We writing bloggers talk often about our goals. I thought goals would make a great G post (today at work, I mulled over and rejected gold, going green, grinning, guests, grass and girlfriends as potential topics. Some days are better for alphabetic blogging than others). I will begin with a non-helpful illustration.
Once upon a time, there was a young Marine officer who had run track and cross-country in college, and was in moderately awesome shape. So she set a goal: run a marathon.
She did not set any subgoals. Instead, she just went out and ran a marathon (that's 26.2 miles, folks) without any training.
Just so you know, this is a great way to get tendonitis in the arches of your feet that makes it feel like walking on spongy carpet all the time.
Anyway, after some excessive consumption of Motrin and about a year of recovery, she ran another marathon. But this time, she set smaller goals leading up to the big 26.2 mile one: run 30 miles a week, 40, 45. Long weekend runs of 12, 14, 20, 22 miles.
I'm not going to say the 26.2 miles were fun, but I didn't spend the next month leaning on railings like an eighty-eight year old woman every time I had to transit some stairs. Yay for goals!
So yes, goal setting is our friend for everything, but writing especially. Most of us don't have the opportunity to quit our day jobs and just write, so goals are paramount to fitting the writing into our real lives.
I like this article from Writing World about setting goals. Goals should be measurable, attainable and meaningful.
Measurable goals are clearly defined. Not "Be a better writer", because really, when are you going to check THAT one off? But you can take a creative writing class, fix a weakness you see in your writing, complete revisions on your work or complete exercises. Those are all measurable goals.
Attainable. Don't try and run a marathon without any training. Setting smaller goals makes any goal a lot more attainable.
Meaningful. Make sure the goal leads to your desired endstate.
One thing in the article that I really liked was that the author talked about how our day-to-day requirements are apt to get in the way of accomplishing our goals, and that the way around that is to re-allocate our time, but allow some time for each goal. I.E. we have to have shelter and food, which means we may need a day job, or we may need to take care of our kids, but if we allocated 75% of our time to this and 25% to writing, then you're making forward progress on your goal.
What are your goals?
1 hour ago