Goal-setting tools for authors

Thanks to a regular habit of setting goals and creating a plan that will help me reach them, I have been able to consistently increase my income while working on projects I enjoy.

I often share information here on how to set and stick to goals, but this year, I’d like to offer a few tools that will help you do exactly that. Sometimes, a tool that either walks you through the process or helps you do a piece of it is exactly what you need to finally take action.

The first three are true goal-setting tools — they help you figure out your goals. The rest help you maintain the activity that will help you reach those goals.

1. Passion Planner

I learned about the Passion Planner from a friend who contributed to its Kickstarter campaign and I’m hooked. This tool helps you dream big (or small, if that’s what you’re comfortable with), identify the steps you need to make that dream come true, and get those steps into your calendar so you schedule time to make them happen.

The eight steps in the system start with making a wishlist and prioritizing to setting dates and working at it.

You can download the entire product in PDF form for free if you share information about it on social media (the site outlines the specifics).

If you decide to purchase the printed version, please provide my email address in the referral box on the order form so I get credit — with three referrals, I’ll receive a free printed planner. My email address is sbATbuildbookbuzz.com (thank you to anyone who does this).

2. Create Your Shining Year planners and goal books

Leonie Dawson has created a couple of versions of this workbook that has completely transformed how I approach goal-setting (please note: that’s an affiliate link). There’s a “Life Goals Workbook” and a “Business Goals Workbook;” I use the latter. Both are available as printed products or digital downloads.

One of the key pieces for me from this system has been reviewing the current year’s accomplishments before looking ahead to the next year. This provides an important attitude adjustment because I sometimes end the year frustrated or disappointed because I didn’t do everything I wanted to do. Reminding myself of what I did do gives me important perspective.

The information page for these products is beautiful, but busy. I recommend skipping all the chatter and clicking on any “order now” button to get a clear and distinct product list.

3. Goals on Track

Goals on Track  is both an online tool and smartphone app that helps you create the right goals from the start, create an action plan, track your time and actions, and stick to the process (please note: that’s an affiliate link).

For your first step, start on the website and use the pop up window to subscribe to the free newsletter. That will give you access to a free, downloadable goal-setting template that’s based on widely accepted best practices. I use it; it’s really helpful. Subscribing to the newsletter also gives you access to other free, relevant, downloadable resources.

There is a free, 30-day product trial available, but you have to provide credit card information to get it. The trial will give you access to both the web-based tools and the smartphone app.

4. Goal-buddy.com

Goal-buddy.com, a free online tool, prompts you to take seven steps to identify your goal and make it happen. It even lets you schedule email or text reminders so you stay with it.

The site also offers goal templates, but the selection is so limited that you might want to use that option to create your own templates.

5. Way of Life app

Way of Life app screenshotThe free Way of Life app helps you change your habits so you’re using your time to achieve your goals. Set your goals, get reminders, and track how often you do what you’re supposed to do to reach those goals.

For example, imagine you’ve created the goal, “Do one thing every day to promote my book.” (To help with that, check out the new Build Book Buzz 365 Daily Book Marketing Tips sent to your inbox, one a day, every day, for just 99 cents.) You add that goal to your goal list, then set reminders.

Set a reminder to pop up on your phone at the time of day you are most likely to take action on that task so it gets in front of you at just the right time in your schedule.

Search your smartphone app store for similar tools, including Balanced and Productive.

6. Joe’s Goals

Joe’s Goals is a simple, but effective web-based tool that will help you track your goal-supporting activity once you’ve set your goals.

Create a free account, then start adding tasks and how frequently you need to do them. Check in and check off according to your schedule. This resource works like an app, but it’s not phone-based — it’s online.

7. Tools you have already

While I love and use these resources, you might prefer good old-fashioned paper and pencil, a Word doc, or an Excel file.

Really, it doesn’t matter what tool you use to create, write down, and track your goals. What counts is that you do it. If you haven’t been doing it consistently year to year, it could be because you haven’t had the right tools. I hope this article gives you an option that resonates with you and spurs you to take action.

As you move into 2016 with well-defined goals and a good start on a plan that will help you reach them, remember these words from author Melody Beattie.

goal-setting tools for authors 2

Do you use any tools or resources to help you set goals? Please share them in a comment. 

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  1. Wonderful post. Some of this may help me get wrting back on top of my list and I can bump medical to second. It’s so nice to be able to sit on one cheek.

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