Set Realistic Writing Goals

To be successful, you must set goals that you can actually achieve. We all have lavish ideas of what we would like to achieve in our writing career. But is it realistic? In other words, given all of your other restrictions and constraints on your time, is it realistic that you will write four novels? Probably not! However, can you achieve two? Well, it will depend on how many other obligations you have outside of work. Unrealistic goals seem much easier to set. They are usually goals that we would like to achieve and that we say we can achieve without assessment. In order for us to be most successful, we must set SMART goals. This is an acronym for setting super smart goals. Here are the steps and what they mean. S stands for Specific. Don’t try to set vague goals. People often say that they want to lose weight, but what does that mean? At what point have you reached your goal? The same holds with I want to write every day. How much do you plan to write every day? What do you want to complete in a week, month, or quarter? Therefore, to narrow down your goal, you must make it more specific by asking yourself “W” questions such as: Who, hat, which, why, where and when. M stands for Measurable. If it cannot be measured, it cannot be done. To achieve your goals, you need to establish metrics that make sense to you such as that you will average two hours of writing on Saturday and Sunday. Therefore, to set a measurable goal, ask yourself “How many or how much?” “How will I know I’ve completed the goal?” “What metrics should I use?” A stands for Attainable. If you set a goal that requires a mammoth effort to achieve from the start, then failure is assured. For instance, you could say, “I will write for 1 hour every evening over the whole month.” That is just simply attainable unless you have been writing for a long time and writing has become a habit for you. Begin instead of attainable goals. Then as you achieve success, work to improve upon them. Therefore, make sure your specific goals are something that you can control. R stands for Realistic. Set goals that you feel passionately about and that will hold your focus and attention for the duration. For example, if you struggle with time management, it’s unrealistic to set a goal to write every day. When setting realistic goals, do some soul-searching and don’t be afraid to abandon goals that aren’t relevant to your interests and where you want to go. T stands for Time-Bound. Make sure that there is a time-oriented focus to your goals. Do not set a goal that has no set time frame for accomplishment. Your time frames must make sense and be realistic. Most people underestimate how long it will take them to complete a task. Give yourself a little more time than you think you’ll need to be sure you will complete your goal. By setting realistic goals, you will be most likely successful in completing your goals.