Recently, I have had some of my writing buddies getting all depressed because they had set themselves some goals for last year that they failed to achieve. The Little Miss Optimist in me is forced to come in and reminded them of all the things they have achieve instead. It’s that silver-lining view, but so many forget to use it.
Sometimes it’s a knock back to see that massive goal that you had set yourself come crumbling down around your ears. However, that goal was set for a reason. Without it, you wouldn’t spend the time necessary to turn that goal into a reality. And sometimes, you might have actually achieved your goal, but just not in the way you had expected.
I’ll use my own goal from 2015 as an example. At the start of 2015, I had publicly told all my friends and family that by the end of the year I was going to have a publication plan for my fantasy novel. I even posted it on my Facebook. At the time when I posted it, I had meant that I was going to find an agent and have a publishing contract, knowing that it took months from the point of signing that publishing contract before you saw the book on the shelves. However, I said “have a publication plan.” What I didn’t realise was that I actually had completed that goal the moment I posted it on Facebook, and it took me an entire year, and some, to figure that out. I have a publication plan for my novel: find an agent and get a publishing contract. It may not have been exactly what I had intended when I first set that goal, but it is still the goal achieved. Silver-lining view.
Always keep that big dream in mind, but make your goals the stepping stones toward that big dream.
More often than not, those big dreams are life-time ambitions and can’t be achieved in a single day, or a single year. However, there will be small steps along the way that will be necessary to make that big dream become a reality. Make these your goals.
For me, my big dream is to publish not just one book, but many books. So my goals for the past so many years have been about completing that draft, finish that edit, send out that query. But this works for more than just writing. One of my personal goals involves weight-loss. So toward that end, I’ve found a public fun-run that I want to take part in during October and am working hard to get my fitness up so I can do it. It’s all about cutting that giant horse-pill into smaller pieces easier to swallow.
Whatever your goals are, make them public.
Making goals public will do several things:
- It will force you to phrase your goals in such a way that you feel that you can actually achieve them.
- It’s the stepping-stone approach. “Small steps for man.” We may have big dreams, but more often than not, we’re afraid that people might laugh at our big dreams, so we’ll test the waters with something smaller. Achieving those small goals is an accomplishment too.
- It will hold you accountable.
- After I had posted my 2015 goals on Facebook, I felt this sense of obligation to do my best to make things happen. While I achieved only half of my list, I actually achieved so many others things that weren’t on the list too, including starting up my own editorial business, something that I never thought I would do.
- It will give you a secret support network.
- People, in general, want to see their friends succeed. They’re even happy to cheer on complete strangers toward achieving their goals. Having that added cheer section does help fuel your ambition.
- It will give you bragging rights when you actually achieve your goals, listed and not listed ones.
- Let’s face it, we humans are prideful creatures. We like to feel rewarded for our efforts. Sometimes, all the reward we want is a simple thank-you, and other times we’re after something more. Anyone who says that they don’t get a buzz after achieving something… They’re lying. Either that, or they’re not human.
My Own Goals for 2016
I have already publicly announced by goals for 2016 on my Facebook page. However, I’ve decided to reiterate them here, just so there is a true public record that I can easily find at the end of the year when I go back and see how far I’ve come. However, I’ve had to modify them, because as I was writing this post, I noticed that some of them have already been achieved, just not in the way that I had expected when I wrote them.
- Finish the final lot of edit on my fantasy novel and start querying again.
- Get in place a publication plan for my first novel. This includes snagging myself an agent. (With the way this is actually worded, I’ve already achieved this. I have a publication plan, and it does include snagging myself an agent. Doh!!! Not quite what I had meant.)
- Finish the first draft of the first novel in my collaborative writing project (an upper middle-grade, military science-fiction with my good writing buddy, Ann Bell Feinstein) so the long tedious process of editing can begin.
- Get the word out about Black Wolf Editorial Services and obtain more clients.
- Obtain more inspirational art by Andrei Kope.
- Finish the first draft of my second high-fantasy novel. (Possibly the third and fourth too, seeing as they are mostly written anyway.)
I’m sure there’s something missing off that list, but even so, there’s a significant amount of work in that list. 2016… Bring it on.
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© Copyright, Judy L Mohr 2016