Setting Goals

It’s the Last Day of the Year!

It's the last day of the year!

We’ve made it the last day of the year! Pat yourself on the back! Yes, even if you haven’t achieved all of your freelance writing goals.


Because NO ONE is perfect and, if you’re striving for perfection, STOP. That’s neither realistic nor healthy.

What should you be aiming for instead?

I admit I used to aim for perfection, and it was my best friend who shook that unhealthy behavior out of me in 2003. She’s the voice of reason I need in my life and, whenever I feel like those unhealthy thoughts are going to creep back into my behaviors again, she’s speaking quietly in the back of my mind. I love her for that, and I hope everyone has a person who is a “voice of reason.”

Anyway, instead of aiming for perfection, setting yourself up with actionable and attainable goals is a healthier objective. I see many who approach this is a variety of ways and, honestly, I like to buffet pick from each of them. Here’s how:

1: Goals Lists

Instead of making resolutions, I create lists of goals. These lists evolve and change with each passing month. I create several goals lists for each area of my business, as well as my life. My business has records that include:

  • Editorial lists for my blog and Working Freelance Writer
  • Pitches I intend to send and those that have gone out
  • Monthly to-do lists for website, writing profile, and social media profile updates
  • Weekly to-do lists that breakdown deadline completion for clients
  • Daily to-do lists for content and social media marketing

2: Dream (Motivation) Boards

My approach to this is a bit different. Dream, vision, motivation boards (or whatever you would like to label them) are where you would want to be in the future. My office walls contain motivational quotes, spreadsheets of financials serving as reminders of how I’m doing (and my goals for the next month), positive notes from clients, and exciting reminders of what’s happening in the coming weeks. During 2019, I’m going to add:

  • Lists of markets I intend to pitch (and “big deal” results)
  • Positive affirmations
  • “Bookish” art

3: Planners

I love my planner, but it’s nowhere near as creative as many of my friend’s. They use doodling, watercolors, sketching, stickers, sharpies, and much more in their planners. It’s gorgeous and contains far more detail than mine. I used to “art journal” and my journals used to look very similar to these planners. This year, I may approach my planner in this way because I miss art journaling (A LOT) and that creative side of myself. My office is set up so it can quickly transform into an art studio (all of my supplies are in here from when I used to be an art teacher and create art regularly), so everything I need is readily available.

4: Calendaring

In my previous piece of writing, I mentioned how much I loved having my giant desk calendar hung on my wall. I select one that looks like it’s covered in watercolor brush strokes. That way, it’s befitting of a space that’s an office and art studio. Plus, it’s beautiful whenever I look up from my monitor. I write deadlines for my clients in different colors to keep things creative. Each time I have a new appointment or webinar to attend, I use sticky notes for those.

There are MANY other ways to work through these methods—these are my favorites. No matter which method you choose, the objective is to find something that helps you work toward achieving your goals in a realistic and attainable manner.

How are YOU setting up your process for goal achievement on this last day of the year?

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