Thursday, January 14, 2016

Do You Have A Plan With Measurable Outcomes?

Having goals to achieve are great for people. They keep us motivated to get to some new place in our lives. However, far too many people never achieve those goals they set. There are actually two reasons here. The first is that the goal simply cannot be achieved. But the bigger reason is that the goal, and the steps to get there, are not measurable.

I was thinking about this as I was helping my youngest on her 5th grade science fair project. This is the time of year when we start talking about measurable variables. In any case, this happened also at the time when I was reviewing a contract for one of my authors and we wanted to make sure delivery
dates matched up with the author's original plan.

This author, at the time we were setting those delivery dates was a bit worried. How would she make all of those deadlines. The answer was simple. Have a plan with measurable deadlines and goals.

You can do this in any number of ways: NaNoWriMo works on a measurable outcome of word count each day. You can set a goal of a set number of chapters by a certain date. One of my authors actually does this with page count and in 20 and 30 minute increments. Let me explain that one. When she has to get a chapter written that day, she calculates roughly what page she needs to be on by a certain time in her writing block of time. The goal is to always be ahead of schedule.

It really doesn't matter what you will measure your progress with, it has to be something with a measurable point that you can monitor that progress. Simply saying, "This year I plan on having a book written" is not going to be enough. That is a big goal with nothing along the way to see how you are going. I can promise you that come Christmas of 2016, you will still be looking at that goal and not having the book finished.

So, before you write today, create a plan. Pull out that calendar Gramma Bea gave everyone (like she does every year) and plug in those dates. You might be surprised what you accomplish.

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