Join me for setting quarterly goals with a virtual Kanban board. I recap my 2019 quarter-four goals and review my 2020 first-quarter goals.
Instead of working with a physical Kanban board, which a lot of people do, I have a virtual one on my Google sheets where I have columns for my different goal sets and list each task underneath. Each of these goals are separated into different tasks, then I move each of them from my currently ‘doing' column into my 'done' column when I have completed them. This process of moving my goals into different columns really helps me organize my thoughts and visualize what I need to be doing for
a particular quarter.
To determine my goals, I use the SMART method which means Specific Measurable
Attainable Relevant and Time-based. Each of my goals falls under all of these
categories which helps me focus on reasonable goals to accomplish in the
timeline that I've chosen.
Recapping Goals from Quarter 4 of 2019
My first set of goals is for my contracted projects with HQ Digital. In this goal set, I wanted to outline my most recent contracted book. Which I did!
The second set of goals was for my word count. I wanted to write 80,000 words for this book, so I separated that into 10,000 word increments. This helped me move so I was able to move these tasks over to my 'doing' and 'done' a lot quicker than me just saying I wanted to finish the draft. Now I ended around 74,000 words. My goal was 80,000 so I didn't complete that entirely but I think 74,000 words was the perfect fit for my first draft.
And I also send monthly newsletters, so I made sure to put that on my Kanban board to make sure I didn't forget. I did send out newsletters for October, November, and December.
If you are interested in signing up for my newsletter, I do subscriber giveaways every month where I give a subscriber a backlist title of mine for free. And I also go
over my writing process, and things I have been doing that month and a lot of other
And this last task I've been pushing off. I usually try to do my quarterly tax spreadsheet of all of my expenditures or royalty checks. I try to put it into a spreadsheet so that when tax time comes so it's a little bit easier for me. I had pushed it back a few months and I finally did complete it in quarter four.
I basically accomplished everything except for that last 80k milestone!
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I wanted to complete revisions for the second book in my contract with my client. CHECK!
I also had a seventy-five-thousand-word deadline for the third book, so like I did for HQ digital I separated those into 10k milestones and I completed that. DOUBLE CHECK!
For the foreseeable future, I will not be ghostwriting. 2020 is going to be all about my books when it comes to my writing. I will miss collaborating with all of my clients, I had such a great experience and I learned so much through this process, and I will never say never, and I will never close that door on ghostwriting. But for right now, I really want to focus on other things.
Youtube channel: Katlyn Duncan Author
The only non-SMART goal that I have is basically my subscriber count. So I had hoped to accomplish 600 subscribers by the end of 2019. I did not and that's totally fine. I appreciate every single one of you who are subscribed. These are one of these goals that I know I have no control over and that's fine, but I do like to keep it
front and center and do things behind the scenes that may help spread the word about my channel.
An ongoing goal for me is transcribing all of my videos and having subtitles for all them to be more accessible to everyone.
Young Adult Thriller
I had actually fast drafted it in 2017, but it just became way too much for me to do three projects at once. So I put it away for a little bit and then when I went to the Highlights Foundation writing retreat in October. I completely redid a full outline for that. That was my only goal for this quarter, but stay tuned for the 2020 goals to find out more information why...
The last column is my TV shows. This is more of a fun category for me as I
really enjoy television. Sometimes my writing and my life can take over, so I
like to actually plan time for me to enjoy TV shows. In quarter four, I
finished Lucifer season five, Russian doll season one, Veep season six, and Younger season 6.
And the only two that I did not really accomplish I wanted to watch Jessica Jones season three, I made it to like one or two episodes and to be honest I wasn't
really into it . And also Mindhunter season two. I'm about halfway through
that now but I won't count it until next quarter. So basically I achieved all the
goals that I set out for quarter four. Yay!
Goals for Quarter 1 of 2020
I plan on finishing up that 80,000 words for my project. I don't know if I will go over or not, but my goal is for at least 80,000 words and I have 74,000 words currently I only need 6,000 more, which I tend to do during revisions anyway. I have made line
items for two developmental edits. I'm not sure-- each project is different
sometimes I do one sometimes I do two. So it just depends on my editor, and how
the book is, and how I do when I revise. And then I have a line item for copy
edits because that is just part of the process for publishing a book.
I want to schedule my blog tour. I had an amazing blog tour with Rachel's Random
Resources for 'Wrapped Up for Christmas' --my book right here-- and it was great and I really want to sign up with her again. And then I want to start a schedule for
all of my promotional posts and behind-the-scenes things for that
release as well. And again, I want to send one newsletter a month so I have tasks
for January, February, March, sending out my newsletter. And again my quarterly
taxes update. I really want to stick with this doing it every quarter instead of
being overwhelmed doing it at the end of the year.
For my Youtube channel column I am going to again have those subscriber counts in there, but as I said I have no control over that. And I also want to continue doing the transcripts/subtitles for my videos.
Young Adult Thriller
I already have the outline, but I do want to have a task for reviewing that outline. To be honest I don't really remember everything. I've had two stories in my brain for the past two months, so I want to go back and revisit and make sure it's still the story I wanted to tell. And then after reviewing that, I want to do a chapter by chapter outline. I find those really helped me when I was doing my Susan Mallery plotting process. I really want to delve into that process a little more because I really enjoyed it and it really works for me. So I'm going to do a chapter by chapter outline for that story. And I do want to do the 10k milestones as I've done for all of these
books. And I want to reach around 80,000 for a first draft as a minimum.
I want to finish Mindhunter season two, and I recently started
watching The Good Place. I find that as much as I love Mindhunter, I can't go
to sleep after watching that show. So I've been using The Good Place as a
palette cleanser and I'm really enjoying that show. I do want to watch The Witcher.
My husband has already finished the season and I'm kind of bummed. So I do
want to catch up on it so we can actually discuss it. And then I've heard
such great things about You. Season 1 & 2 is on Netflix so I'll be
able to binge through that. And since I'm writing a thriller I have a feeling that
this may help bring me into the spirit of writing a creepy book.
I do want to read and review at least one writing craft book a month. And I'm going to review and give my thoughts on my channel about specific books. Throughout the years, I've found a lot of books and they just sort of sit there or they've been on recommendation lists and I haven't been reading them. So I really want
to make a conscious effort to read and review them so I can stay accountable
and just to see if these books bring inspiration. I'm always trying to learn
Another goal that I really want to focus on this quarter is to stop 'DNF-ing' books. If you don't know what 'DNF-ing' books it's 'Did Not Finish'. I have so many books that I've come to the mentality of that if it doesn't catch me usually in the first 25% or 50 pages --depending if I'm from reading physical or ebook-- that I let go. That suited me for a while. ButI really feel like I can learn a lot from books that I do like along with books that I don't like. So as this is a year for me that I want to learn more
about craft and my process, and really take it to another level. Even if I don't
like them, I want to read them all the way through and analyze them.
Let me know your goals for the next quarter, the next year, the next week! I love talking about goals!
Author. Dreamer. Storyteller.