I have a confession: I am a bit obsessed with goal setting. I get so excited about the first of the month not simply because it’s pay day, but because a new month means a new set of goals.

My goals keep me motivated. It’s because of my goals that I’m able to get up at 4 a.m. every weekday to work on my writing, my blog, and my business before I head out to teach. It’s because of my goals that I’m able to exercise every evening, even after a long day of lecturing.

Despite my drive and determination, however, I don’t always accomplish all of my goals every month. August was such a month. I didn’t accomplish ANY of my August goals. NOT. A. SINGLE. ONE.

So what do I do when I don’t accomplish my goals for the month?

First, let me tell you what I don’t do. I don’t beat myself up about it because that’s not going to solve anything. Giving myself a hard time is only going to get me more hours with my therapist, not more success.

Instead, I look back at the month and celebrate what I did accomplish.

I didn’t double my blog’s page views, but I came extremely close to doing so by producing and promoting more content.

I didn’t write the second draft of my book, but I did write articles for B-Metro and StyleBlueprint Birmingham.

I didn’t increase my Instagram following as much as I had hoped, but I did host several events for See Jane Write including a writing critique workshop, a group coaching session, and a webinar on podcasting.

I didn’t guest blog for one of my favorite websites, but I did get the chance to interview one of my favorite authors (more on this coming soon).

I didn’t send four pitches to publications but I did land four speaking engagements (more on these coming soon, too).  

To say that August wasn’t a successful month would be silly. I didn’t accomplish the specific goals I set at the start of the month, but I did accomplish plenty.

Nevertheless, I must consider why I didn’t accomplish my August goals.

To be honest, my goals were not realistic for this time of year. During the summer months, I can work on my writing, blogging and brand building goals all day, every day. But in August it’s back to #teacherlife. My body struggled to get back into my teacher routine (I don’t wake up at 4 a.m. during the summer). So while I did manage to get up at 4 a.m. this month, it was difficult to focus, making it nearly impossible to work on my book or on story pitches.

And I didn’t have time to work on my book, my blog, and my business after work because I had to make time to exercise, too, since I could no longer get in morning workouts as I did in the summer. So I had to pick one and often working on my blog or business won the battle.

I also failed to meticulously plan my days as I normally do. I made lists of what I needed to do but not when I was going to each task. I must get back to this practice if I’m going to accomplish my goals for September.

Speaking of which, here are my goals for this month and how I plan to accomplish each one.

Complete a decent draft of my book.

Now that my body is used to waking up at 4 a.m. again, my plan is to work on my book in the morning before I head to school, but if this proves to be unsuccessful after one week I’m going to try writing after work at one of my favorite coffee shops. Either way, I know the key to accomplishing this goal is proper planning. I must make a writing date with myself every single day and not break it.

Guest blog for one of my favorite websites.

It’s important to break down goals into smaller tasks. To accomplish this goal I must first schedule time to research, write, and edit a post I would like to pitch. Then I have to reach out to the website I hope will publish this post.

Reach out to 5 influencers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs about possible collaborations.

Step one: I need to make a list of people I’d like to work with. Step two: I need to plot out a specific idea to pitch to each person. Step three: I must reach out to each person.

Lose 5 pounds.

I can’t lose sight of my health and fitness goals as I work on my book, blog, and business.

Each week I will strive to burn 3500 extra calories through exercise and each night I will schedule exactly when I will work out the following day.  

I will use Instagram Stories or IG Live daily and add to my IG feed daily.

I know myself well enough to know that I thrive when challenged to do something every single day. Each November I blog every day for the See Jane Write #bloglikecrazy challenge. And in 2015 I exercised every single day of the year. So instead of focusing on the number of followers I have on Instagram, I’m going to just focus on creating and curating inspiring, yet authentic content daily.

And every day I’m going to review my goals and make sure I’m doing something daily to help me accomplish these aspirations.

What are your goals for September?