If you’re anything like me, you enjoy setting goals for what you want to get out of your career. From writing short stories to novels or non-fiction articles, if you’re passionate about freelancing you’re pretty aware of what you enjoy writing and what market you may have the best chance of breaking into.
Like a lot of different mediums, writing really has an ebb and flow to it. Some months you’ll write a slew of words – others you’ll barely get one page written. Every time you put down your pen or close your laptop, you’ll have to reassess your goals at some point, which can be pretty daunting if you feel you haven’t measured up to your own expectations.
When you’re setting goals, the sky is usually the limit because you’re not necessarily thinking about the time required to complete said goal, you’re simply excited about the possibility for your future success.
So set them. Write down everything you want to accomplish, from hitting the best-seller’s list to working for a top ad agency. Then, calculate the time required to achieve your overall goal. Can’t fathom it? Here’s where the goal-setting gets really interesting. Now, you can take your major goal (aka writing a best-selling novel) and break it out into what I call “mini-goals” or “mini-tasks.” Calculate the time required for these smaller steps by setting limits for your networking and being realistic about how fast your write and when.
Next, you’ll want to have your planner handy. Mentally schedule the hours for your tasks by week and by month. Make sure you leave yourself some wiggle room (i.e. “worse-case scenario” show-stoppers) so you can be more flexible. If you find you can’t achieve every goal, prioritize them in order of importance and map out how long it will take you to get there.
Remember, if you do one thing for yourself or your career every day (email counts!) you can achieve your goals!