I love the New Year. Like the new school season in September, January 1, to me, is a day to start over again. Wipe the slate clean and strive for a great year. I start every year with goals. I don’t like to call them resolutions. These are goals. Goals for writing, goals for finance, goals for every day life. At work we have to set goals when the fiscal year starts and it’s a good time for me to think about my own personal goals as well. For the day job the fiscal year starts in July. So I usually have six months to mull over what I’ll putting on my goals list for the New Year.
At work we make our goals SMART:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-bound
I try to do that with goals in my personal life as well. Specific goals, I find, are easier to work towards. Vague goals have no focus and are harder to achieve. Measurable goals are important. You need to be able to tell that the goal has been achieved. Attainable or achievable is the next step. Setting goals that are not attainable only serve to discourage you when you fail to achieve them. Relevant means the goal is aligned with other goals, it’s a goal that matters. Finally, it’s important to have goals that have a time frame otherwise you’ll keep putting them off.
For me, achievable is the most important step. There’s a difference between dreams and goals. Goals should be in your control, something you can achieve. Dreams are under someone else’s control for the most part. The only thing you can control are the goals you accomplish that move you closer to your dream. My dream is to write full time. So my goals should be aligned to help me get there. The goals I can control and hopefully the dream will come true. I’d love to be a New York Times bestselling author. But I have no control over readers buying my books. I only have control over the books I put out there. So my goal (that will help me achieve my dream) is to put out the best books I can.
I won’t list them here but on my list of goals beside the goal is how I will accomplish that goal. I include all the steps I need for the goal to be achieved.
So, this year’s goals are:
Have a total of ten books up on the major online retailers
Submit two stories to Woman’s World
Submit at least two other short stories to calls for submission
Read at least 12 books (at least 6 fiction)
Watch 100 movies
The most important goals:
Spend quality time with family at least once a week
Hire caterer for wedding
Finalize wedding details
Follow the Weight Watchers points program
Exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times a week
I will revisit the goals monthly to see how I”m doing with them and reevaluate if needed. Life happens and we have to adapt. But that doesn’t mean we’ll have failed to accomplish what we want. You define what success looks like to you.
What about you? Have goals for 2014?
Until next time…