Setting Bite-Sized Goals
by Steph Beth Nickel
Time for some true confessions…
When I have an unavoidable but overwhelming task to accomplish, too often I choose to procrastinate and put it off for another time—sometimes, years in the future.
Overwhelming Task #1: Preparing to Downsize and Move Out of the Province
In three years or so, my hubby will have retired, and we plan to relocate. After living in our home for over 25 years, that will not be an easy task. (Not to mention the fact that our home was over 100 years old when we moved in. Let’s just say there’s lots of work to do to get it ready to sell.)
Overwhelming Task #2: Making Healthier Choices
Unfortunately, just because I used to be a personal trainer and actually enjoy exercise and eating healthy foods doesn’t mean I don’t make poor choices too often, planning to do better tomorrow.
Overwhelming Task #3: Buckling Down and Actually Writing
One day in the not-too-distant future, I would like to be bringing in a decent income from indie published books. (That means writing, publishing, and marketing said books, however.)
What’s on your Procrastination List
(aka Your Overwhelming Tasks List)?
What with our day-to-day responsibilities and volunteer obligations, it’s no wonder our ultimate goals can prove overwhelming. What can we do to break them down into more bite-sized goals that propel us in the right direction?
Let’s take my writing goal as an example.
Let’s say in 20 years I want to have at least 30 books out in the world. That’s a very achievable goal if I break it down into smaller tasks.
I can see myself writing a book a year for 10 years and two books a year for the following decade, Lord willing.
Thankfully, I have a head start on a number of those manuscripts. In fact, I have several children’s picture book manuscripts on my computer that I could make available in the next couple of years. I also have a series of devotionals on the gospel of John that I’ve begun to rework for publication. The two novels I have begun are each the first in a series, and writing a series is one of the best ways to develop a readership.
So, what can I do to get my manuscripts to the next stage?
Hire an illustrator and research print on demand. Although it’s possible to make children’s books available as ebooks, I prefer to make them available as physical books only, preferably hardcovers, but I’ll have to do my research on that one.
As I see it, I have two choices: 1) rework each devotional to conform with reader expectations or 2) expand what I have into more of a fleshed-out Bible study.
Christian Women’s Fiction
It has been years since I looked at the story I began approximately a decade ago, but I still like the premise and the idea of creating a Hard Choices series. For now, this book will remain on the back burner, but I haven’t given up on it.
YA Spec Fiction
I’m in the midst of re-reading and tweaking what I’ve already written. At 45,000 words, I’m approximately half done. So, completing the first draft is Step 1, which is possible in approximately three months if I stick with it.
I have the resources I need. I have connections to several successful indie authors. Plus, I have access to a plethora of books, podcasts, and FB groups that lay out how to self-publish a book.
While making these plans doesn’t ensure that I will accomplish my long-range goals, it does give me a starting point. And the first step I plan to take is to complete the first draft of my YA speculative fiction novel.
How about you? What project have you been putting off that you can take a step toward accomplishing today?
Steph Beth Nickel is an editor, writer, and birth doula. If you would like more information about her services, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org;
join her Facebook group:
or visit her website-in-progress: nurtureandinspire.com.