I've put off talking about setting your writing goals for 2017 but today's the day to address that important topic. I looked for, and found, an unbelievable number of quotes about setting goals. That should be an indication of the importance of goal setting. I selected a few to illustrate a few things I believe about goals.
If we make a list of goals we want to achieve, we're more likely to produce than if we thumb our nose at making that list. One might think that if I have no goals this year, I will have no failures. Not a very good attitude, even if it appears a safe bet. Believing you can achieve your goals is motivation in itself.
Keep in mind that the goals we set for ourselves are often not reached for quite some time. Anyone who has been a writer for more than a year knows that we achieve step by step, not by leaps and bounds. As the poster says, ...STRIVING can be more important than ARRIVING.
I believe in writing down our goals but I hadn't ever given much thought to the second part of this quote. It makes sense, though, that if you tell a friend, you're more likely to work harder at achieving your goal(s). Someone else is aware of what you hope to do this year and you don't want to disappoint them, do you? Consider sharing your goals with another writer. Ask that he/she do the same with you. It might be a personal writer friend or your writing group. If the statistic above is anywhere close to correct, it would behoove us all to do this.
If we have no goals, we might have a problem knowing where to begin. We might flounder. We might become confused as to where in the world to start. If we have a list of goals, we know where to take that first step, especially if we put them in order of importance to us.
When setting and working on your goals, keep these things in mind:
- Put them in writing; don't just have a few thoughts in your head.
- Keep that list somewhere visible to you every day.
- Make them realistic; ones that you can achieve.
- Don't make your list too long; it can be overwhelming.
- Set smaller goals rather than huge ones.
- Put a check mark (and maybe a smiley face) next to the ones you achieve.
- Don't beat yourself up over ones you don't achieve this year; no one ever said you will get every single one accomplished.
- Try telling someone else what they are; see if this helps you.
Some of you may have other suggestions to add. Please use the Comments section to share with the rest of us.