Friday, August 23, 2013

Setting Goals

Houston Independent School District begins classes on Monday for the new school year. What happened to summer? When I was teaching school, I looked forward to the summer days when I had no papers to grade or grades to average. I set goals for getting things done around the house, activities for my children, and for travel. Most of them were met, and I think it was because of the limited amount of time I had to do those things that I really wanted to do.

Now that I’m retired and have become a published writer, those goals have changed mainly because of deadlines. This summer as I finished up one contract and am waiting on a new one, I found that I needed goals now just as I did when my children were at home, so I set a goal to have the first novel of the new series completed by a certain date.

Goals give us direction and something to be accomplished in a particular amount of time. One of the reasons people give up on their goals is that they set unrealistic goals. Sure, we like to aim high, but if the goal is too far out of our reach, we can become bored, discouraged, or even frustrated that the goals aren’t being met.
Short term goals help us move forward to that one big goal. Goals to meet deadlines make meeting the deadline easier if we stick with the schedule and the goals set. Setting weekly or bi-monthly goals can hone or ultimate goals to doable chunks.

If a writer is undisciplined or disorganized, a goal may be the only to get anything done. Success in meeting the first short term goal leads to enthusiasm for the next step. If we set a goal of writing 2500 words a day, five days a week, we have to be careful not to let the days we don’t accomplish the goal frustrate us to the point of anger and giving up.  The wiser thing to do is to look at each day’s schedule and factor in the time needed for unexpected life happenings. Set a goal that is attainable for that day and move on to the next.
Of course, the closer one gets to the deadline, the more important writing goals become. The ultimate goal is to have a completed manuscript by the deadline, but it takes smaller goals along the way to achieve the ultimate one with our editor.

Answer the question here and have a chance to win a copy of my newest release, Love Stays True.

What types of goals do you set for yourself as a writer or for anything else in your life? What tips do you have on achieving your goals?


Amy C said...

Lovely post, Martha! Most of the time That I have a goal I want to achieve, I find a way to MAKE time to do it. Not easy with two little ones, but I make it happen. And I pray about it too. Prayer always helps.
Campbellamyd at Gmail dot com

Martha W. Rogers said...

Thanks, Amy. Prayer always goes first and never fails to help in reaching goals or doing the right thing. Thanks for stopping by.

Britney Adams said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful post! Goals are especially important for me as the mother of three young children. I loved the following statement you made. "The wiser thing to do is to look at each day’s schedule and factor in the time needed for unexpected life happenings." So true! Thank you again!

texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

Vannetta Chapman said...

I look at my deadlines, subtract one month so i can turn in early or deal with life issues, subtract any planned family vacations, and then divide by the number of days left. This gives me the number of words per day (I dont count sundays). I stick with it! :) makes for a lot less stress.

Mary said...

I don't often set goals but when I do it helps. Participating in NANOWRIMO helps me get a new idea started. Somehow knowing I need to sit down and write makes me want to.

Mary Foster

Martha W. Rogers said...

Vanetta, I've done that and it saves so much time and agony. Knowing what I need to do each day helps keep me on track. Thanks for dropping by.

Martha W. Rogers said...

Well, I'm sending all four of you a book since we only had four comments.
Hope you enjoy the book and will review it if you are so inclined. Thanks for stopping by.