Monday, December 31, 2012

Five Dos and Don'ts for Goal Setting

Before I get into today's blog I want to announce the winner for the Free Fiction Friday. Congrats Chrissie Brewer! You've won a signed copy of Blood and Bone. Please leave your email address in the comments and so I can get your information and send out your book ASAP.

I'll be giving away another copy at the end of January for anyone who leaves a comment on Friday's posts of Bait. The more you comment, the better your odds of winning.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program. :-)

So it's the last day of the year. The new year is stretched out before us like a fresh blanket of fallen snow--untouched and perfect--and we are full of promises, resolutions and good intentions. Every year I make a list of goals that I want achieve over the next twelve months, some years I'm more successful than others. So here is a list of five Dos and Don'ts that have worked for me

1. Do Set Attainable Goals

This seems obvious. If you set goals that there isn't a hope in hell of attaining, you'll wind up discouraged pretty quick. Know your limitations and compare how you much you produced last year. If you barely managed one manuscript last year, committing to writing six next year probably isn't going to happen. If you have a demanding day job and family obligations, really consider how much time you can commit to writing, or promoting daily. Then set a goal that you think you can achieve.

2. Do Set Specific Goals and the Steps to Attaining Them

I'm going to write more this year--not a great goal. I'm going to complete two books this year by writing 1,000 or 2,000 or 5,000 words a day (see above before deciding)--a better goal. The same goes for promotion or blogging. Come up with a step by step plan, crossing off each step as you complete them.

3. Don't be Afraid to Revise Goals Over the Course of the Year

Twelve months is a long time and a lot can happen over year, priorities change. Books sell or release and your attention may be diverted from one project to another. What was important in January may not be in July. Try setting monthly or quarterly goals instead of trying to plan for the entire year.

4. Review Your Goals Frequently

Your goals are your plan, or a map, getting you from the beginning of the year to the end. Keep them posted somewhere you can see them or access them easily to make sure you're still on track.

5. Don't Get Hung Up on the Goals You Miss

Like I said, what's important at the beginning of the year may not be towards the end. Besides, there's always next year.

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!!  

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