I think I need to take a step back…
Yesterday, I talked about how to stay motivated and stick to your goals and resolutions. I realized I didn’t talk too much about how to set those goals and resolutions.
Why make resolutions or goals at all? No, really. Why not just keep things the way they are?
For a lot of people, they don’t know the answer to that–except for a feeling of discomfort in the pit of their gut when they think about aspects of their situation–whatever the situation might be.
But there’s a deeper question, that as writers we have a unique grasp of…
A lot of people call it the S.M.A.R.T. system, which you can brush up on here.
But it’s really characterization, I think, only using yourself as the subject.
What motivates you? Money? Freedom? Respect? Looking good?
Why do these things motivate you? Those answers will put you in touch with the things you really want in life.
Who would be touched by your life improvements? Of course you would be #1 on this list. Why this is true, is something for another day. But if you have friends, family, or children that could use motivation to succeed, gaining ground with your own goals can have a great impact.
How will you achieve these goals? This is the hardest part of the goal or resolution–deciding how to get things done. Because there’s no one way to do things.
When will you achieve your goal? This is better for non-writerly goals, since writing is an ongoing process. But we can still take a shot at it, right? “I’ll send out two manuscripts a month” or “I’ll contact five businesses a week to see if they need writing help” or “I’ll write 5,000 words per week” are examples. This part needs to fit you in a way that you can handle without being overwhelmed. That point is unique to you.
But you also need to stretch your mind. To get somewhere a whole lot different from where you are today, you might need to be uncomfortable. From the perspective of what you’ve done before, it could be crazy for a while.
Write down your goals and resolutions. Stick them in a place where you can see them, everyday. Mirror, wall, office–wherever.
Tell people. I know it’s scary, especially when you start throwing numbers around. The people you want to listen to are the ones who congratulate you on taking that first step. Ignore the naysayers.
Keep things positive–which includes things you tell yourself, and how you react to the things people tell you. Criticism hurts–but if it’s good and will make you stronger, take it.
Because regret packs a bigger punch than criticism ever will.
But that’s another post.
Until next time,