Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A New Year by Diane Burton

Another new year, a new beginning. A chance to start over. 

Thinking about the past year, I discovered a few things. My goals aren't always reachable. For 2018, I planned to write three books. I finished one and re-issued another. I made progress on two more. One thing I've always known is that I need to set high (but possibly reachable) goals. If I don't, I get lazy.

How about you? Do you set reasonable goals?

A good business practice is to have goals. Long-term and short-term goals. Most of us know about SMART goals. Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant. Timely. Can we apply them to our writing?

I want to be a best-selling author. (Don't we all.) Not a SMART goal. So, let's try to make it one.

Specific: a USA Today or NYT bestseller
Measurable: sure, the lists are online
Attainable: for me, no. At least, not yet. But, if your books sell well, it's possible.
Relevant: since writing is my business, it is relevant.
Timely: when? This year? In 5 (10, 15) years?

I will be a USA Today best-selling author in 10 years. That is a SMART goal. Did you notice I changed "want to be" to "will be"? Verbs are important, not just in our novels but in our goals, too.

Now comes the hard part. How to do it. For that, I'll need to make smaller (still SMART) goals that will help me achieve my big goal. I'll be back on my regular posting day (the 13th) with my goals for 2019.

Meantime, keep writing and have fun doing it.


Maureen said...

Happy New Year! I'm not the best with goals. I often set them way too high and get discouraged when I don't meet them. But I do believe they're essential. I think I really need to focus more this year, to make priorities and determine what's the most important and make a plan to achieve these goals.

sorchiadubois said...

SMART goals--when I was a teacher, I hated-hated-hated writing these, but as a writer, I find them incredibly helpful. I tend to make unrealistic goals and then I spend a lot of time sitting around and dream about instead of building a path toward them. Being SMART about it helps keep me on track. Like you, I need to set some of them high or I get lazy. But I have to make a few of them easier so that I feel like I'm making progress. Excellently timed post, Diane!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Gina. 2019 is going to be great!

Diane Burton said...

Good points, Maureen. I, too, need to focus more--instead of playing Solitaire. LOL Setting priorities is so essential. We can't do everything. Good luck!

Diane Burton said...

LOL, Sorchia. Where do you think I learned about SMART goals? I always found them onerous until I used them for writing. Now, they make sense and easily applicable. Thanks for sharing your insights.