So lately I've been doing well with being focused on my goals. Before I was basically a train wreck. Part of this was because I was living in a hectic environment, but the other part was because I had a hard time staying motivated. I have sought advice on the subject, and I found one article that gives seven tips on meeting goals:
1. Find a good reason as to why you want to meet this particular goal
2. Break down your goal into daily mini goals
3. Do something daily for the first 30 days, as this is the amount of time that determines whether you are serious about your goal
4. Adapt and adjust your efforts; don't do something too easy or too hard
5. Get feedback and create a reward system (like gold stars for homework) to keep you motivated
6. Schedule down time when you are not working
7. Know that you will get board and persevere through the daily grind anyway
I think that I've done at least five of these at least half way. So I'm doing a lot better than just a couple of weeks ago.
My reason for doing freelance editing and writing, even though I would rather spend that time working on my graphic novel, is that it is "financial stability while I pursue my art." I have this very quote posted above my work station so that I don't forget why I should keep working hard.
To keep track of my work hours, I use a free time tracking app on paymo.biz. You should try if you find it hard to keep track of how many hours a day you actually work (and not surf the internet procrastinating). I've also been able to break down my days by hourly goals with the use of Google Calendar. Google Calendar sends me reminders via email, text and screen pop ups to remind me what I have planned for the day. This has been working great so far. I no longer spend hours surfing the internet wondering how the day went by so quickly. In fact this is why I am blogging two days in a row rather than months in between. It just so happens that blogger logged me out while I was typing this post and has asked me to verify my account via a text message code sent to my cell phone. I guess blogger thinks it's strange too that I'm now blogging so often.
It's been great being more cognizant of how few hours there really are in a day. If you look at the layout of Google Calendar, it is obvious that a day is not much time to accomplish really big goals, but days are ideal for small goals that add up. Yesterday, I got out all of my Penn State Massacre stuff that I hadn't looked at for weeks and organized it. I even wrote out the panels for chapter 6, which was really fun. There are approximate seven parts roughly plotted out of my graphic novel with around four or five chapters in each. I finished writing out the specifics of part one when I was living in Ocean City. Now I've started part two. I'm on my way to finishing a complete script!
I also have a tentative reward system for the work I do to support myself while I finish Penn State Massacre. I give myself a happy face if a do enough edits to get by the a week. I get a star if I make a couple hundred above a survival wage. Finally, I give myself a smiley-faced sun--which means I'm awesome and radiantly fantastic--if I earn enough to survive, to have some fun and put away money for a rainy day.
I don't have a feedback system in place yet because I don't many people where I live. I'll probably figure out some online alternative. What do you guys think? Do you have advice on how to successfully meet one's goals?