Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Time Management Tuesday: Creating Goals And Objectives For 2014

What does planning goals and objectives for a year have to do with time management? Goals and objectives help us to determine what we're going to do with our time. They keep us from doing random things.We can check in on the goals and objectives now and again to determine what we should be doing. At the end of the unit of time we've planned the goals and objectives for (a year, say) we can do an assessment to determine how much the goals and objectives helped us achieve with our time. And with that knowledge, we can plan the goals and objectives for a next unit of time (a year, say), which will determine how we spend our time going forward.

The Goals and Objectives

So the following goals and objectives describe how I plan to use my time in 2014. Notice that I only have six goals. All the objectives are steps toward achieving the goals.

Goal 1. Finish the revision of The Fletcher Farm Body


  • Continue revising to enhance the brothers' relationship to support the control theme
  • Continue revising to eliminate as much material that doesn't relate to plot, character, or theme as possible

Goal 2. Write a number of short pieces

Possible Objectives:

  • Statics and Dynamics for Writers essay. This was originally a workshop proposal. The proposal wasn't accepted, but the organization running the conference required such an extensive outline that I think I can flip it into an essay.
  • Walking for Writers essay
  • The Northeast Children's Literature Collection essay
  • Promoting eBooks for Traditionally Published Writers essay
  • Relic Hoarding essay
  • Becoming Part of Blog Culture essay
  • The Value in Becoming Part of a Local Writing Community essay
  • Hannah and Brandon short story (held over from last year)
  • Your On-line Friend short story
  • How to Make Friends and Live Longer short story

Goal 3. Complete a draft of the so-called mummy book


  • By February get back up to speed with this project
  • By February start assigning a few 45-minute units a week to this project 

Goal 4. Make submissions


  • Submit The Fletcher Farm Body to a specific editor
  • New agent research
  • Research markets for short works
  • Submit short works

Goal 5. Continue to work on community building


  • Connecticut Children's Lit Calendar
  • Attend other authors' marketing events
  • Attend a few professional events
  • Prepare a new workshop to offer at libraries and bookstores
  • Try to find a writers' group

Goal 6. Continue marketing Saving the Planet & Stuff eBook


  • Check out the blogs and sites I've been collecting for possible contacts
  • Start researching blogs to contact again
  • Continue the Environmental Book Club at Original Content whenever possible
  • Get trailer up at Twitter page
  • Consider a price reduction for a limited time and promoting same
  • Consider pulling eBook from Barnes & Noble and Kobo to take advantage of Kindle marketing for books exclusive to that company

What Goals and Objectives Should Be

Goals should be achievable, which all these goals are. Notice that Goal 4 is "Make submissions" and not "Publish essays and short stories." I cannot control what editors will do or choose to publish, so "Publish essays and short stories" is not an achievable goal. I have no real impact on what happens. But I can make submissions, so that is an achievable goal.

Goals and objectives should also be measurable. We should be able to determine whether or not we've met our goals. We can easily tell if we've completed an objective. Completing enough of the objectives should mean we've at least approached meeting our goals.

What Was the Impact of 2013's Goals and Objectives On 2014's?

If you compare my goals and objectives from last year with my goals and objectives for this year, you'll see a big switch in the placement of the Saving the Planet eBook. Last year the publication and promotion of that book were my number one and two goals. This year I have only one goal related to it, and it has dropped to number six. Publishing and marketing Saving the Planet was hugely time and energy consuming and didn't provide much return for my effort in 2013. I can clearly see from the goals and objectives I worked on last year that writing time suffered. So I'm using goals and objectives to refocus how I spend my time in 2014.

One Final Goal For This Year 


This year I'm going to make an effort to check up on myself each week to make sure that a good chunk of my time went toward objectives to meet my goals, an idea I got from Peter Bregman's 18 Minutes.


Unknown said...

Great distinction between what's achievable and what's not, recognizing to set goals within your control. I mention the same thing in my post about creating life lists, as it's an important difference to recognize to avoid disappointment. I enjoyed reading through your list of goals, good luck in 2014!

Gail Gauthier said...

Thanks, Robyn.