Posted by: nancyisanders | September 10, 2010

Goal Planning Workout

Here are more tips for setting goals to take your writing to the next level.

Schedule in Time to Write on Your Calendar

1. Make a blank one-week calendar that lists every hour you’re awake. Make two copies. On the first one, shade in the actual times you wrote last week. On the second one, shade in times in the week ahead that you plan to write. Planning ahead helps make writing a reality. If possible, make a new calendar for each week ahead or purchase a daily planner and schedule in your writing time each week BEFORE the minutes slip away.

2. Set three main goals for the year ahead:
Goal #1: Work on a manuscript dear to your heart. Devote a portion of your writing time each week to work on a manuscript you feel passionate about. Steady progress on this manuscript helps keep you writer’s passion alive. Working title of this manuscript is:
Goal #2: Write small projects to get published on a regular basis. Newspapers, community magazines, newsletters, and online publications are great. No pay or low pay is fine. It’s important to see your name in print and work with editors through the process of deadlines, assignments, and word counts on a regular basis. Prospective publishers you plan to target include:
Goal #3: Work on a bigger project geared for publication. This is a SPECIFIC process and involves you first finding ONE particular publisher you want to write for. Dig deep in your writer’s market guide to narrow down your search. Then research that publisher and write an original manuscript or query to fit into their product line. Your target publisher is:

3. Determine the minimum and maximum amount of time you plan to devote to each goal each week or month in the year ahead. If you haven’t been writing at all, it’s perfectly fine to schedule in a minimum of one hour writing each week. To start building a successful career, however, plan to devote about a fourth of your time each week or month to Goal #1, a fourth of your time to Goal #2, and half of your time to Goal #3. This balance will help you progress forward step by step. If you already have solid writing time scheduled in each week, keep this same balance of time for these three goals to keep your writing passion alive, be regularly encouraged by seeing your name in print, and work steadily towards your goal of having a successful writing career.

4. Based on the exercises you just completed, write down your short-term and long-term goals:

Goal Planning Guide
1 Week Goal
Goal #1:
Goal #2:
Goal #3:
Reward if you meet your goals:

1 Month Goal
Goal #1:
Goal #2:
Goal #3:
Reward if you meet your goals:

3 Month Goal
Goal #1:
Goal #2:
Goal #3:
Reward if you meet your goals:

1 Year Goal
Goal #1:
Goal #2:
Goal #3:
Reward if you meet your goals:

5 Year Goal
Goal #1:
Goal #2:
Goal #3:
Reward if you meet your goals:


  1. Nancy,
    This is so timely for me.
    Thank You

    • Oh, I’m so glad, Diane!!! Somehow the fall of the year always makes me set new goals. I even went out a bought a new planning calendar last week! -Nancy

      • I really wonder how you can keep up like that to your work for so many hours… i would like do be able to do the samebut…
        I’m always jumping up.. to do a load of bread, or hoover or what ever…
        Then I start writting… and every 4-6 sentences I have to breack off…
        I don’t understand…
        seems like if I have to give my mind a few minutes doing something competely different… Don’t seem to be able to stay concentrated and just keep on writting!
        Then I get back for a few more sentences that will come out… and here I am reading your blog and taking some time off…
        That’s the first part of writting.
        Once the big lines are on the paper I can work and not see time going by. But the fisrt part of “creating ” the story is hectic… Have you ever experienced something like that? Have you ever heard about reacting in such a strange way?
        I feel like if I was loosing alot of precious time…
        So frustrating!
        allez I’m going back to my story!! :-)))))

      • Hi Nicole, I can really understand what you’re talking about! I like to picture myself sitting at my computer with a seatbelt on and it helps me stick with my writing. Plus, I have to turn off the Internet and the e-mail and not let myself look at it until I reach certain goals within the day. But still it’s hard. So what you’re feeling is very very normal especially when Internet is so much more interesting instead of trying to get a story started.

  2. Thanks for making me feel not that bad!!!
    But writting it out made me understand things better…
    (I love the seat bellt idea!)

    In fact I came to the point of giving myself a small reward whenever I wrote a few sentences!!!
    I also realised I worked better in the evening when the things I must do as a mother and wife are over…
    What an internet addict I have become!!!!!
    I must get working on that!
    My e-mail box is the worst thing… always hoping for some good news!!!
    By the way I did manage to get my story on the computer and ready to wait a week for a next look on it.

    • Hip, hip, hooray for you, Nicole! I’m excited that you’re taking such important steps forward. -Nancy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: