I’ve spent the past few posts ranting, writing and raving about goals, failures and being realistic with your targets. It just so happens that I had possibly chosen a fortuitous time to be discussing such a thing. The stars are in alignment or just possibly the dates, anyhoo. One thing that happens every time a New Year eve rolls around is that people make huge possibly unrealistic promises to themselves about what they are going to accomplish with in the New Year.
We reset in January and say this year is going to be better, I’m going to do so much and I’m going to accomplish this. I had a number for my list this year, lose weight and drink less, the usual stuff. I’ve already failed the second of those.
I did have one other possibly unrealistic resolution to add to that list. Finish my Novel. At least finish the draft. Considering the progress I’ve made this would seem like an effort in futility. And it might be but it gives me something to strive for.
Edwin Locke in the 1960’s proposed the Goal Setting Theory of Motivation (And I think we could always use more motivation) which is a complex and tedious way of saying, goals indicate and give direction about what needs to be done and how much effort is required to be put in.
Goals need to be specific and clear (Finish my novel, I don’t think I can get clearer than that), realistic and challenging (Not entirely sure about realistic but it will definitely be challenging). The individual (in this case me) must display Self-efficiency (I need to believe that I can do this) and Goal Commitment (I need to want to do this).
So I tick all the boxes (mostly) Alright I’ve got a yearly goal. Now I need to break that down into manageable portions. Months, Weeks and Days. Smaller goals are easier to achieve and make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside after I’ve beaten them (Preferably with a large stick).
Year (I’m throwing in a few more minor goals too).
- Finish Novel (0/1) (I think about 24 Chapter will get me to the end)
- Finish Novella (0/1) (Probably about 15,000 words left)
- Write 3 short stories (0/3) (2,000 – 5,000 words each)
- My reading has slowed right down so, Read at least 24 Books in the year (0/24)
- Provide feedback to other authors that I have a critique exchange going with (I’ve been very slack)
So now I’ll break these down into what I consider to be manageable chunks and set monthly, weekly and daily goals. Small is always easier and It will also let me track how I’m progressing and when I need to put in a little (or a lot) more effort.
- Write 2 Chapters a Month (0/2)
- Read 2 Books (0/2)
- Review 4 Chapters (0/4)
- Write minimum 3,000 words per week (I’m estimating 156,000 words should get all my projects complete) (0/3000)
- Read ½ Book
- 1 Chapter Review (0/1)
Days (Some things are a little harder to break down into days so only one thing)
- Write 600 word s per day (this unfortunately doesn’t count) (0/600)
I think this is a big ask but I’ll at least be able to track how I’m going. Not well on the daily word count I can tell you that, but now that I’ve set my goal nothing is going to stop me. (I’ll be writing a retraction momentarily). Anyway I would love to hear about everyone’s writing goals. Are your unrealistic? Are they manageable?
My dogs goal for 2017 seems to be sleep on the bed as much as possible