Can you believe that we’re in the last month of 2016 already? Where did this year even go? Since it’s that time of year, I thought I’d walk you through a little writerly wrap-up to see how you did with regard to your writing goals this last year.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up!
First thing’s first, this is not meant to be a list that you use to flog yourself. One of the ways to set yourself up for success in your goals is to take stock of what worked and what didn’t. It wouldn’t make sense to keep pushing yourself to write 1,000 words a day if it just wasn’t fitting into your schedule. There’s no shame in this game. Writing is all about finding what works best for you and then doing that.
What was your number one goal for 2016?
Most of us have more than one goal at any given time, which may or may not be part of the problem but that’s a different post. But I want you to remind yourself of your highest priority for this past year. Hopefully, you’re not like me and you wrote it down somewhere safe. But, if you didn’t, think back on this year and see if you can pick out one thing that seemed more important to you than anything else.
For me, I’d say my number one writing goal this year was to write consistently.
What did you do to accomplish that goal?
Simply stating your goals is only part of the process. You also have to implement changes or take actions that will bring you closer to meeting that goal. So what changes or actions did you incorporate into your routine this year?
I started out 2016 with a dedicated day and time for writing with a group of friends. I got so much further into my WIP than I ever have, and it was nice to have the comradery to boot.
What worked or didn’t work about your changes/actions?
It’s important to be honest here. Remember I said there’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to what worked and what didn’t.
Having that dedicated time worked like a charm. I felt good getting together with other writers on the regular, and I was super productive. However, over the course of the year, I let other things take over that time. Then I moved to a completely different state!
What did you learn over the course of this year?
Once you’ve acknowledged what did and didn’t work, you need to think about why. This is how you’re going to determine what to keep doing and what you might want to do a little differently next year.
I learned it’s important for me to have accountability when it comes to accomplishing my goals. I need a deadline or someone who’s expecting me to show up. I also learned that routine helps my brain to focus, so writing at the same time every week is definitely something I should keep doing.
How do you feel about your progress toward your goal?
Maybe you feel like you kicked some serious ass this year, maybe you don’t. Either way, your emotions are either helping or hurting you. Letting them out can help you embrace the good while you set aside the bad.
I feel like I started out making excellent progress, but then I let myself get derailed. This doesn’t feel good; in fact, guilt has been a major part of my struggle to get back on track this year. But I know that continuing to beat myself up about it isn’t going to help me correct things.
Get ready for 2017!
Download two helpful goal-setting worksheets to start 2017 off on the right writerly foot!