Did you ever think of where you’d like to be in your writing career in five years? Are you clear about what your main writing objective is currently? Do you know what you want to achieve by the end of the day?
If you want to succeed as a writer, you need to set precise goals. Without goals you will lack focus and direction in your writing. You will be distracted and there will be no rhyme or reason to what you are setting out to accomplish every day. Goal setting allows you to take control of the direction of your writing. It also gives you a benchmark for determining whether or not you’re succeeding at accomplishing your tasks.
To accomplish your goals, you need to know how to set them over the long-term, short-term and weekly. You can’t simply be wishing that you accomplish a particular goal without actually planning to do it and then doing it. Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve, and ends with a lot of hard work to actually accomplish your goal. In between these two levels of goal setting there are some well-defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to successfully accomplish your goals.
Here are five golden rules of goal setting.
1. Set motivating writing goals
When you’re determining your long-term goals, choose ones that excite you. If you don’t, you probably won’t be motivated to accomplish your writing goals. Also, pay attention to how you feel about your goals. If you feel unsure about your writing goals, you’ll probably not achieve them.
2. Set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound writing goals
When you set your goals make sure that they are specific, clear, and well-defined. Second, make sure your goals have precise dates of completion so you could measure your degree of success at any particular time. Third, ensure your goals are not out of line with your timelines and talents. Nothing will tear down self-confidence faster than setting goals you know you can’t achieve. Lastly, make sure your goals will move you in the right direction to achieve your long-term goals
3. Write your goals down
The act of writing down your goal makes it much more real and tangible. Psychologists say that once you write a goal down, you take the goal much more seriously than if you didn’t write it down and simply thought about it. By writing your goals down, you won’t forget them either.
4. Create an Action Plan for each week
Often you may avoid creating an Action Plan because you think it’s a waste of time. It is essential you not to be so focused on the outcome of your goals that you forget to plan the necessary steps to take each week to complete your short-term and long-term goals. Also, by writing down each of these steps, and crossing them off as they’re accomplished, you’ll feel inspired.
5. Stick to your plan once you write it down
In order to achieve your plan, you may have to build in reminders to keep you on track. Review your goals often to remind yourself to stick to them. Stick to your action plan and to your goals in order to be a successful writer. Unless you stick to your plan, you won’t be successful.
Goal setting consists of more than just telling yourself you should accomplish a goal such as writing a book or article. You actually have to plan to achieve your goals. Unless you write down your goals and are determined to succeed, you probably won’t accomplish most of your writing tasks, frustrating yourself even more as a writer. So, envision your long-term goals, plan your short-term goals and accomplish your fluctuating weekly goals in your Action Plan to be a successful writer.
By: Irene S. Roth
Freelance Writer, Teacher, Reviewer, and Interviewer