Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year, New Goals

A few days ago, my online writing group shared their goals for the year. Since we all know that telling people our goals is a mechanism to keep us accountable, I thought I'd share mine here as well.

Before I get to it, I thought I'd share a great method for setting goals that I learned back in college. Make them SMART!

S - specific. Don't make your goal "lose weight", make it "Walk for 30 minutes every day."

M - measurable. If you can't measure your goal, you'll have no idea when you've met it. "Read more" is not enough. "Read 10 books by July 1." will help you stay on track. Especially if you're like me, and you said you'd read 75 books in 2011 and in December you were only at 30. Needless to say, I didn't make that goal.

A - attainable. Your goals should stretch your limits, but not overextend you to the point that you can't reach it. Saying you want to rewrite your entire novel from scratch in a week is unattainable, but saying you want to write 500 words a day is doable.

R - realistic. Make the goal something that fits into your life right now. Otherwise, it will be much harder to achieve it. If you've never sat for more than 15 minutes to write in one span, setting a goal of "write for 1 hour straight every day" can seem daunting. Instead, your goal could be "write for two fifteen minutes sessions every day for a month". Once you do that, you can up the ante.

T - timely. Without a time commitment, you're setting yourself up to put off the goal until the last minute. This creates stress and isn't good for you. Instead of saying, "I want to read 20 books," say "I want to read 20 books by December 31, 2012."

So using those guidelines above, I designed my writing/reading goals for 2012. Here they are in no particular order. NOTE: Since I'm going to be having a baby at the end of March, these goals are only for the first quarter of 2012. I'll have to re-evaluate once the little one arrives.
  • Read 1 new release from a YA author per month.
  • Read 3 books per month.
  • Get WIP off to a CP by January 31.
  • Blog at least once a week.
  • Tweet/comment on at least ten blog entries per week.
  • Once comments are received from CPs, edit three chapters per week of WIP.

So what are some of your goals for 2012? Are they SMART, or did you use some other method?


  1. I definitely need to use this method! That makes resolutions so much more effective. Good luck with yours!

  2. What a great method! I definitely have been guilty of making the unattainable goal list in the past! I think your goals are totally doable!! Good luck!

  3. I love the SMART acronym! That's great!

    And I think you can totally nail these goals!

  4. I love the SMART goals system. I try to keep a lot of my goals SMART, but I do have some others that are more holistic that are reminders of how I want to behave and habits I want to cultivate.

    Good luck with all of yours!

  5. So funny what works for people.

    If I said that I had to read 10 YA books by May, I'd frantically read them all back to back and not do almost anything else knowing I had this deadline out there.

    I LOVE that idea of saying - hey. I'll walk for30 min a day.
    THOSE are goals that I can do, lol.