Last December and January, I wrote three blogs about setting yearly writing goals. After discussing preparation, focusing on what you want to achieve, and how to construct achievable goals, I moved on to how to succeed in bringing these goals to fruition.
One suggestion I made was to review your progress monthly and/or quarterly. With September drawing to a close and three-quarters of the year behind us, I’m checking in to remind you it’s time for the all-important review that will take you into the last few months of the year.
Whether or not you’ve managed to review your goals thus far, doing so now will set you up for a rewarding finish to 2017 and lay the foundations for success in 2018.
If you’ve met all the writing goals you set for January-September, you’ve done brilliantly and deserve accolades. You will be ready for the challenge of the next three months. However, it is still a good idea to consider your goals for the remainder of the year and whether they are still appropriate for your overall writing ambitions.
Don’t despair if, like me, you didn’t quite make your end-of-September target. There are many reasons this can happen, from over-ambition and under-estimation to influences that are out of your control. Writer’s block may have stalked you for one or more reasons. Or, perhaps you’ve been ill, or your family has been in crisis. These are not excuses, but real-life events that take time, effort and energy away from life in general, and writing and other creative pursuits in particular.
Regardless of how you performed during the last nine months, a review can be helpful ~
> Begin by checking off your achievements and placing them on your Achievements List, if you have one. If you haven’t, use your successes so far this year to begin one.
> Check if the remaining goals are still relevant and re-write any that need alteration.
> Prioritise all goals that are left on your 2017 list.
> Make sure they remain achievable by the end of the year, taking your other commitments into consideration.
> Move any goals that cannot be achieved by the end of the year to your Reserve List if you have one. Otherwise, create one now to serve as the basis for planning your writing for 2018.
> The goals that remain on your 2017 list are the framework for your writing over the next three months.
> Run these goals through the SMART goals test – check that they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/relevant and Time-bound – and make any necessary adjustments.
A review such as this is like picking yourself up, turning yourself around and plonking yourself down facing in the right direction for what you plan to achieve.
Some of you will land in the same spot as you were before the review, and will continue your journey having confirmed you’re on the right track. Others will be in a different position with more clarity than before, and will move forward with renewed confidence.
Either way, this will enrich your writing experience and enhance your achievements over the next three months.
Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below…