This is April and the beginning of the Second Quarter of 2017. The first quarter ended at 11:59 PM when the time and date charged to 12:00 AM (midnight), the beginning of April. April 1 reset my goals for the second quarter.
As I mentioned in Part I of goal setting, in 2017 I switched from setting annual goals to setting quarterly goals and changing from the SMART System of goal setting to the SMARTER system of goal setting of goal setting. Same goals as the annual system but divided by four to change to quarterly goals. This allows for three intermediate evaluations of progress and the revision of subsequent quarterly goals in order to meet the annual goals.
Each goal is reviewed by listing the first quarter’s goal and the results of accents taken to meet that goal. The second quarter’s goal is then revised so that the goal would be achieved at the end of the year.
I set ten personal goals and twelve Business goals for the first Quarter. I will discuss the Business Goals first and, if time permits, discuss the Personal Goals afterwards. Business Goal a) was to spend an average of thirty hours weekly (daily average of four hours and seventeen minutes) on writing related activities. Personal Goal m) was to maintain monthly time sheets to log my time spent on writing related activities. I met the personal goal with time sheets for January, February, and March; the total time spent during this quarter was four hundred ninety four hours, showing that I greatly exceeded this goal by more than 25 %. Thus, to meet this goal, I need to reduce the number of weekly hours by 2.5 hr [100 hr/3 quarters/13 weeks per quarter]. The second and subsequent quarterly goals become to spend an average of twenty seven and one half hours per week on writing related activity.
The second business goal was to write one Thought for Tuesday blog entry per week. My evidence spread sheet indicated that in the first quarter that I wrote only seven blog entries instead of thirteen entries. So, to make up the six missed entries, I need to write two additional entries per quarter (six entries/three quarters) to achieve this goal by the end of the year. So Business Goal b) becomes Write fifteen Thought for Tuesday blog entries in the second quarter, which is doable.
The third business goal was to write a Friday Food for Thought blog every other week (six blog entries. I only wrote two blog entries, so I am four behind; therefore, I need to write an extra one each quarter (four blog entries/three quarters). The second and subsequent quarter goal becomes write seven Friday Food for Thought blogs in the second quarter.
Write my quarterly newsletter was my fourth goals. This was not done in the first quarter for two reasons. I need to load the software onto my newsletter web page is the primary reason. The secondary reason is that I have yet to attract any subscribers. This goal does not need changing as the newsletter is quarterly. Two implicit goals apply to the second quarter. These are to add the necessary software to my website newsletter page and to make and begin a plan to attract subscribers to it. I have high hopes that the second quarter newsletter would be written.
The fourth goal concerning the newsletter ties directly into my fifth goal of making at least one improvement to my website during the second quarter. There are three other improvements under active consideration. One is to change from the standard Weebly website software to an advance Weebly package that gives me more pages to use and more features for use; I have a long term objective of becoming an Amazon Affiliate to allow me another possible stream of income. I also would like to add a pay pal button to accept tips and persons to be able to buy my books off my website. Some of this trio of improvements might not occur until the third and fourth quarters of 2017. The improvement to the website is a never-ending continuous endeavor.
One of the pieces of advice that writers are given is to be a voracious reader in order to learn the craft of writing. I have been a firm believer in this sage piece of advice, having read approximately one hundred fifty books in each of the past two years. Because I am trying to write more material this year, I purposely lowered the number of books to be read to one book per week or 52 books per year, either fiction or non-fiction. Per my time sheets, in the first quarter I had read fourteen books. So, I exceeded this goal by one book. Therefore, it is not necessary to change this goal.
The seventh goal was to take one workshop or class this quarter. I took an RWA class, To Incorporate or not to Incorporate, this quarter. I met this goal. So this goal for the second quarter is unchanged. I do reserve to prerogative to take more than one workshop or class in any given quarter.
I thought that my eighth goal (submit all devotionals to Guidepost during the first quarter) would easily be accomplished. I was wrong. If something is easy to do, it is also easy not to do. I kept postponing this goal, not adding it to my daily schedule. I am rescheduling it for the second quarter with the intention to send out the devotionals to Guidepost by the end of May as I do not know when the submission window closes. An unwritten companion goal is to contact Guide Post to identify the acquisition editor to whom to submit my devotionals.
My ninth goal is to write and submit two articles to the SWW Sage during each quarter. I only wrote one which was published. So, I did not meet this goal. In the second quarter, this goal is modified to read to write and submit three articles to the SWW Sage during the second Quarter. While not part of this goal, I have an unwritten goal to write and submit one article to the Noose Letter, the newsletter of the Croak and Dagger Chapter of Sisters-in-Crime, as well as some book reviews. I also will endeavor to write some book reviews for the ASFS newsletter.
The tenth goal is perhaps the most important goal of the quarter: Write at least five thousand words each week of fiction and nonfiction. That translates to sixty five thousand words in the quarter. I failed to meet that goal, having written slightly more than thirty nine thousand five hundred words, a deficit of a little less than twenty five thousand four hundred words. I failed to meet this writing goal this quarter. To get on track to meet the annual goal, I need to increase the word count by approximately eighty five hundred words per quarter. Thus, the goal for the second and following quarters become to write seventy three thousand five hundred words per quarter. I learned in keeping track of my word count and writing time that I write between eleven and thirteen words per minute by writing in the dark. Using the eleven words per minute rate, the seventy five thousand five hundred word target would require me to write for a minimum of 112 hours of writing time during the quarter, or one and a quarter hours per day which is over twenty five percent of my targeted writing related activity time. This is doable if I make time spent writing a higher priority than it was last quarter. As my time spent on writing activity was a little less than six hours a day average in the first quarter (target was a few minutes more than four hours per day), I believe the higher writing goal is entirely within my reach given my stressing the writing time when planning my day.
