We're one month into 2016, and already my goals for 2016 are gaining momentum toward success! Follow me as I share with you what my goals for 2016 are and one of the tools I'm using to help me achieve them.
Before I get started, I'd just like to say I'm glad to be back after a little over a month-long hiatus. Due to my desire to finish writing my latest novel, I've not been as focused on the blog as I'd like to be.
But now that the novel is finally done, I can catch up on writing some more great blog posts for this year, including the one you're reading now about achieving my goals for 2016.
Using the Proper Tools for Pursuing My Passions & Goals for 2016
Click on the images above, then scroll down and click "View Full Size."
One of the most helpful tools I'm using to help me achieve my goals this year is something I've written about in the past and decided to try in 2016: the Passion Planner. (See gallery above for some images I've created so far.) After experimenting with a different—yet still helpful and effective—planner last year, I was ready to switch to something with more room for creativity.
As I've said before in many of my posts about pursuing and achieving goals, it's important to keep track of your goals so that you can easily see a path to reaching them. For the last couple years I've been doing this with the help of two of my own tools I created: F.O.C.U.S. and S.M.A.R.T. goal sheets.
This year, I decided to try something different. Instead of keeping track of multiple sheets of paper that I would have to constantly switch between, depending on my goal setting needs, I wanted something that would allow me to keep all of my thoughts and ideas in one central location. The Passion Planner fits these needs perfectly.
Consolidating My Goals for 2016
Since I've better learned how to hone my focus via the use of my F.O.C.U.S. and S.M.A.R.T. goal sheets, I really don't have a need for them any longer; I can see where I'm going with better clarity, so they've served their intended purpose. Instead, keeping my goals for 2016 in the Passion Planner makes it much easier to keep my attention on the bigger picture during 2016 instead of constantly having my attention stretched between multiple documents.
Best of all, the Passion Planner, unlike my previous planner, is more creativity focused instead of merely action based. (Notice the nice sketch above I made while watching Fireplace for Your Home on Netflix.) Instead of "get more things done," the Passion Planner helps you figure out what NOT to do so you can better focus on your passions—the things you really want to be doing in the first place.
Don't get me wrong, I still advocate my F.O.C.U.S. and S.M.A.R.T. goal sheets; it's just that they're more for beginners when it comes to exploring goal setting, and now I'm more prepared to consolidate my goals via the use of my new Passion Planner.
If you're interested in a more cosmetically pleasing design than the "Timeless Black" original version, the Passion Planner team frequently releases special Limited Edition designs, such as the two pictured below: Stay GOALden and Twilight Blue.
These sold out pretty quickly during their Kickstarter campaign in November of 2015, so if you want future Limited Edition planners (available in both small and large sizes) to help you get started, I suggest you click the button below to reserve yours before they sell out again!
PLEASE HELP ME EARN A FREE PASSION PLANNER!
Anytime you purchase a Passion Planner, list me, Eric Beaty, as your reference during checkout, using the email firstname.lastname@example.org, and you'll help me win a free Passion Planner to be put to good use in the coming months!
Update: Nov. 2, 2016: They're not bluffing, either. I just won a FREE Passion Planner, and here's the proof:
The Roadmap To My Goals for 2016
One of the great things about the Passion Planner is that, in addition to the many areas—such as the "Space of Infinite Possibility"—that can be utilized for sketching and writing ideas (see again the fireplace sketch in the gallery above), there are lots of blank/graph pages at the end of the planner if you want even more space to explore your creative freedom.
The Passion Planner I opted for was the larger 8.5" x 11" size. It's a bit bigger than I expected, and is more for use as a desktop planner than a portable one, but the large surface area each page comes with is amazing. Still, I'm all the time running around, doing work in town, so I actually need a smaller planner overall; that being the case, next year I'll likely get the smaller 5.5" x 8.5" for better portability.
