Author goals for 2019: Success doesn’t just happen

Goal setting isn’t optional for success. It’s essential.

Without author goals, you will be wandering aimlessly.

Goals provide direction for your activity, whether your goal is to finish writing a book or to sell 5,000 copies of a book you’ve just released.

When you’re clear on your goals, you’re able to create an action plan that will help you reach them.

Does goal setting ensure that you’ll have a winning plan? Not necessarily. But you have a much better shot at success if you know how you define success and are thoughtful about the path you’ll take to reach it.

The goal chunking method

I write about goal setting on this blog every year (here’s a link to past posts) because I think it’s too important to skip.

I’m using a new approach for mine this year. It’s called goal chunking, and it’s a strategy I picked up from a one-week challenge offered by business coach Nicole Liloia.

Goal chunking lets you break down your big goals into smaller ones. For example, a freelance writer might set a specific amount of money he wants to earn for the year, then break that down according to the different types of writing he’ll do to earn that amount. It might be through writing books, magazine articles, corporate newsletters, and custom content.

Each of those will have its own income goal.

Authors might goal chunk by setting income goal targets for:

  • Each book the author has available
  • E-books versus print books
  • Book sales source — online, brick-and-mortar stores, libraries
  • Series sales
  • Spin-off income from speaking or consulting fees, sales of movie rights, and so on

Authors might also use goal chunking to set goals that aren’t related to income.

Let’s say your goal is to write and publish a book in 2019. You can make that goal less overwhelming and more manageable by breaking it into smaller goals for chunks that might include:

  • Selecting the best topic or storyline for your book
  • Word count written by specific deadlines
  • Deciding on the best cover designer with experience in your book’s category
  • Hiring an editor
  • Improving your author platform
  • Determining appropriate influencers to approach for blurbs

Regardless of how you approach it, with goal chunking, you set a large goal, then break it down into smaller pieces. Each piece gets its own action plan.

If you have a few big author goals, follow this process for all of them.

How will you determine your author goals?

What works for me might not work for you, of course. Find a goal setting approach you’re comfortable with and get those goals on paper.

When you know where you want to go, map out how you’re going to get there.

This step is critical. It’s simply not enough to say, “This is what I want to accomplish in 2019.” You also need to know how you’ll get there.

Even Pablo Picasso, a “creative” like you, understood this, saying, “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.”

author goals 2

What’s one of your goals for 2019? Please share it in a comment. 

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  1. One of my goals for 2019 is to get my second book published. I finally got my first one done recently and I’m determined to have my second one completed and ready for editorial review by the start of next summer. I’m almost embarrassed to say how many years it’s been since I first tried getting that debut novel published. But then again, I just couldn’t find an established publisher to believe in me. Since I believed in myself before anybody else, I decided to do it on my own! You know the old saying about wanting something done right.

    Thanks for all your hard work, Sandra!

  2. I always keep the 80/20 rule in mind when setting goals. This calls for both asking which goals will likely bring me 80% of the pleasure and which only 20%. Then I ask which goals will likely bring me 80% of the income I am seeking and which will bring only 20%. Hopeful, there is a congruence between the 80% pleasure and 80% income.If not, then that calls for a compromise.
    Thanks for the post.

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