Setting a goal gives you focus. It’s the first step towards defining the action necessary to achieve it. Sometimes you try to achieve your goal but you don’t reach it. This is where resetting your goals comes in handy.
Sometimes the only way to evaluate a goal is to try it. For example, your goal was:
“Be published in one year’s time.”
The year is up and you aren’t published.
Do you give up the goal? No! You reset the goal.
Yes, try again. But before you do, be sure your goal is realistic. Maybe setting a timeframe on an endeavor like publishing is not realistic since you don’t have any control over the publishing part. That is in the hands of many professionals but not necessarily, you.
Once you’ve reset a more realistic goal with perhaps a more flexible timeline, set objectives.
Objectives are great because they can be multiple and achievable in a short period of time while your goal may not be. And you have control over them. Short-term objectives completed constantly and with care can get you closer to the goal.
Objectives are specific.
Write a first draft.
Sketch an image for a promotional postcard mailer.
Objectives are concrete.
Revise that first draft.
Revise that image for a promotional postcard mailer.
Objectives are measurable.
I revised my manuscript it’s ready for my crit group.
I revised my postcard design and shared it with my crit group.
Objectives are actionable.
I’ve polished my manuscript with revisions from my crit group and it’s ready to submit.
I’ve created finished art with feedback from my crit group. I’ve sent the postcard design to the printer and it’s ready to send to art directors and editors.
Now you’re ready to try again. And while you may not yet succeed in achieving the goal, you will have accomplished many things that will allow you to “fail better.”
What have you got planned for November? Comment here or if you’re part of the private Sub It Club Facebook group, tells us how you’re doing over there. If you’d like to join our Facebook group, send a request.
Great post as always, Dana. Sometimes adding dates for objectives can also be helpful (5 pages revised by Nov. 11, send query letter to 3 agents by next Fri., etc.). I find if I do that I’m more likely to do meet my deadlines, even if it means squeezing things in late at night on the deadline. But I think your key point is making them actions YOU can take. Setting goals such as getting an agent or getting published are out of our control. Writing, editing, querying, going to conferences are all things we have control over, so you’re right–that’s where we need to concentrate our efforts.
Thanks, Laurie. Deadlines are really helpful– I think I need to set some this month! Great idea.
I agree, Laurie! I always assign a date and break objectives down into as small a goal as possible so that I can build momentum through the feeling of accomplishment that comes from checking something off the list!
Me too, Julie! I love being able to check items OFF a list.