I'm a hardcore goal setter. I love planners, my bullet journal, and the feel of the perfect pen in my hand. I can write out every task I have, check them off and keep on rolling. I see what I want and I mark it out on my calendar of when I want to accomplish it by. There's just one problem... I don't make myself a road map on getting there.
See I'm great at the what and the when. I know what I want and know when I want it by but I don't put together the how. So, I want to submit a short story for an anthology and their deadline is Feb. 28. I want to send in a story. I know that I need to have it finished early enough to get edited so I plan to have a draft done by the end of Jan. to give me time to get a beta reader (or two) and get edits in.
I plan to submit my story by Feb. 20 so I have some wiggle room in my timeline if something gets thrown out of whack or a beta reader takes a little long to get back to me. That's awesome. It's great to have that laid out on my color coordinated planner. But what that plan doesn't take into account is how am I going to get that story written?
Clearly I'm going to write it one word at a time but when?
What I've found is that as my life gets busier, I keep making goals but take less time to worry about the steps between me and achievement. I want to skip to the good stuff and leave out all that pesky middle nonsense. But the middle nonsense is where the work happens and what really matters. The middle is the day-to-day that builds everything about our future.
So now that I'm not ignoring that or magically hoping it all just kind of sorts itself out. Instead I've started figuring out the steps. What does that look like?
Well it looks like me reviewing my commitments and building in time to work on these goals. If I want to finish this 7000 word story by the end of Jan. that's about 500 words a day. Now I have a measurable goal. Next, I figure out the times I have to write. Well, my days are pretty booked but I do get up early so I'll write first thing in the morning.
Just by adding those two little bits of information already my goal feels a lot closer than it did before. Now I have a timeframe and a better idea of when I can get everything done. It sounds a little anal and type-A but I really have found that creating a plan helps keep me on track without getting so overwhelmed by all the things on my list.
So, here's your task for the day, find a task you've been 'meaning to do' and set an exact time you're going to deal with it. It's even more fun if you give a ridiculous time like 7:13 and promise to work for at least 25 minutes. See what you can finally get knocked off your list and then celebrate that rush of success.