I have gone from throwing my energy into the wrong projects which resulted in and a dozen half started or non started goals to completed projects I’m proud of. The mistakes of the past have taught me to strive for less and to condense my efforts into the projects that have real meaning to me. I’m an author so my example goals are around writing but I have applied these principles to other areas of my life. For example I had a goal of owning a home with Sam. Last year I renovated a fixer upper while we lived with family. Getting that done was an important goal.
Choose my goals after I make a wish list.
Often, I would get to this time of year and put together a list of all the things I’d like to achieve. Then I’d feel so proud of having achieved a list of goals for the year. I was full of optimism and high energy but even though this felt good, It lacked practicality. My list wasn't a workable tool that would move me forward to short and long-term goals. A wish list is fine but it’s not goal setting. Goal setting required deeper level consideration.
Pair down my wish list.
Too many things on my list resulted in my energy being defrayed by the sheer number of differing projects. A few realistic goals worked much better than the sheet filled with what I thought I wanted. I published a book each year for the last two years. Instead of aiming for three a year and not doing any I realistically looked at my schedule and my actual writing routine to see what could be expected. This has resulted in my having two books published and another on the schedule for next year. Looking back, I realized my wish list also contained goals I thought I should achieve. Not things I really wanted to physically do. I had to get real with myself.
Choose goals that feed me.
When I put myself in the driver seat and imagined how I would achieved the goal, I checked back with myself. Did it seem to give me energy or make me feel drained? For me, enjoying or finding the process of achieving the goal satisfying is key to it being a real goal. If I can’t imagine myself performing the task then it's a 'should do goal'. I really should make a YouTube trailer, nope I can’t see it, no ideas come to me. It’s not going to happen. I don’t yet have sufficient motivation to do that. It might be there in the future but it’s not a priority now. Another goal for last year was enrolling in a synopsis workshop. I really want to be able to pitch to agents and editors more effectively. This goal was a real one. It happened because I knew it would make me feel empowered, so it feeds me but I was also motivated because it was actionable.
Make goals that have a clear action.
Having a best seller isn’t a goal. That’s a wish. Producing a well written story is within my power. An overall goal for me but I still need to document the planned steps I’ll take. Professional development is a great motivator to me. So I choose an aspect of writing to hone, an area I’d like to see improve and then look for a course or at the very least a book on the subject.
My goals for 2018.
If you're wondering, this year’s goals haven’t been set completely. I use January's new energy to help me with that. As I've said there's a book planned for this year It just needs some rewrites before a March release. I've enrolled in a branding workshop but there might be time for more PD and finishing a half written new work, now that I'm not renovating. There is the garden though (she grins). My goals will need to be reassessed as events take place during the year but mostly a clear achievable goal, will have steps I can take. It helps me to check back with my goal as I complete each step and see how far I've come. This helps renew the initial spark that got me going in the first place.
Best wishes for your goal setting and a happy, healthy and successful 2018.
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Romance author and lifestyle blogger
My whole life is inspired by romance. I write romance novels of course but also love creating DIY's and decorating in a romantic style. I'm rejuvenating an old garden, recusing roses and planting new ones.