How to Set Goals & Keep Them

This is post #14 in a fifteen post series, entitled “15 Days to Writerly Awesome in 2015,” posting on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday of January.

Okay, my little lovebugs. This is the second to last post in my "15 days to Writerly Awesome in 2015," and once it's all over, I'm going to take a long nap. Phew. 15 posts in one month is exhausting! But also, incredibly cool and fun.

Today, we're talking about how to set goals and keep them, which kind of goes along with this post on New Year's resolutions. For this year, my goal is publishing my book. I'm happy to say that #TATM will be sent off for developmental editing on February 11th, and so the ball is already rolling. I'm going to be a published novelist, say what?

The thing to keep in mind when goal-setting is establishing achievable, realistic goals, all the while pushing yourself to be better. Make sense? Okay let's get down to business:

Write a Goal List, then Trim

In the beginning of the year, you had a thousand million and a half goals. You were going to make a budget and paint your room and lose twenty pounds and start a blog... and and and. Good news? You still have plenty of time. Bad news? You are not Superman.

I'm a supporter of lofty goals; however, being overwhelmed often leads to quitting. Write a goal list. Every little thing you want to accomplish in your life should go on this list. Every lofty little thing. Then, circle the ones you think you can actually achieve. From there, take this list, and hang it somewhere you can see it. Read every day.

Take it a Week at a Time

I've been getting in the habit of working on one goal per week. For instance, a couple of weeks ago I wanted to make my bed every day. That habit has carried all the way over to now. The next week, I set a goal of heading to the gym at least three times. Now, I'm going nearly every day. By rotating changes into your schedule a little at a time, it's easier to form habits.

When it comes to writing, you should schedule your time, that way you feel more inclined to view it as a habit. You should also aim for something, like writing a chapter a week to reach the overall goal of finishing your novel. It's good to go into this with a vision.

How to Keep Goals

The key to keeping goals is to break them down into actionable plans. Don't simply say, "I'm going to write a novel." Create baby steps to reaching this, such as: I'm going to write 500 words a day. You have to give yourself the tools to succeed. It's one thing to have a goal; it's another to implement it.

Try the weekly goal idea, and see if this works for you. For instance, if you're trying to lose weight, say, "I'm going to cut all sugar this week." Then the next, maybe eliminate carbs. Set yourself up for success.

Discussion Time: How do you keep goals? What's one writing goal you'd like to accomplish this year?