We hear so much about
what’s trending that we sometimes get in the rut of writing about the same
subjects everyone else is. This time of the year it’s making New Year’s
resolutions. But why not consider a terrific alternative. Let’s think about
setting a few reachable goals.
The first thing I
have to admit is that I stole this idea from a good friend who is an
inspirational writer and speaker. The idea of writing about setting goals not
making resolutions is hers. She writes that when we make resolutions we set
ourselves up for failure, but when we set goals, we are constantly succeeding.
Even if we don’t reach every goal we move forward with every step we take. The
remainder of this blog is mine.
As the years catch up
to me, I find myself wanting to finish more and more projects before I get too
old to accomplish them. This year I will set goals that will take me toward
finishing those projects. If we make lists of what will get done say in a day,
a week, even a month we are more apt to achieve them. Tiny steps take us ever
closer to achievement. Usually I don’t manage to complete everything on the
list, but without that list I would not finish the majority of them. Probably
wouldn’t even get started on some.
As writers, we face
deadlines, and we’ve learned to meet them. Setting a writing goal becomes
second nature. Butt in chair, keyboard under fingers, we work toward a daily goal.
Some like to use time, say they will write for three hours a day. Others set a
goal of so many words per day. That’s the way we write books.
A resolution is often
an invitation for failure. Think about last year’s resolutions, if you made
some. How many of them did you keep? By setting goals, we work our way toward
fulfillment. There is no failure.
Some time back, while
giving a workshop, I was told by a participant that she felt she was too old to
begin a writing career. I urged her to set goals and not look back. Last week I
took part in a book signing in which she participated. Her first book has been
published by a prominent small publisher. She turned 81 this month. She has a
publisher, has completed a long book signing tour during which she sold 90
books, and is working on the second book in her mystery series. This is a phenomenal
Setting goals is the
secret to the success of most people, be they writers, sales persons, football
players, or anything in between. It’s like climbing a mountain. Taking it in
short spurts will get you there in better shape than trying to reach the summit
the first day. Even if at the end of the day you are two miles from your first
goal, you have made progress in trying to reach that goal. You have not failed.
It’s the same for
anything we attempt. So this year, instead of making resolutions that can spell
failure if you don’t keep them, set some goals that will bring about success,
even if you don’t accomplish every one. You have not failed, you have
accomplished something on the way to reaching your goals.