14 01, 2013

Failure to plan is planning to fail — a PLAN for success

By |2013-01-14T07:37:54-06:00January 14th, 2013|Monday Motivations, Uncategorized|4 Comments

No one wants to fail on purpose, but failure to plan can lead to failure. Today we’ll look at the process of goal setting for SUCCESS that I use.

cropped success

My plan comes from Bob Mayer’s WHO DARES WIN, The Green Beret Way to Conquer Fear and Succeed, which is available here.

There are three components:

• Focus
• Strategic goals
• Tactical goals

Experience has taught me when you know where you’ve been and where you’re going, you go farther than when you just drift along.

Creation of a concrete list, imo, is critical.

But no goal setting process is complete without a review of the previous year’s STRATEGIC GOALS. Every time I do this, I never fail to discover I have accomplished far more than I thought. I’m betting you would see the same results.

Not only do I set measurable goals for myself, I also reward myself for my accomplishments!

After my review, I determine a FOCUS for the New Year.

A target.

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In 2012, my focus was epubbing. btw, I accomplished my goal  as you can see on the left  side bar: The Pendant’s Promise, my debut novel, is available to purchase.

 FOCUS is whatever will move you toward achieving your object for the year. Your yearly FOCUS can be studying a particular craft area, networking, or reading x number of books and analyzing the author’s technique.

After FOCUS come STRATEGIC TARGETS.

I give serious thought to these questions in setting my targets for a New Year.

1. What do I want to write this year?
2. What do I want to sell this year?
3. What will I do toward getting my name out there?
4. What writing craft do I need to focus on?
5. What’s on my reading list?

Once I have answered these questions, I set the targets broken into three month, six month, and one year objectives that culminate in two year and three year goals.

These are SMART goals:
S -Specific (and Strategic)
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant (results oriented)
T – Time-framed

For example, a specific, strategic goal might be stated like this:
At the end of the first quarter 2013, I will have two short stories submitted to such and such periodical.

Then I establish a list of METHODS to accomplish my strategic goals. My last year’s list looked like this:

1. Write 100 NEW words per day
2. Spend minimum of 20 hours per week writing
3. Attend two writer conferences

No wishy-washy, weasel-worded methods like I’ll write every day. Too easy to let life interfere and be lax with methods like that.

My methods are:

Specific.   Measurable.   Attainable.

Same with my TACTICAL WEEKLY GOALS which might include:

1. Write three query letters
2. Complete critique partner’s edits
3. Outline two scenes for WIP

Either I accomplish what I’ve set out to do or I don’t. I know where I’m going and whether I’m there at the end of the week.

And, yes I do write out these goals every week and record my progress.

To quote, Pablo Picasso: “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.

I also happen to be blessed with an accountability group to provide additional focus and encouragement toward accomplishing what I’ve set out to do. We share weekly then alternately cheer or bring out the cyber whip based on our goal reports.

I hear you groaning. You’re saying all this takes too much time.

I don’t deny this process takes time, but having a SMART goal plan provides not only focus, but also helps solidify intangibles into something tangible.

I can’t guarantee SUCCESS with my plan. I do promise goal-setting will direct you on the right path because to hit a target you must aim.

Goals set your aim.

I  encourage you to think about a writing plan for the New Year.

YOUR TURN: Have I convinced you? Will you set SMART goals for this year?

4 01, 2013

Flying the Coop Bee Emergency – Miller Farm Day

By |2013-01-04T06:48:27-06:00January 4th, 2013|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday, Uncategorized|3 Comments

On a recent Monday (my day to go grocery shopping and do laundry among other things), I added poinsettia delivery to my errand list.

Several people at various schools bought the holiday plant from our kids for a band fundraiser and they came in on Friday. Our living room was quite festive with sixteen poinsettia plants in it.
poinsettia-group

I took six to an elementary school before grocery shopping.

I can now add floral delivery person to the list of jobs I do not want to do full time.

When I returned home on that afternoon, I noticed bees gathered on the edge of a pot on the back porch. It was strange so I took a picture with my phone and sent it to Beekeeper Brian asking what he thought. He had no idea.

I loaded up more poinsettias and headed to the middle school. On my route, I passed Beekeeper Brian, headed for the house. My first thought was “he’s going to check on his bees.”

But when I got home after my poinsettia deliveries, he was in full beekeeper garb, standing at the stove with a glass measuring bowl full of a lemony smelling liquid. He then said the words which always signal the beginning of an adventure – “I need your help.”

He needed to know how hot the liquid was. I went into bread making mode and thought about how hot water for softening yeast needed to be. After a quick finger test, I assured him the water was not more than 100 degrees.

He then carried the liquid outside. As it turns out, the bees were making a small swarm which means they were preparing to “fly the coop.”

Oops, that would be the chickens who do that. I’m not sure what it’s called when bees leave.

Beekeeper Brian then put the queen from the swarm in a nuc (small hive box) and put feed (the lemony smelling liquid) on top. He’s watching to see if the worker bees go into the nuke with the queen.

bee bucket

Meanwhile, he’s thinking of alternate plans to entice the bees to hang around. This could mean another hive and more honey!

There is never a dull moment around here.

Life on the farm is certainly full of adventure with all the elements of storytelling: Goal, Motivation , and Conflict.

YOUR TURN: Any dull moments in your world?

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