Setting Goals

It’s that time again; it’s time to start thinking about things I want to accomplish in the next year. Technically, I start with the next year’s goals in November so I can hammer out a viable schedule before January 1st. But I’m not sure I really blogged about them yet.

In reality, every year has been better than the one before it. Given the insane amount of chaos and setbacks that I endure, it’s kind of impressive, actually.

My life is anything but stable.

My good friend, Chris Desatoff, has his goals for January 1st, which prompted me to set up a more focused game plan.

Let’s hammer out some details and see how many of these I can accomplish. In fact, I’m setting a task in Asana today to remind me to write a follow-up to this post at the end of next year.

What’s the Plan for 2024?

In a lot of ways, blogging about your goals and plans is kind of like trying to set up a self-fulfilling prophecy. It can be therapeutic while engraining what you want to accomplish into memory.

Personally, I try to set things up in a blog post because I forget…a lot. I’m 47, and the memory engrams don’t fire like they used to.

Nonetheless, let’s put together some solid ideas, and let’s see if we can forge them in stone.

Vastly Improve Time Management

Perhaps the most difficult thing for me to master is time management. But it’s not entirely what you might be thinking.

Sure, there are times when I get sucked into YouTube without realizing how much time is passing. But it’s also the small interruptions from friends and family that wind up doing a good chunk of damage.

In today’s online-driven world, everyone has access to you 24-7. This year, I’m going to start putting my foot down and really try to get in as much time as I can without postponing projects.

Of course, a lot of my time spent over the last few years involved dealing with extreme family emergencies and massive client projects. I’m hoping this year, I’ll get a break for once.

Writing One Million Words

I know, one million words sound like a lot upfront. But in reality, that’s only 3,832 words per day, Monday through Friday. For most, that might sound like an awful lot. However, keep in mind that this is roughly half of what I used to do in my prime while writing for content mills.

Back then, I would consistently crank out 6,000 to 8,000 words per day. And on a few occasions, surpass 10k.

So, why haven’t I been able to ramp up the word counts like I used to? A vast chunk of my time in the day is spent working on various client projects, of which I am an editor and team lead. The bottom line is that I don’t have an opportunity to write like I used to.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job…especially the work I do for GreenGeeks Web Hosting. But there are days when I really miss just being a writer.

Anyway, this year, I am focusing on using my time better and making sure that I can hit about 26,820 words per week. Given all of the projects I have going on, it should be relatively simple.

That is as long as the chaos takes a day off or two.

Publish Three Books, Minimum

Although three books might sound ambitious, especially given everything I have on my plate, the truth is that I have two books that are nearly halfway written with a third in the works.

Of course, producing the next two books will take a bit more time only because I want to implement the things I learned from the Reedsy writing course I’ve been taking for the past several weeks. Still, I am confident I can publish a minimum of three books in 2024.

The reason why I say “minimum” is that I’m also working on finishing VII and Skeletal on Wattpad and Inkitt respectively. And yes, both of these projects are real novels. Just because they’re on free platforms doesn’t mean I’ll skimp out on the quality.

The bottom line is that I want to put more effort into books for 2024, which means I’m labeling it “The Year of the Book, Part 3.”

Keep the Blogs on a One-Per-Week Schedule

As I intend to dump more time into the books, that means I won’t be as active on the blogs. However, I would like to get all five of my main sites on a schedule of at least one post per week. I’m sure I’ll be able to write a few more here and there, but I’m not going to stress over it.

Why should I care about the blogs? Because outside of my freelance writing clients, they bring in the most amount of money. And I’d love to get the sites to a point where I can just blog and write books all day.

I’m also planning on conducting a case study based on regular post schedules for 12 months. If I want the data to be accurate, I have to make sure the content is posted.

After crunching a few numbers, I should be able to swing a post per week on each site. And I have a plan in place just in case chaos decides to run rampant, which is more common than you might think.

Publish Three Videos Per Week for WriterSanctuary

I would love to get the channel monetized this year, but that’s not the overall goal. This is because goals that center around views, watch time, and making money from content are unrealistic. You can’t force people to consume your content.

Instead, the goal is to create the best videos I can and publish them three times per week in addition to the live streams.

If I manage to put out a few that people enjoy, then maybe it’ll work to help me get accepted into the YouTube Partner Program. If not, then at least my regulars have something more to watch.

I wish that I had the time to put at least one video out for each of the YouTube channels I have. But at this moment, my time is stretched pretty damn thin to begin with. Perhaps once I get some of the major projects completed, I’ll have a bit more time.

Attend at Least 3 Writing Functions

One of the things I would really love to do is get out of the house more. I often feel cooped up and claustrophobic, which is one of the reasons why I give myself excuses to go to Walmart in the middle of my work day.

In 2024, I am going to see about attending at least three functions that are writing-based. I would love to find a group that gets together in person as opposed to online. Slack, Discord, and Zoom just aren’t the same as interpersonal interactions and connections.

I’m toying with the idea of seeing what it takes to organize a WordCamp here in Denver. We haven’t had one since before COVID, and I’d love to attend one as a speaker, or even if it’s to promote GreenGeeks. I just love WordCamps in general.

So, this means stepping way outside of my comfort zone and actually being social.

Isn’t that contradictory for a recluse and introvert? Absolutely. Plus, I don’t know how the hell I’m going to do it. But I’ll find a way…I always do.

Go To Bed at a Reasonable Hour

I would love to go to bed before 1:30 am. I’m tellin’ ya, my kids are slowly killing me. Starting next year, I need to put my foot down and start going to bed at a reasonable hour for my age.

I’m not 20-something and can’t keep running on four hours of sleep every night. It’s bad enough my memory foam bed remembers to be a brick every night.

I want to get back into the habit of relaxing at 8:45 pm with a nice glass of tea and a good book until 9:30 pm. Is that so hard to ask? It is for me most days. But it needs to be done, especially with how tired I’ve been lately.

Being Realistic with Your New Year’s Goals

The whole purpose of goals and challenges is to push yourself to make ultimate changes in your life. However, it’s vital that you make them realistic. While you can reach for the stars, make sure your feet are firmly planted on the ground.

All of the goals I’ve listed for myself are things that I know I can accomplish if I put in maximum effort. Hell, half of them I used to do on a regular basis before 2019. So, I know I can get back to them.

When I create goals and challenges, they’re never outside of what I can accomplish if I hunker down and work on them. Sure, I can complain about chaos and such, but there are always options to get around certain things.

For example, I could have worked on books and blog posts in the evenings on Wednesdays through Saturdays, but I didn’t.

Coincidentally, those are the only four days when I don’t plan on streaming on Colorado Plays, Crossing Colorado, or WriterSanctuary in the evenings.

The bottom line is that my goals are realistic based on past experiences and understanding myself. I know what I’m capable of handling, I just need to handle it. And that’s the point of the goals above – to create habits and strategies that will ultimately make me successful.

Even when you fail at a goal, it still gives you an opportunity to learn what happened and what to avoid next time. Thus, you can’t really call it a failure – it becomes a learning experience.

What Goals Do You Have in Mind for 2024?

There is no doubt that I have my work cut out for me next year. But if I am able to accomplish even a couple of these, they’ll make a massive impact on my life in general.

All that’s holding me back is myself.

What kind of greatness do you hope to achieve in 2024?

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