First, the winner of the book giveaway is Elise! Congratulation! Elise, I will email you and ask you which book you would prefer and get it to you asap!

Now I fancy myself a very goal oriented person and I usually reach the goals I set. Yes, I’m tooting my own horn, but I’m a good goal-maker and reacher, so you want to listen to me.

1. Less is more. The biggest mistake I see most people making when setting resolutions is making a mile long list of all the things they want to change and do better, thus setting themselves up for failure right from the get-go. Slow down. Pick between 1 and 4 (seriously no more than four) things depending on the focus and time each goal will take. If one of your goals will take daily focus and strain, maybe add one or two that are less time-consuming or stressful. Or one goal is just fine too. 

2. Write them down. Can you even remember the goals you made last year? We humans are forgetful creatures, easily distracted. Oh my, is that chocolate sitting on my desk? Even when we feel passionate about something, it’s amazing how quickly it can slip our mind. Write down your goals in

GIANT 

 text and stick it on your fridge or mirror or some place where you will see it on a regular basis. 

3. Set goals within your sphere of influence. “I will get a publishing contract this year” is not a great goal, because there are so many factors outside your control (unless you decide to self-publish.) Instead, set a goal to submit to 10 agents or publishers, or to attend a writers conference and get some feedback on your current WIP. 

4. Set action goals instead of end results. You will likely be far more productive if you set goals that break things down into smaller, more regular steps, rather than a huge goal that’s likely to overwhelm you. For instance, setting a goal like “I will write and revise an entire novel this year,” isn’t an unrealistic or unachievable goal, but all you’re looking at from day to day is that overall daunting task. Instead, do something like “I will spend at least five hours a week on my writing,” or whatever number is realistic and you’ll probably be more productive with that goal rather than the Goliath goal. If you’re like me and you spend every available moment you have on your writing, sometimes having specific focuses on improvement can be helpful, like setting a goal to study and improve dialogue or world building, or pacing, etc. 
5. Be fierce and unrelenting! You may be trying to achieve things that are hard, uncomfortable, painful, frustrating, not enjoyable at the present moment…suck it up! No pain, no gain my friends. It takes time to work things into your flow of life and consciousness. And if you falter on a goal one day or week or month, don’t give up! Pick yourself back up and start again. You can always modify the goal if you suddenly realize that you maybe bit off more than you can chew. There’s no shame in that. 
Slow and steady wins the race.
I hope you reach all your goals in 2012! May all your dreams come true!

14 comments

    • Jess

    • January 2, 2012

    • 7:54 pm

    I was trying to make my New Year’s Resolutions, and this post really helped! Thanks! Happy (late) New year!

  1. So true – especially action steps and writing everything down. I check in on my goals docs every month and revise it throughout the year – it’s a living document. If a project or opportunity has arisen, I add that to the list so I can see what I’ve achieved with my time, not just the things I have left to do.

  2. Great recommendations for making goals. Good luck to you in 2012

  3. Caitlin, I love thinking of our goals as “living.” They’re flexible, growing, changing, shrinking with our need and circumstance.

    Jess, glad this was helpful!

  4. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    No seriously, this made me laugh out loud. Because I broke pretty much every single rule on this list.

    Ah well. I probably won’t reach all of them, but I can try!!!

  5. Do it Kate! Prove me wrong!

  6. Hmm. So maybe I should cut down my list of so many things that not even I can remember them? Yeah, probably.

    Happy 2012, Liesl!

  7. I think my biggest mistake is not writing them down like you suggest, I must do this as my first goal 🙂

  8. I LOVE NUMBER 5!!!!!

    I liked all your suggestions, but #5 was like a huge kick in my rear. I *WILL* BE FIERCE AND UNRELENTING in meeting my goals in 2012! YEAH!!!

    • Ginger

    • January 3, 2012

    • 2:56 am

    Thanks Liesl! That is great advice. I will start by writing down my goals.

    • Elise

    • January 3, 2012

    • 4:19 am

    Thanks for doing your book giveaway! I’m super excited for my book!

    I love suggestion #4 to set action goals instead of end results. I need to remember that!

  9. I’m actually the type of person whose goals swim around frantically all day in my mind, so do I write my goals down? No, they’re seared in my head, and I’m so obsessive that I can’t micromanage mine or I become mean and do lame things like lash out at my kids. (This is all because I’m the tensest person you’ll ever meet and acutely obsessive.)

    But I completely agree with you on the number of goals we should set. This year I’ve set two: write another novel, and shed the pot-belly I obtained with baby number two.

    How are your edits going with RUMP? It’s sooo exciting that your book is REALLY coming out!!!

  10. I love #5, like seriously love it. Unrelenting is the perfect word for achieving goals.

  11. I like your idea of setting smaller goals, because they’re definitely easier to achieve and then they become an even bigger achievement when you add them all up. I do something similar with my to-do lists; I put down even the smallest things on the list, because then that makes it easier to remember everything and get it done.
    One small goal I have is to read more chick lit, since that’s what I write. And I actually have been doing that; it helps to read what works and what doesn’t.

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