The eleventh goal was to enter one writing contest in the first quarter. I did not enter any, so I failed to achieve this goal. The goal remains the same for the second quarter but if I find more than one contest worth entering, I will do enter it.
I did not make a conscious effort to revive the Cosmic Connection SF Critique Group this quarter although I did a lot of pondering how to do it. So I would say that I did not make progress in achieving this goal. In the second quarter, the goal will remain the same. I do plan on preparing a flyer to advertise this critique group. Although it was not a goal, I am in two writing groups that serve as critique groups. The first is the Albuquerque Creative Writers which is an offshoot of the local group taking part in the yearly NaNoWriMo endeavor to write a novel in November. The second is the Word Wright writing group which is an offshoot of a project begun by SWW. I have been going to the Albuquerque Creative Writers since its beginning and have been critiquing other people stories and submitting my own for critique. I am in Group A. I have started going to the Word Wright group since January and have submitted the first part of Chapter One on April 3. Participating in each group is one of my unwritten goals for the year.
The thirteenth and last Quarterly Business Goal was to present my workshop on How to Deduct Writing Expenses from Your Income Taxes. I presented this workshop at the SWW offices in March to four students and to one student at my home at the beginning of March. Thus, I met this goal.
In summary, my revised business goals for the second quarter are:
- Spend an average of twenty seven and one half hours per week (three hundred fifty eight hours per quarter) on writing related activity.
- Write fifteen Thought for Tuesday blog entries in the second quarter.
- Write seven Friday Food for Thought blogs in the second quarter.
- Write a Quarterly Newsletter in the second quarter.
- Make at least on improvement to the web site during the second quarter.
- Read at least one book per week (thirteen books per quarter) either fiction or craft.
- Take one workshop or class this quarter.
- Write and submit three articles to the SWW Sage during the second quarter.
- Write seventy three thousand five hundred words per quarter (1130 words per day, five days per week).
- Enter two writing contests during the second quarter.
- Revise the 2010 novel RIME FOR MURDER during the second quarter.
- Complete the 2017 Writing Business Plan during the second quarter.
- Make a serious effort to revive the Cosmic Connection SF Critique Group during the second quarter.
- Send all written devotionals to Guide Post by May 31, 2017
In addition to these business goals, I had ten personal goals for the first quarter, two of which had been discussed above [maintain a daily journal and maintain a monthly log on writing activities, both of which were met.
The third personal goal was to make a weekly menu with my wife, Nanette. While Nanette and I discussed our menu each week, we only made the menu together six or seven times during the quarter. As far as I am concerned, we met the intent of this goal but not the actual wording. Thus, the goal needs to be revised to read Discuss a menu with Nanette each week.
Three personal goals concern exercise. These are: Go to the Healthplex two times per week, Take walks with Nanette twice a week, Walk the labyrinth once a week. I actually went to the Healthplex once during the quarter, took twenty five walks with Nanette (short one walk from the twenty six walk total), and walked the labyrinth fourteen time (target was thirteen). Since these tasks are interchangeable and that it takes two and one half hours to go to the Healthplex to walk the indoor track (which takes thirty minutes) and the other two goals take about thirty minutes to accomplish, these goals will be rewritten to read:
Go to the Healthplex once a week to exercise 13 times per quarter (once a week).
Take a walk with Nanette forty five times per quarter (three to four times per week). Walk the labyrinth seventeen times per quarter (1 – 2 times per week.
The emphasis on menus and exercising are supporting goals to a main goal of weight loss of fifty pounds per year (twelve and one half pounds per quarter). On December 31, the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, my weight was 263 pounds. At the end of the first quarter, March 31, my weight was 253.5 pounds, a loss of nine and one half pounds. Thus, I fell three pounds short of my quarterly goal. To reach the yearly goal, I need to increase my quarterly target by one pound per quarter. So the second quarter goal is to lose thirteen and one half pounds in the second quarter.
I had two goals involving upkeep around the house. To spend one half hour per week (six and one half hours per quarter) on the reduction of clutter and to spend one hour per week (thirteen hours per quarter) on jobs around the house. I spent a total of three hours in the first quarter on the reduction of clutter, a difference of three and one half hours. I also spent six and one half hours on jobs around the house, a difference of six and one hours. To reach the annual goals, I need to rewrite the quarterly goals to read: Spend seven and one half hours in the second quarter on the reduction of personal clutter and to spend fifteen hours per quarter on jobs around the house.
A new task begins in the second quarter. This involves testing the chemistry in the swimming pool weekly beginning mid-May. This means the testing will be done six times in the second quarter.
The above discussion shows how the Evaluation and Revision steps of the SMARTER method of goal setting works to help assure the meeting of all annual goals. I will again visit this topic at the end of the third and fourth quarter. The fourth quarter will serve as the yearend report on how I met the annual goals.
If you have any comments on this or other posts on my website, you can email me at email@example.com. I am trying to get the email system up and operating on this website. That email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope that my experience with goal setting has value to you in the setting of your personal and business goals