Review Last Year, Set Goals for Next Year

Last year at about this time, I suggested you set some goals for the new year. How did you do? What went right? Take time to celebrate your successes. That will give you hope and inspiration for the future. It will also help you set new goals that stretch you.

What went wrong? More importantly, why did things go right or wrong? And what are you going to change next year?

Goals for 2016

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Celebrate Your Small Wins

It’s good to have big hairy audacious goals. And writing a book certainly is one of those. The problem is, it takes a very long time to accomplish. If you only focus on the end goal and not on the incremental achievements, you’ll feel like you’re hiking up a mountain forever without taking a breather to look at the view.

Incremental achievements, like your weekly or monthly writing goals, will help prevent that feeling. Knowing you’ve achieved your goal is a boost.


Illustration by Makkuro_GL • Fotolia

Researchers Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer found that “What motivates people on a day-to-day basis is the sense that they are making progress.” Here are a couple of articles about their research:

Small Wins and Feeling Good
The Power of Small Wins

So mark your milestones. Continue reading

Set Realistic Writing Goals

An important step in organizing your time is to set goals. Your goal could be time-based, e.g., spend an hour writing every day. Or it could be productivity based, e.g., edit 250 pages per week.

Set goals not only for your writing, but for other aspects of life also, like how much time to spend with your kids, on volunteer work, or on home improvement projects.

You’ve probably heard this before, but goals need to be SMART:

setting smart goals

“I want to write a novel” is not specific enough, and it’s only measurable in that you can tell when it’s done. It’s not time-sensitive because you haven’t given a deadline. Continue reading

Set New Goals for 2015

If you haven’t already, this is a great time to set some goals. Not resolutions. We all know how those end up. I’m talking about real, attainable goals for your writing career.

Your goal could be time-based, for example, to spend an hour writing every day. Or it could be productivity based, such as writing 5,000 words per week.

new year 2015 goals

Illustration by Stuart Miles •

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but ideally your goals will be SMART: Continue reading

Tomatoes and time management

One of the keys to managing your time and your projects is breaking large projects down into do-able tasks. Writing a book is a massive job, and if your to-do list says “write book,” that item will be there for months, mocking your inability to cross it off. But “write 323 words” is do-able. Write 323 words a day for 31 days, that’s over 10,000 words. Do that every month for a year, and you have a book. Continue reading

The power of small wins in writing a book

A friend on a writers’ e-mail list shared a link to this wonderful story about persistence: The Daffodil Principle

It’s a lovely, inspirational story, but of course my first reaction — I suppose this is true for a lot of people — was to wonder whether such a beautiful garden could really exist. Was this a real anecdote from the author’s life, or a fictional story? So I went on one of my research jags.

An illustrated storybook version of The Daffodil Principle is available from Amazon.

The spectacular garden described in the story does exist. I found an archive of an old Geocities website that describes the history of the daffodil garden and includes some lovely pictures.
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