Goals: I Got ‘Em

(Originally posted at Daydream Believer)

Before the rest of this year gets away from me, I’m taking August by the horns and setting some measurable goals for myself.

Goals can be tricky. I have to be careful not to go overboard with them, lest I become hopeless and give up on all of them, like New Year’s Resolutions. So I’ve decided to go easy on myself by dividing my life into three areas — personal, business, and writing — and tackle one weekly goal for each.

My personal goal for this week is pretty simple: get back into the habit of getting dressed for work. Mur Lafferty has helped to kickstart something of a revolution, inspiring freelancers and other work-at-home types to stop lazing about in our PJs all day and put on actual pants. I’ve been resistant–isn’t getting to work in your PJs supposed to be one of the great benefits of working at home, after all? But the fact is that getting dressed makes me feel more professional, which in turn makes me more productive. So I’m hopping on the pants-wagon and am going to aim to be fully dressed by 10AM every day. So far so good – I was dressed by 9 this morning, and I already feel more accomplished.

My business goal is a learning goal: to educate myself about wireframes and how they can help me as a web designer. My cursory research hasn’t convinced me that they’re anything to get excited about, but when a client recently asked if I can do them, I said that I could learn, and so that’s what I’m going to do.

My writing goal is a little harder to pin down. I have so many that it’s hard to pick one to focus on. I need to get back into the habit of writing fiction daily. I have two novel ideas that want outlining, and I have a first draft manuscript that needs editing. All of that is aside from continuing to edit and post This Old Haunt, which is also crying out for some kind of marketing effort (and which, incidentally, has a new episode as of this morning). I also have a novellette-length short story that I wrote earlier this year that needs some severe editing so I can send it out for consideration. That’s a lot to think about all at once.

Being forced to pick one, I think I’ll go with the first draft novel edits. My goal for this week is to get that to the beta readers (which would be you guys, if any of you have time for it), and while I await their feedback, to tackle the plot problems I already know about by applying Holly Lisle’s Index Card Plotting Method that was mentioned here last week.

Now that those are set, I’ll be checking in with progress reports throughout the week. If I don’t fully accomplish a goal this week, it will carry over to next, and so on until I can mark it accomplished and move on to a new goal. For today, number one is already accomplished. Time to get busy on the other two.

What about you guys? Got any weekly goals you’d like to track with me? Tell me about it, or link to your own blog post about same, in the comments.

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