My 2017 Writing Goals in Review

My 2017 Writing Goals in Review

Happy New Year! If I could sit down with you today over a cup of Chai tea, one of the first questions I’d ask you is, “Are you setting any goals this year? Any New Year’s resolutions?”

I know New Year’s resolutions are poopooed by a lot of people, but I’m taking advantage of the new year to review and set some new goals.

One year ago, I actually wrote out my writing goals for the year ahead. I mostly failed to meet them, but I learned an important lesson in the process. 

The Writing Goal I Did Meet

Of the six writing goals I set, I accomplished just one of them:

  • Get published on DesiringGod.org.

(Here are the three posts DG published if you’re interested.)

The Writing Goals I Didn’t Meet

Here are the five writing goals I didn’t meet . . . and why:

  1. Get published on TheGospelCoalition.com. I didn’t get far with this goal, as I never even submitted a potential post to them. I should have set a deadline, determined what to write about, and researched what person and email address to contact them at.
  2. Publish 48 posts. Here’s what I did do right: I calculated that I needed to post four times a month to reach this goal. I started strong (five posts in January and five posts in February), but then I began to fizzle out. After giving birth to my son, Iren, in May, I didn’t post at all in June, July, or September. My total post count for the year was a mere twenty-one.
  3. Have Tim Challies mention me in his 12/17 Top Bloggers post. Hah! I would have had to post quality content way more often to even make me a contender. (Here’s who made Tim’s 2016 list; I’m still watching for his 2017 list.)
  4. Complete content audit on PaulaWrites.com. I first heard about the concept and importance of a content audit in this podcast. It’s a pretty overwhelming project. I chipped away at it throughout the year . . . but barely. Again, I should have set weekly goals in order to hit this goal.
  5. Double email subscribers and social media subscribers. I feel like a broken record. I needed a plan, not just a goal.

What I Learned from My Unmet Writing Goals

Some people might quit after such a dismal performance, but I’m not discouraged. If I hadn’t set any writing goals, I wouldn’t have written as much as I did.

More importantly, I learned from the experience: I won’t reach my goals without a plan.

So this year, I’m freshly motivated to do things different. This year I’m setting quarterly writing goals rather than annual goals. This should keep my writing goals front-of-mind throughout the year—not just in January and then in December.

I’ve already scheduled quarterly goal reviews on March 24, June 23, September 22, and December 17. I will use those times to review my progress and finalize the next quarter’s writing goals. (For accountability, in the future I’ll share my 2018 goals with you . . . as well as my progress.)

How about you? Are you setting any goals for yourself this new year? (Any you feel free to share?) More importantly . . . have you put a plan in place to execute your goals?  

Learn from my failure: You won’t reach your goals without a plan.

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  • RaZella Avril Harding

    Thanks for the ideas! I know at present my problem is having time to sit down and write. So my goal is to have carved out that precious time by March. Why March? Because realistically I am so hectic with commitments the next couple of months the idea of trying to find the time right now was immediately overwhelming. So instead, I am taking time to get back into reading. I find that reading always inspires me to write. 🙂 Happy New Year!