In the process of setting my goals for 2015, I realized how much magic there is in writing them down—and I don’t mean just randomly choosing goals and then giving ourselves a due date. That doesn’t work. The magic comes when we dig deep.
Here’s my process in case it helps you:
Tip # 1: Brainstorm and write it down
First, I grab a legal pad and have one page for each of the following areas of my life: business, writing, health, and hobbies. For each category, I write down the goals I want to have accomplished by the end of 2015. And, if necessary, I break the goals down into different categories.
For example, in my writing life, I have prose goals and poetry goals. My prose goals for 2015 are to finish and publish my fantasy novel and then edit and finish my memoir. And then to be writing down ideas for my next book. All great goals. But I need to chunk them down and make them doable.
For my fantasy manuscript, my first goal is to finish my first draft. How many words per day/per week/per month can I realistically do while I work fulltime? Figure it out and set a date. Once my first draft is done, what’s next? Implement my marketing plan while I take time to revise and edit. I continue writing down the next action step in my plan until I can see all the parts to the whole.
Tip # 2: Look forward to events
Look forward to events that can be used as goal dates. For example, the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Conference is in July this year. What would happen if I had my book ready and published in order to market at that event? The idea excites me! It feels good. Can I realistically meet this goal? With hard work and focus, I think it’s doable. Now, I work backwards from this date and plan accordingly. Read more
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
I was reminded of the above quote this week while reading Kathie Pugaczewski’s blog post “Keep Pulling.”
Aristotle was right. We are our habits. Day in and day out. Creating better habits takes consistency and discipline for a certain number of days until the pattern becomes ingrained into our very being. Read more
January is a great time to set new goals for the year. January is about renewal. New Goals. Excitement. Anticipation.
Below are a few posts from Carly and I to help you with your 2013 goal setting:
Try these tools and techniques to keep your 2012 writing plan on track
Reach your goals quicker with a writing partner
Make a goal-setting ritual
We wish you a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!
Before I set my goals for 2013, I’ve been looking back on 2012. My mind instantly goes to what I didn’t accomplish, instead of what I did accomplish.
It’s easy to be hard on ourselves—we have all those voices from our past that’ve become part of who we are. We may eventually learn to banish them, or at least the more vocal voices, but at some level they’re always there, always willing to whisper sour-somethings in our ear.
As writers and artists we probably have even more voices in our head—especially if we’re taking time away from family or work in order to pursue our art that isn’t yet earning its keep.
One way to silence those voices is to make a list of what you DID accomplish over the last year. This will also give you a springboard to setting your 2013 goals. Read more
A big component of setting and achieving our goals is being able to see ourselves already there. In high school, I ran track and set the school mile. In cross-country, I often placed in the top three. One of my secrets was visualization. Before every meet, I’d visualize myself running the race and winning. Mentally, it prepared me for the road or track ahead.
I have big goals in my writing life but, in my hectic schedule, I often forget about the benefits of visualization. Recently, I discovered a great goal-setting app for my iPhone called Aspire Goals. According to Aspire, achieving goals is 80% mental and only 20% actual activity. Read more
It may seem counter intuitive, but telling your friends your goal, such as, “I want to write a book,” is less likely to make you meet that goal.
Check out this three-minute Ted Talk to see why.
What motivates you to succeed? Years ago, when I first started working from home, I was motivated by several things: the need to eat, the need to keep my home out of foreclosure, the need to keep the lights and heat on—the need to provide for myself and my son.
To do this, I set my sights on reaching the level of manager in the company I had joined. I had plenty of motivation. But something was missing. Months went by and I didn’t seem to be making much progress toward my goal. What was wrong? Read more