The Crimson Five series

Goal Check: First Quarter

Goodbye, March. I’m not sad to see you go! Not because spring is coming. Although that’s a huge plus! It’s because at the end of each quarter, I like to evaluate where I am in relation to where I had hoped to be. I like to do a goal check-up. 

Why?

Well, I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions in the traditional sense. I think the whole concept of whole-year goal setting is just too overwhelming. It feels too big. Instead, I set goals for each quarter and then break them down each month into manageable chunks. That way, If I need to push something to the next month, I won’t feel like I’ve failed—especially if I can get it done within the same quarter. 

So today, on the last day of the Quarter One, I’m reviewing my goals. I’ll take a look at all I’ve accomplished and all that I haven’t. I’ll celebrate the wins and decide what to do with the things I haven’t gotten to yet. Because even three-month long goals can change and sometimes the things you think are important, just aren’t anymore. 

So, what kind of goals am I talking about? Well, it’s easier to explain what goals I’m not talking about. I’m not talking about things I can’t control, like getting an agent or a book deal. Or even selling books. I can’t control how many agent-requests I get. What I can control are things that may help those accomplishments happen, like writing a strong query letter or researching agents and putting together a submission list. I can control surrounding myself with a strong writing community and working with critique partners who will help me make my manuscript stronger. 

Some of the things I included on my first quarter goal list were exactly that. So, this quarter, for example, I found a new critique partner and began working with her. That’s a win. Goal accomplished. I’ve re-written my query letter and sent out a batch of queries. That’s a win too. Notice I didn’t include getting agent requests? I have no control over that, so that cannot be a goal that’s attainable. It’s a hope/ wish and a good result of my goal but not my goal directly. 

My list doesn’t only include manuscript and publishing related things. I include number of books I want to read, specific house projects I want to complete, people I want to reach out to, number of blog posts I want to write, work-out activities, etc. I make sure I add a bunch of very attainable goals too, things that I always do every day anyway like make my bed. That way, I’m certain to have wins each month and quarter. It’s sneaky but I’m big on motivation and seeing those shiny gold checkmarks on my goal list, makes me want to work harder! 

Have you tried using a quarter-based goal system? It’s working for me. Maybe it can work for you too. 

Until next time, I hope you have a fantastic week…and get a head start on all your second quarter goals!