Last week, I vowed to help you achieve your New Year’s Resolution of self publishing a book in 2013 by dedicating this month’s post to helping you stick with your resolution. We are now a week into the new year, and many of you are probably pumped up to get started on your resolutions. The beginning is always filled with excitement and motivation. Take advantage of these emotions by writing down your goals. These will serve as your map throughout the year to remind you what you are trying to accomplish and hold you accountable for your actions. Here are four tips for setting goals that will help you self publish a book in 2013.

1. Be realistic and specific.

Don’t just say I’m going to write every day. How long will you write for? Twenty minutes? An hour? What time of day will you write? In the morning? On your lunch break? How many pages do you want to write each week or month? When will you finish your first draft? When will you start the self publishing process? Be very specific with your goals, but don’t be unrealistic. If you work 60 hours a week and have a family, you probably can’t dedicate 40 hours a week to writing, but you could dedicate twenty minutes a day during your lunch hour.

2. Hold Yourself Accountable.

Goals are useless if you write them down and forget about them. Decide when and how you will measure your achievements. Perhaps you will keep a writing log to record how long you write each day, or  maybe you will count page numbers once a week. For each goal, write down how and when you will hold yourself accountable.

3. Don’t be afraid to revise.

The purpose of holding yourself accountable is to determine what is working and what isn’t working. Periodically assess whether or not you need to update your goals. If your goals are unrealistic, break them into smaller, more achievable chunks. If your goals aren’t challenging enough, amp up the pressure. Just because they are written down doesn’t mean they are set in stone.

4. Keep them in sight.

If you want to achieve your goals, you need to constantly remind yourself of what you are trying to achieve. Keep a visual reminder of your goals somewhere you will see it often. You may want to keep your list of goals on your desk, or tape a picture of your main character or setting to your fridge. The key is to frequently remind yourself of your goals.

I’d love to know, what are your favorite goal setting tips?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.