We all need goals. Goals are good, because they make sure we’re moving forward in life instead of just going through the motions in life. Earlier this month, a lot of people think they made some goals for the year.
Except they didn’t. They made wishes, and most of them are already given up on.
I want to talk about realistic goals today, but before we can do that, we need to talk about the difference between a goal and a resolution. I hate that word, resolution. It’s such a vague, feel goody word that doesn’t really mean a damn thing when in relation to some silly promises we all made while drunk on a cold winter night. A goal is a far different beast. It’s something you’re working toward. It’s something you’re going to do, not something you want to do.
Now let’s talk about what’s a realistic goal, and what’s a bad one.
1. A good goal takes reality into consideration.
A good goal- I’m going to self publish an e-book this year. A bad goal- I’m going to self publish an e-book this month. Why is that a bad goal? It’s not taking reality into consideration. It’s not realistic to think I’ll have the time to plan, write, edit and publish a book in a month.
2. A good goal has a plan of action.
I want to write an e-book. The first thing I do is list all the things I need to do to make that happen. Then I focus on getting the first goal done. Then the next, then the next. In this way, I’m taking a very large goal, and breaking it down.This is also important for the next step.
3. A good goal can be broken down month by month, week by week, and day by day.
I know that this month, I have a very small goal, because I have a lot of other things going on. I want to write a list of e-book ideas, and pick one. Next month I’ll see what I’ve already written towards that, what I need to write still, and I can start on that writing. March and April I’ll be writing, May editing, June piecing it together, July I’ll have something to beta readers while I research e-book publishing which will take me into August, September some final edits, and October I’ll have a finished piece ready to sell. See, simple steps and a basic time line. With several months of cushion built in, because-
4. A good goal is flexible, but not too flexible.
I want to have the whole project done by the end of the year, but I can probably have it done by October. But I might not. I might not get enough feedback from my beta readers, I might draw a blank when it comes to new stories, I might not finish my rough draft on book two in time, and I really can only handle having one rough draft going at a time. So, I plan to be done by October, but I’m not going to beat myself up about if it doesn’t happen. I will beat myself up if it doesn’t happen by December.
So, if you’ve already given up on your resolutions, that’s fine. Throw them away, and make some realistic goals instead.