Goal Setting Tips for Writing Success
February 29 – an auspicious day for…something. Because leap year only comes once every 4 years, February 29 is a good day to use as a marker for yourself: How far have you come since the last one, and what do you want to accomplish before the next one? Setting 4 year goals (vs. one year) gives you the opportunity to think about goal setting a little differently and to develop some areas in a bigger way.
Seth Godin writes,
Once in four years, just once, perhaps we could: Forgive, forget, relax, care, stand out, speak up, contribute, embrace, create, make a ruckus, give credit, skip, smile, speak truth and refuse to compromise–more than we usually do. Pick just one or two and start there.
Great advice for becoming a better human being.
Now, with Seth’s inspirational words in mind, let’s take a few minutes to create some 4-year writing goals for yourself so you can become more of the writer you want to be.
Be a SMART goal setter
- S – Be Specific (example, I will write 1 chapter a week on my new creativity book)
- M – Make it Measurable (example, 1 chapter per week not, I will write every week)
- A – Make it Attainable
- R – Make it Relevant to you
- T – Make it Trackable/Time sensitive (I can see each week what I got written)
The more specific you are with your goals the more likely you are to achieve them. Using the SMART steps above will keep your goals tight and focused so you know exactly what (and when) you’re expecting from yourself.
As you consider where you want your writing journey to go, what ultimate writing level you want to achieve, incorporate aspects of that journey into your goals.
Explore the following writing goal areas:
- Ultimate Writing Level – What level of writing do you want to achieve? What is your ultimate goal? A blog with 50 readers? 50000 readers? Am Emmy? Pulitzer prize? Be an Amazon bestselling author? Write a book? When you know your ultimate goal you can start putting in small steps that will lead you toward that goal.
- Financial – How much money would you like to earn by when? If you want to make your living as a writer you have to make different choices than if your ultimate level is to write one book.
- Education – To get to your desired ultimate level, what do you need to know more about? What information or skills do you need to acquire? Build the time you need to get this education into your goal setting.
- Artistic Expansion – What area of writing do you long to be good at but have been afraid to tackle? Put an aspect of this new area of writing into your goals.
- Attitude – Where are you holding yourself back? It’s important to put at least one fear area into your goals so you can begin to stop limiting yourself.
- Physical/Tools – Would a new laptop set you free as a writer? Do you need to rent an office? Consider goals that lead to an improvement in your writing environment if that will lead to greater productivity.
- Pleasure – What areas or aspects of writing make you particularly happy? Put lots of pleasure areas into your goals.
- Giving Back – How can you use your writing to make the world a better place? Commit to at least one way you can use your writing to give back at some point in the next 4 years. You might help a writer just starting out. Or start a blog that changes the world. Anything is possible.
Goal setting is used by successful business-people and high-achievers in all walks of life. Goals give you direction and motivation. It keeps your time on track so you stay on course.
Good Goal-setting Strategies
- Keep your brain awake with challenging goals
- Write your goals as precise positive statements
- Find a goal-buddy
Setting goals that are clearly defined helps you to measure them so you know how far you’ve come and so you can take pride in the goals you achieve. This will raise your self-confidence as you begin to see just what you are truly capable of. And as for using the 4-year cycle, well, heck, it works for politicians, right? Ahahaha! Sorry, couldn’t resist. Seriously, when you choose a time frame that is outside of your usual goal-setting method it can help you leap into a different thought process so you are more likely to break your previous goal-setting boundaries.
Final Goal Strategy
- Write it down. Hah! You got this one covered since you are, after all, a writer!
Now, go set some personally innovative 4-year goals and who knows just how far you can go by 2016?
Want to share some of your 4-year goals or find a goal-buddy? Please post below!