Alpha & Beta Projects for the New Year

alpha beta projects debra eckerling
It's goal-setting season! One of my favorite times of year. I do tell my clients and community to look at goals daily (minimum weekly) and review/re-assess them monthly or or quarterly. However, start of a new year is wildly regarded as everyone's fresh slate. Embrace it!

As you prepare to take on 2018 with full force, set yourself up for success. That means take into account your current responsibilities and time availability, before you over-commit. Brainstorm all of your goals for the year to get a sense of what you want to accomplish (see my article on using journaling to set goals). Then, choose two main projects - an alpha and a beta - for your focus.

Why Choose Two

Everyone burns out. Everyone gets stuck at some point. When that happens, you can walk away from your project - meditate, work out, do something else that's creative. Then, if inspiration has not reignited, you can work on your backup. When you have two project goals, you always have something to work on when you need a break from the other. 

Some projects work in tandem. It's not only fine, it's great when your projects complement each other. For example. if you are looking to publish traditionally, your alpha project may be writing the book, and the beta is working on the book proposal. Want to start a podcast? Promoting in via social media can be your secondary focus. And, for those who want to do more freelancing, consider writing the articles your alpha and querying publications your beta. 

Note: If you don't have a beta in mind, your second project can be brainstorming ideas for your next project. Keep a running list of ideas: stories, books, articles, promo. Then, when you find something that excites you, it can move into the beta or maybe even alpha position.

Types of Projects

This can be an endless list, but here are some ideas for starters:

Write or publish a:
Non-fiction book
Poetry collection
Series of Articles

Get a:
Manager or agent
Publishing deal
New venue to publish your stories/essays/articles (newspaper, magazine, website)
New job

Start a:
Video series

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While the focus is on writing projects, you can use this philosophy with personal and business projects as well. And clearly you can add more project goals. Just try to keep your main focus to only two or three. Once they are accomplished, you can promote one of your other goals to alpha, beta, or gamma status. 

Whatever you set your sights on to accomplish in the new year, remember you can do it! Just set yourself up for success and enjoy the process of setting and achieving your goals.

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What do you think? What alpha and beta goals are you planning to accomplish in the new year? Please share in the comments.

Also, set goals and join the conversation on Write On Online: Like the Write On Online Facebook Page and join the Facebook Group

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Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. Like the Write On Online Facebook Page and join the Facebook Group

She is author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, and host of the Guided Goals Podcast.

Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Karen Cioffi said...

Debra, having two projects lined up for 2018 that complement each other is a great idea. This will help ensure there isn't any downtime!

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks, Karen. Figuring out my main two for 2018. Do you know yours yet?

Karen Cioffi said...

Deb, I guess I'm stubborn, my two are the same as 2017: build my children's ghostwriting business and WRITE MY OWN children's books!
2017 had my own writing lacking, but I'm hoping the new year helps me balance things a little better.

Debra Eckerling said...

I love the fresh start that comes with a brand new year! Good luck with your projects. And if I can help with the balance, you know where to find me.

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