All that extra space in those back pages really came in handy when I was planning out my "Gamechangers" (main goals for 2016). As you can see in the image below, I was able to utilize an entire page to create my most important Gamechanger for 2016: Publishing the books I'd written last year.
My main goals for 2016 are centered around the self-publishing of the three books I wrote during 2015; thus, becoming an official author on Amazon. Since these books are already written, all I have to do is edit them—not that that's an easy process.
Here's a better idea of how the image above (technically a mind map) is broken down:
- The first book in line to be edited is what I'm calling my "Goals" book, which will be centered around the tips and tricks I've learned over the past several years in setting and achieving my goals, and is also loosely based around a previous post I wrote concerning some goals I was working on at the time.
- The second book I'll probably tackle is the NaNoWriMo novel I abandoned in 2009 and finally finished last year. It's pretty complex and will need a major overhaul to get everything cohesive, but I believe it will be worth it in the long run.
- And the third book I'll be working hard to finish editing this year is my latest novel, Kitty Hero Chronicles, my winning novel for NaNoWriMo 2015. It's one of my favorites of all because I learned so much during the process of writing it.
After I finish with these goals—hopefully I'll have all three books edited and published by the end of this year—the next item on the list above is Start Over. The whole idea is to keep going and doing the things you love and that make you happy—a.k.a. your passions.
Underneath the mind map above is a projected timeline I created to better see the length of time needed in order to achieve this year's Gamechanger. To me, it's realistic, definitely achievable, and, therefore, not overwhelming. There's plenty of time to get things moving, especially since the "Goals" book shouldn't take very long to edit, being a work of non-fiction, which doesn't require all the plotting, character mapping, etc., that novels do.
Finally, in the last section of the image above, I created a simple Daily Breakdown which shows me the approximate dates I should be shooting for when it comes to finishing my editing deadlines. I've projected each book to take around three months, so this Daily Breakdown is an excellent bird's eye view of what each month looks like.
In Between My Goals for 2016
With all this editing in the works, how will I ever get to write anything else? That's the question I asked myself in late December, when I first began charting the course for my goals for 2016. The answer hit me, clear as day: I could take advantage of the "in between" stages.
These in between areas (basically, the downtime between editing books) will be a great opportunity to take a much needed break from editing and switch my focus to writing shorter works of fiction, namely short stories like those I've already written. These short projects are much easier to keep up with since they don't require the vast expanse of entire worlds and multiple characters to engage the reader.
Usually, for short fiction, one or two characters in a single setting/world will do the trick just fine. The point isn't to make the story complicated with all the other bells and whistles, but to get lost in the same experiences that the character(s) are simultaneously experiencing. Short stories work just fine for this—plus, they're much easier to produce than the huge volumes of words that novels require.
Concerning other areas of writing which aren't fiction (blog posts, journaling, etc.), I'll be much freer to pursue the many ideas I've got stored away, now that there's no immediate rush trying to finish writing a novel; the writing's done, and that's the hardest part. So I hope to be able to add more content to this blog in the coming weeks while I work on my book edits. My guess is I'll do my edits during the day while writing other enjoyable articles, journal entries, etc., at night.
Goodbye, 2015. You Were A Good Year.
It's amazing when I consider all that I've accomplished in the past year. I'm convinced that it was my sheer dogged determination to write all year that helped me achieve that very goal. Still, last year is in the past, and to achieve my goals for 2016, I must focus on what lies ahead and reach forth with everything I've got to attain these goals.
If you're already behind in your resolutions/goals for 2016, why not take this opportunity to join me as I pursue my own goals this year? Who knows, perhaps this blog post appeared in your life at the precise time you needed a kick in the pants to get you moving again in the right direction: forward!
CHECK OUT MY BOOKS...
If you would like to see more of my writing, be sure and check out the books I've already written, as well as those I'm currently working on, by visiting my Books page.
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Check out the pens I'm using to make my Passion Planner more fun and creative:
Question: What tools are you using to help you achieve your goals for 2016?
Leave a comment below and tell us all about it.