Thanksgiving is over, and the official holiday shopping season has begun. I was driving in my car just the other day and heard a famous Christmas song that made me pause, where the singer crooned about the year being over, and then he asked. â€œWhat have you done?â€
What have I done? The question lingered in my mind. What had I done? Not what I intended, thatâ€™s for sure. I had set goals and hadnâ€™t attained some of them.
Hearing author Susan Mallery speak at the recent OCC birthday bash really inspired me. She talked about goals and how she made business decisions based on how well they would help her attain her goals. Her ability to set a goal and stick to it impressed me, as did her willingness to occasionally refuse select prospects because they did not line up with her goals.
Many people get caught up in the moment and are afraid to let an opportunity pass. Sometimes itâ€™s about money, sometimes about getting or staying published, sometimes about building a name or personal validation. Accomplishing goals means sticking to your guns and keeping your eye on the prize. As writers, we tend to get easily distracted, and we often need to work on the discipline needed to set and keep our goals.
Here are two tips for making and keeping goals that hopefully we can all apply to the upcoming year:
1. Make the goal ATTAINABLE. Sometimes we have goals that may set us up for failure because we have no control over them. Keep your goals to things over which you have most of the control. Setting the goal to get an agent by the end of the year might not be considered an attainable goal because you have no way of guaranteeing that an agent will sign you in that time frame. However, an attainable goal might be to query X number of agents in a year. You have total control over that because you are the one sending the queries. And achieving that goal might indeed result in you getting signed by an agent within a year.
2. Have SHORT TERM and LONG TERM goals. Your short term goals can give you that feeling of immediate gratification while you work towards the long term goal. Example of a short term goal: Finish the book by the end of the year. Long term goal: Have written three completed manuscripts in three years.