On May 24, I announced that I had resigned from my teaching position and would now be a full-time freelance writer and entrepreneur. 

After sharing this news on my blog, social media channels, and with my email list, my freelance cup quickly runneth over. And this is a great problem to have! Through email, Facebook messages, and direct messages on Instagram, people made me aware of writing opportunities — paid opportunities — that I could take advantage of. 

And like any self-employed scribe who wants to ensure she can pay her mortgage, I said “Yes” — to EVERYTHING — including things I had absolutely no interest in doing. 

A couple of weeks after taking the leap, I started reading the book My So-Called Freelance Life by Michelle Goodman. In the first chapter of the book she writes: 

“[C]ommit to paper your latest and greatest freelance goals — why you want to work for yourself in the first place, and what projects and clients you hope to land in the process — and you liberate yourself from thinking you have to jump on every gig that comes your way.” 

Michelle Goodman, My So-Called Freelance Life

Damn it! If only I’d read this two weeks ago, I thought to myself. 

And just like that, I’d already learned my first freelance life lesson the hard way. 

Marie Forleo and lots of other female entrepreneurs I admire often talk about the importance of making room for the “Hell yes!” Don’t say yes to something unless it’s a hell yes, otherwise you’re going to fill your plate with things you don’t really want to do leaving no room for the things you’ve been dreaming of doing for years. 

A part of me struggled with this notion. It seemed like advice that comes from a place of privilege. But what I’ve realized is that the other option, that option where I say yes to everything, is behavior based in fear. If I have faith in myself and faith in my God that together we can actually pull this full-time writerpreneur thing off then I need to act accordingly.

Goodman says the remedy to my Yes Woman Syndrome is what she calls the “Business Plan To Go,” which is actually just her fancy phrase for goal setting.

She says that freelancers must set specific goals for their writing career, develop a plan to accomplish these goals, and say no to anything that will get in the way. 

This is why freelance writers must practice goal setting. 

If you’ve known me longer than five minutes you know I’m obsessed with goal setting. A friend of mine says I’m the kind of person whose goals have goals. So, it’s pretty ironic that I, of all people, skipped this goal-setting step when I decided to go freelance. 

But here’s the thing — I didn’t really skip the goal-setting step; I just didn’t quite do it the right way. My only freelance writing goal was “Make money!” And that’s a pretty lame goal because this freelance life has to be about much more than that if I’m going to be happy. 

Related Reading: 3 Types of Goals Every Writer Should Have

So, I’ve set a profit goal, a passion goal, and a purpose goal for my freelance life. A profit goal is one that’s about money. A passion goal is one I want to achieve simply for the love of writing. And a purpose goal is one I want to accomplish for the love of people, something I want to do so that I can help others. 

Here are my freelance life goals: 

  • Regularly earn at least $3500 per month through freelance work.
  • Write for my favorite websites and print publications.
  • Create an e-course for new freelance writers. 

Today is July 1. We’re halfway through 2019, so I spent time this past week also assessing and adjusting all of my goals for the year. If you haven’t done so already, you should do the same. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

What amazing things — both big and small — have you achieved so far this year in your personal, professional, and creative life?

What do you think helped you to achieve these things?

What will you do to celebrate?

What goals did you set for the first half of 2019 did you not achieve?

Why do you think you didn’t achieve them? 

Which of these goals do you want to continue to work on in 2019, which do you want to put on the shelf for another year, and which do you want to release? 

After walking through this process myself I’ve now revised my 2019 goals to include the following:

  • Write for 9 of my favorite publications. 
  • Regularly earn at least $3500 per month through freelance work and blogging.
  • Create an e-course for new freelance writers. 
  • Reach 10K followers on Instagram.
  • Complete a draft of a book that I am proud of. 
  • Meet Carrie Green of the Female Entrepreneur Association.
  • Double See Jane Write Collective membership. 
  • Reach my goal weight. 
  • Host a Church of the Highlands small group again. 
  • Raise $1,000 for The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham. 

I think it’s a good idea to use your goals for the remainder of the year to set 90-day goals for the 3rd quarter of the year. Here are mine:

  • Regularly earn at least $3500 per month through freelance work and blogging.
  • Send pitches to 9 publications. 
  • Double my Instagram following. 
  • Attend the Spark Writing Festival.
  • Attend Inspired Vacay. 
  • Sign on 40 new members. 
  • Host a small group.
  • Sell 10 Smart Party tickets. 

And finally, I set goals for July:

  • Earn at least $3500 through freelance work and blogging.
  • Send pitches to 3 publications. 
  • Reach 4,000 followers on Instagram.
  • Register for Inspired Vacay.
  • Sign on 5 new members.
  • Lose 8 pounds. 

What are your goals for the rest of this year, for this quarter, and for this month? 

Do you struggle with setting or achieving goals? Let me help! Imagine what it would feel like to accomplish your biggest goal of 2019. Through my Goal Digger Coaching Program, we will work one-on-one for the remainder of the year to make your writing and blogging dreams come true. Learn more here