2015 has already hurled past the first quarter (Q1), so it's time for an update on how my goals for 2015 are coming along. After several setbacks (one of which includes this post itself), I'm proud to say that my main focus has still been on my number one priority for the year: Writing.
FOCUS Goals and Milestones
As you can see in the documents above, there were plenty of things I set out to achieve at the beginning of the year. When I created my FOCUS Goals for 2015, I tried to limit myself to no more than three major goals for the year.
I know from personal experience how daunting and overwhelming it can be to have your plate full of too many things and didn't want to burden myself with too many directions at once, thereby achieving little if anything.
My Milestones from 2014 serve to clearly show me where I've come over the past year and encourage me to know that I can go even further in the next year.
These two documents have helped guide me tremendously when it comes to my goals for 2015. They are the central theme of one of my best articles on goal setting and achieving your goals.
I have since updated my FOCUS Goals template, and have included it below.
Meeting My Main Focus Goal of 2015
Overall this year has started out very much in my favor. Except for a few setbacks concerning the completion of my Bluegrass Guitar Essentials course on DVD, I've been able to meet my main Focus Goals for 2015 related to writing. I'm pleasantly surprised, really, at how much I've achieved so far; and the year's only 1/4 over!
Some of these writing achievements include:
- Typing, editing, proofing, and soon-to-be releasing two new Short Stories.
- Enrolling in and completing an online writing class with high marks.
- Joining not one but two writing groups (critiquing and workshop-based).
- Creating regular content for this blog.
- Writing regularly in my "Whatever Happens, Happens" journal.
- Re-salvaging my soon-to-be finished first novel (hopefully completed by end of year).
The Endless Information Cycle
The accomplishments listed above are not without their own setbacks, however. I consider myself an information fanatic. I love to learn new things, which often gets me stuck in an endless information cycle and causes me to spin my wheels instead of gaining the traction I need to get things moving.
In other words, I’m usually obsessed with reading about writing rather than actually getting the writing done. And when it comes to getting things done, a lot of times I end up getting sidetracked, stuffing as much information in my brain as a squirrel hoards nuts for the Winter. It’s as if I somehow feel I need all this stuff now; that it can’t wait until I actually need it: in the moment.
Thankfully, my subconscious finally seems programmed to spot these “red flags” and focus my attention back on the goals and passions at hand. For the most part, the guilt of looking at the clock and realizing it’s been two hours since I started “researching” is enough to kick my subconscious into high gear and force my mind to get back to the main goals.
Back Burner Goals for 2015
As you can see from the FOCUS Goals for 2015 image above, there are a couple of goals that I haven’t mentioned yet. That’s because those goals (2 and 4) have been put on my mental back burner for the time being. If I’m to be truly honest, in hindsight, I can see that they’re more along the lines of “busy work” than anything actually in line with my most important goals.
These goals are “something to do” so I don’t feel guilty for not doing more—which, I’m beginning to realize, is the curse of death for the entrepreneur.
Why is it we entrepreneurs tend to feel as if there is never enough we can do to make ourselves feel justified in our work? Why not allow myself to think that focusing on even two of my four main FOCUS Goals for 2015 is an accomplishment in itself; and a commendable one at that?
For now, suffice it to say that I have a clearer vision of where I should be focusing my energy in this year than I've had in a long time. Back when I was just starting Bluegrass Guitar Essentials, it was easy to stay focused; I had only one major goal to pursue: completing it.
Now that the course is nearly completed, other goals—many of which have actually been distractions—have crept in; not just one main goal. This makes it harder to keep my mental blinders on since there are so many “shiny objects” lurking around just waiting to deter me from my goals.
Still, just like the cream that rises to the top, writing continues to rise to the forefront of my mind time after time, no matter what else tries to get in the way.
However, as is shown in the checklist above, even writing itself can be spread over multiple platforms, enough to make me wonder which avenue of writing I should focus on.
Such is life: Choose one choice and, having chosen, it splits into multiple subdivisions of itself, thus requiring inevitable further decision.
What Lies Ahead for Q's 2, 3, and 4
The last element of my FOCUS Goals for 2015 sheet is the Quarterly Updates, one for each quarter. You may have noticed I haven’t listed the first quarter. That's because the initial filling out of the sheet accounts for it. From what I can tell, my best course for Q's 2, 3, and 4 (based on my evaluation of Q1) is to keep hammering away on my main goal: regular—preferably daily—writing and production.
Note: As of this entry, I have attempted to create this post three separate times. I had an issue with a plugin I’m using, which is probably a simple update fix but nonetheless proved a very strenuous and yet another obstacle on my path of writing and goal achieving success. In spite of this, in the words of one of the most famous writers of our time, Maya Angelou: “Still, I rise.”
All I can say is I’m ready for the journey ahead; I’ve got my mind fixed on my FOCUS Goals for 2015, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings!
Here’s to your success as well. If you currently find yourself falling behind your initial expectations for the new year, I hope I’ve said something to motivate you into picking up your goals again from where you last left them.
There’s still plenty of time to start over again, if—and only if—you’re willing to chase your dreams.
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Question: Have you found yourself struggling with achieving the goals you set out to accomplish at the beginning of the year? Have you gotten a fresh perspective from this post and want to commit to achieving them? Leave a comment below and tell us all about it.