Big plans for 2015

It's the first week of January so it's time for the obligatory goal post. Since we are talking goals, this is a good time to review the SMART method of goal setting. You can read a full explanation of SMART goals, but here's the quick breakdown:
S- Specific
M- Measurable
A- Actionable
R- Realistic
T- Time Sensitive

Here's what I'm looking at for 2015.

1. Publish book two of the Acceptance series (tentatively titled Rite of Revelation) by late spring/early summer.

2. Publish book three of the Acceptance series (title TBD) by the end of the year.

3. Earn enough from Rite of Rejection to recoup my initial investment by June 4th (six month goal from release plan).

4. Sell 1,000 copies of Rite of Rejection by December 4th (one year goal from release plan).

5. Form a street team for the Acceptance series before publication of the second book.

6. Get my final amazon reviews before Monday, January 5th to hit 50 (I've got 5 to go, hint hint).

When I write it out like this it all looks so simple, right. Just six goals. Six little sentences I have a whole year to accomplish. But you and I both know just how much work is included in those six little sentences.

To tackle all that work I'll need to make a list of all the mini-goals I need to accomplish in order to check off my big five. For example, in order to publish book two by early summer I'll need to finish the first draft, get it to my editor, hire out the cover design, etc. Not to mention all the marketing efforts. Six little sentences very quickly grows to hundreds.

It can become overwhelming and that's where too many authors either give up or start cutting corners in order to lighten the load. Neither of those is a good option. My advice, don't get too far ahead of yourself. I don't want to wait until two weeks pre-release to plan out my marketing strategy, but I don't need to worry about it when I'm still writing the first draft. Breakdown the steps that are most needed to give yourself hard deadlines and then add more as you accomplish the items on your list.

Once I have my first sequence of goals set, I'll bust out the calendar and mark out some deadlines. I've found that these self-imposed deadlines are key to meeting my goals. Without them, it's too easy to let a goal pass by, and then another, and then...well, you get the idea. It's less about the date and more about staying on track.

The last step for me to keep my goals moving forward is to make them public. By posting them here, I've got them in writing where others can see them (and call me on the carpet if I don't meet them).

Now it's your turn. What are you writing goals for 2015? Share them in the comments and let's help each other stay accountable.