All this talk about Bucket Lists for the past two months, and I have yet to share my own with you! We’re over two months into the year now, and I think it’s a good time to do an assessment of those goals we so enthusiastically listed at the start of the year. Here are my 2013 goals, plus a few lessons I’ve learned about goal-setting.
My 2013 Bucket List
Create a book trailer
- Write a novel
- Write 2 new ebooks for DIY Writing
- Increase video and visual media at DIY Writing
- Develop the first DIY Writing e-course
- Run my first writers workshop
- Sell my first 1,000 books
- Grow the DIY Writing email list to 1,000
- Increase guest posting and paid freelance blogging
- Learn how to cook more
Lesson 1: Be flexible and know yourself.
By this time, you may have already knocked off an item or two. (I checked off Create a Book Trailer before the end of January!) You may have dropped goals altogether, or modified some. Be okay with that! Starting a year (or any period) with a Bucket List is a great way to begin to shape your vision for the future, but being flexible to reality is just smart.
I put Write a novel on my Bucket List this year, because I am determined to publish fiction, if for nothing but the practice. But as much as I try to convince myself of the dream, I actually have no interest in writing a whole novel.
So, the goal is modified to “novellette”, and I’ve written 7,900 words of my target 10,000. My daily output remains focused on blogging and new ebooks, which are more marketable to my audience and more aligned with my career goals.
Lesson 2: Don’t be intimidated by your own Bucket List!
I confess, I’m being a giant scaredy cat. I’ve been fine using Photoshop to create infographics and pinable images for DIYW, but I’ve been totally avoiding the video stuff. While Stefan has taught me the basics of iMovie, it’s just plain difficult, so I haven’t started yet. I vow to you, though, I will overcome my fear and get new videos out soon!
Lesson 3: Remember, you have all year…
Once you create that wish list for the year, break it down. A year is a long time, and you shouldn’t try to tackle all your goals in January. Maybe some items you thought you abandoned just need to be pushed to the later months of the year.
Neither my e-course nor the workshop are beyond the brainstorming stage yet, so it’s going to be months before I can cross them off the list. But rather than forget about them altogether, I’ve put them in their place on the timeline to focus on later in the year.
Lesson 4: …but you should still be making progress every day.
One huge pitfall I see in creating a Bucket List or resolutions is that having the list in front of you is overwhelming. Rather than providing inspiration toward your goals, it encourages you to procrastinate, because you have no idea where to begin.
The point is to just pick something and get started. What goals are you focused on right now, and what actions are you taking every day toward them? If you’re not working on something that’s important to you, why not? And what do you need to get back on track? These are the questions I have to ask myself every day to stay focused on selling books and growing my email list.
Lesson 5: Create goals that can work together.
My goal to increase guest posting has a slew of benefits, including connecting me with readers who would probably love DIY Writing and Bucket List — so every time I make progress on this goal, I’m also tackling my promotional goals!
Lesson 6: Don’t forget to have fun.
Finally, I forced myself to add one non-writing item to my Bucket List, because I need a hobby and more writing doesn’t count. So, I’d like to learn how to cook more. I fancy myself reasonably skilled in the kitchen, but I’ve set a vague goal of learning a few new dishes or techniques this year so I can occasionally exercise my brain outside of the realm of this blog, my books, social media, or freelancing. To be honest, this may actually be the toughest to tackle!
A Writer's Bucket List is on hiatus. Thanks for four awesome years! For continuing updates, follow creator Dana Sitar @danasitar and subscribe via email: