January is popular time to reflect on the past year and look at setting new year goals. I don’t really like resolutions, but I do like setting goals and planning how I’m going to achieve them. Remember when I wrote about September being the new January? Well, now that it’s January, I find myself re-evaluating my goals for the new year.
In 2018, I remember saying I wanted to publish four or five books. I published one. In September, I set an income goal of $3,000/month for myself. The closest I got to that in the last quarter of 2018 was $1,100/month.
So, I spent the last two weeks of December making a new plan and looking at what I wanted to accomplish in 2019. I’ll admit, some of that time was spent beating myself up about why I hadn’t reached my 2018 goals. But then I realized that never accomplishes anything so I called off the pity party and started making a plan.
Lessons Learned from 2018
If you read my post about earning a year’s income in only 10 months, you’ll notice that I’m now at the “make adjustments” stage of my goal planning. I’m not abandoning my goal to earn $3,000 per month and I’m not giving up on the other four books I wanted to publish last year. I’m figuring out what I need to do differently to reach those goals.
My income is a combination of various revenue streams with my freelance editing work making up the bulk of my income until my other income streams. I thought I could easily increase my editing revenue as needed to get to my $3,000 per month income goal.
Boy was I wrong!
It would be easy if I didn’t have a life and a family and other people that needed me. For the first week or two of September, I was on track for hitting my income goal, but I realized I was achieving that goal by ignoring everything else that was going on in my life, and that was something that just couldn’t continue.
Give Yourself a Break
When you realize you’re not going to reach your goal. It’s okay. Being hard on yourself isn’t going to help you reach that goal and will probably cause a lot of unnecessary stress. In my opinion, goals are meant to be flexible. Once you set your goal, work towards it but also take stock of your progress and make changes along the way. You may find that a goal you had at the beginning of the year, just isn’t right for you anymore by June.
Ask for Help
It’s also completely okay to ask for help. And you should! Whether you’ve missed your goal or are just getting started and aren’t sure what the next step is, find someone who can help. Going back to my income goals, I know I need some chunks for time dedicated to earning money every week, so I make sure my husband can entertain the kids while that happens or I only take on freelance work (as opposed to working on my own novels) while my kids are at school.
2019 New Year Goals
From not reaching my goals in 2018, I’ve learned that, as I mentioned previously, it’s good to be flexible with our goals and adjust our plans as we go. Life is constantly changing and our goals will change as a result of what we have going on. So, these are my new year goals and I plan on revisiting them every quarter to see if I still want to work on them.
$3,000 per month in net income still feels like an achievable goal for me, but the change I’m making is about how I’m going to get there. Rather than killing myself spending unlimited hours working on editing and ghostwriting projects, I’m going to look at the ways I might be able to earn more per hour.
Projects where I charge a flat rate, like writing, are one way to boost hourly earning potential. I’m also going to work my way up to $3,000/month rather than putting pressure on myself to hit it right awy, so I’ve set various mini-goals along the way to help me get there. This month I hope to earn $1,000, then $1,500 next month, etc. until I’m consistently earning $3,000 per month.
The four books I didn’t publish last year are at various stages: one is almost ready for publishing, one is at the draft stage, and a third is outlined. I’m breaking down my goal into publishing and writing categories. I realized this was one of my mistakes last year when I set the goal of publishing four or five books—I skipped all the stages in between the idea and the final book!
So, my revised goal is: I want to finish the first draft for two novels this year.
I have a picture book that will be ready for publishing later this year and I’d love to publish one of the novels I’ll be drafting this year. This seems a lot more doable than the goal I set last year of four or five books!
Learning new skills makes me extremely happy. If I could get paid to go to school full time, I would totally do it! There are several things I want to learn this year, but I’ve decided to approach this goal with the attitude of really learning everything there is to know about one specific thing. Illustration!!!
It’s really important for me to illustrate my own picture books, and I want the illustrations to be high quality, so I’m going to learn as much about digital illustration as I can. Thank goodness for my Skillshare membership!
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Now that you know what I’m working on this year, I’d love to know what your plans are. Did you meet your 2018 goals? What are you doing differently in 2019? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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