It is time to create your long and short-term goals for 2015

todolist[1]It’s that time again! It is time to think of what your writing goals are for 2015 and to take stock of how you did this year. I will say more about taking stock in my December 8th, 2014 blog post.   One of the best ways to become a highly committed writer is to get into the habit of determining our three long-term writing goals at the beginning of a new year. In other words, we should decide which writing goals we should complete in the next three to six months? For instance: • Do we want to become a published book author? OR • Do we want to publish articles? OR • Do we want to make enough money from our blogs to be able to become a full-time writer? To accurately determine our long-term goals will take reflection and forethought. I have devised Worksheets A for this purpose. It is a brainstorming worksheet that will help to determine our long-term goals. During the first brainstorm exercise, we should list all the writing goals we want to accomplish, both in the short-term and long-term. We don’t have to be selective at this point. Instead, just try to have fun with this process. The second page in this package for Worksheet A will ask to choose 3 specific writing goals to focus on for the next quarter. We should take a substantial amount of time to reflect about our choices at this point because we don’t want to focus on the wrong goals. It is best to spend a week or more reflecting on this question. Once we decide on our 3 writing goals, we should prioritize them and choose which ones to commit to over the next months and weeks. Be as specific as possible. Once we’ve determined our long-term goals, we could easily determine the short-term goals we need to achieve these three long-term goals. For instance, we should ask ourselves what part of our main writing goal we’d like to accomplish this week to bring us closer to completing one of our long-term goals. Once we determine our next steps, we should write them down in our weekly planner. The Worksheets in the Appendix will help to put these goals in place. Once these goals are written down for the week, we should tack the sheet above our workstation or computer. This will take the guess-work out of what we should be working on when we sit down to write. But more importantly, we will be focusing on the most important goals and writing projects every day. And there is no better recipe for success. Plan The Week’s Writing Goals Ahead of Time There are many benefits to determining our writing goals ahead of time every week. For one thing, having our goals laid out beforehand will help us not to waste time when we sit down to write. Even a small amount of progress can be the momentum we need to become a successful writer. Regardless of the outcome, we’ll be able to plan our writing tasks for optimal efficiency. Once we open our eyes to what we can achieve in our writing, we’ll be able to see all the possibilities at a glance. Here are some benefits to setting goals. We’ll be able to: • Create a vision for our writing career; • Clarify priorities; • Solidify our motivation level; • Build confidence (The feeling that “I did it”); • Stay focused; • Be hopeful; • Increase our accountability and results. By determining our three main goals, we’ll be committing to these goals until they are done. This goes beyond the fluctuating nature of motivation and creates long-term success. ~ Irene S. Roth