myself and my writing.

As for the house, well, it will get done when it gets done. As long as we can co-exist with the dust bunnies I guess we'll survive. (And they will thrive)

In the next month I'll get some extra days off so I intend to clean house and write my buns off.

Rox Delaney said...

Oh, Reese, this is beyond dust bunnies. LOL

As for charts and grids and tracking, I'm obsessive. About everything else in life, I'm laid back and do it "whenever." But when it comes to writing, I'm over the edge and sliding into the insane. :) I decided yesterday that applying it to housecleaning might help. I guess we'll see if I'm right. BUT... (there had to be one of those) I limit myself to 1 or 2 hours a day. With little ones here in the daytime, and other responsibilities in the evening, I didn't want to overwhelm myself. I learned that lesson the hard way, long, long ago.

And you will get your writing done!! I'm SO glad to see you back at it!

Pat Davids said...

Love the picture, Rox. It looks a lot like my office. Housework is low on my list of things to be done. Right above trimming my toenails. I love my dust buffalos and I won't trade them for any bunny in the world.
Happy writing.

Joan Vincent said...

The picture says it all! With just a month in my goals were in danger of being buried but you have reminded me I have to keep goals front and center. Like the one to print them out and put them where i must see them every day! Thanks, Rox!

Penny Rader said...

I resemble that picture. =:O