Friday, December 30, 2011

Know Your Goals, 2011 Edition

**Amazon has dropped their price on the Kindle edition of Generation Dead:Stitches to $2.69! That is less than a Venti coffee, I think. don't know how long that price will last, so get yers today!

People who know me well know that I am somewhat fanatical about the setting and achievement of goals. This personality quirk (some would say defect) appears to be at odds with the generally unfocused and haphazard nature of my day-to-day personality. But every year, the week before New Years' Eve, I enter into a ritual of self-reflection where I meditate for long hours on where I am and where I would like to be in life. At the end of this process, I leave the incense filled sweat lodge of my office with a list of goals for the coming year. Every night when my head hits the pillow, i will mentally review this list of goals. This nightly review isn't just a recitation; I will try to bring in sensory detail about the goals I'm shooting for--what it feels and looks like to work towards them, to achieve them, etc. I do this every night, without fail, no matter how tired i am or how many martinis, espressos, or snarky GoodReads reviews I've had before bedtime. And then I fall asleep. Eventually.

I end up thinking about these goals often, consciously and subconsciously, throughout my days. I keep a daily journal, and often I will comment upon some real-world (real, at least, to me) aspect of these goals, and then at the end of every month I check my progress and write a status update for each goal.

Please understand I'm not recommending these practices in a sort of motivational, self-helpy kind of way, or in an instructional "do this and and the secrets of the universe will be yours" sense. I'm not even suggesting the practice is sane. All I'm saying is that it is what I do, and it seems to help me get some positive results.

I had fifteen goals for 2011. Thought about them every night. Every single night, without fail. The Goal Police would be right to point out that not all of these goals meet the SMART criteria necessary for proper goal setting (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time bound). some, you may notice, might actually be just bordering on my sphere of influence. Ah well. I'll work on that for 2012

Here's how I did in terms of accomplishment.

1. Write Three Generation Dead Short Stories
I ended up writing four. Earlier in the year, a reader asked me why there weren't any Generation Dead ebooks. I asked the same question of my publisher, and offered to do a new story for each ebook. After they were out, another reader asked if the stories could be available separately, because she already had all of the books, so I suggested to the publisher that we bind them up and that I would write another new story to include. Stitches was the result; a project that I hadn't even thought of in 2010. Now readers are asking for a physical book. Did I mention I love readers?

2. Write Three Non-Generation Dead Short Stories
I should have this completed by the end of tomorrow.

3. Write Two Novel Outlines
My novel outlines usually end up around thirty pages long. I completed this goal.

4. Finish a Draft of Teenage Monster
This is a novel I began working on last year. I finished the draft and my agent and I are working on it now.

5. Finish a Draft of Another Novell
Top secret. I finished this goal.

6. Deliver Break My Heart 1000 Times to Hyperion
Done. Wrapping up the final edits. We're on track for a Fall 2012 release. I'll post the cover before long.

7. Undisclosed Business Goal
Accomplished, but I can't tell you about it! Sorry!

8. Have a Project Optioned for Film
Accomplished. More about that in the new year

9. Collaborate on a Comic Book Project
Not accomplished. I've had many conversations with my pal Matthew Dow Smith about this, and we keep talking about it, but he is a very busy man drawing Doctor Who and working on a number of thrilling writing projects. Maybe next year

10. Undisclosed Family Goal

11. Increase My Internet Presence
Okay, I'll admit that one is kind of vague, which is probably why I consider it not accomplished. I have a few more blog followers than before, but I blog less. I'm on Twitter, but have very few people following (hint,hint). I'm not on Facebook as much, and I didn't do as many interviews or guest blogs as in years' past. But...I'm really okay with all of that. Weird.

12. Get my Office Together
I'm about 80% to goal. I have half of it painted, most of the necessary equipment is there, I have some art on the walls, it is looking and feeling comfortable. Another round of painting and a trip to IKEA and I'll be all set.

13. Read 100 Books
Arbitrary and doesn't speak to quality, I know. Too bad. I read a hundred and fourteen and will probably finish another tonight.

14. Lose 10% of My Body Weight
Accomplished! Lost 12%, actually. Next year my goal will be a running goal vs. a weight loss goal--I ran 812 miles this year. Running, swimming, basketball and a little weight lifting helped me hit this, because I still eat like a piggy.

15. Undisclosed Financial Goal

So of my fifteen, I hit twelve, made a great deal of progress on one, and failed on two. Not a bad year at all.

I'm looking forward to seeing what targets I will have for myself for 2012....


JoAnne said...

I miss your year end reviews and plans for the coming year. Syzywg forever!

SteveM said...

I am truly impressed. Whatever you’re taking I need some bad....

Anonymous said...

Is there a way that you break it down to try and do certain parts by Q1 then half way through etc. Or do you just start working on your goals all at once so to say?? This is amazing!

Daniel Waters said...

Hi Joanne!

Indeed! Some things don't change much, do they?

Take care,

Hi SteveM,

Nothing stronger than coffee. Mostly.

Take care,

Hi Anonymous,

I do plot out a timeline, but i don't kick myself too hard if i don't strictly adhere to it. I think, though, by doing the monthly review it keeps me honest and on track to getting things done. But i do consider them all to be "in play" at once.

Take care,

Celebrity said...

Obviously. Nice post by the way.