Thursday, September 29, 2011

On Your Mark, Get Set, GOAL!

Setting a goal is easy.  It's the working on and reaching the goal that are the hard parts.  I'm as guilty as anyone else about giving up or just not trying hard enough.  That isn't always our fault.  There are stumbling blocks that, in our zest to achieve something, we overlook. So let's take a look at how to set goals and how to be successful at reaching those goals.

First, ask yourself some questions.

Is your goal realistic? 
For writers, this is one of the biggest blocks that can keep them from reaching their goal.  For instance, if your goal is to become a published author, setting a goal to be published in a year or any other specified amount of time, isn't realistic.  You have no way to control whether an editor/publisher will buy your manuscript.  Once you've written your book, researched the right publishers to submit to, and slipped your baby into the mail or an email, the control is in another court.  Outside of writing is the same.  You can't control what another person will do.  Make certain your goal is something you can control.  You should also give yourself the time needed to reach your goal and add a little wiggle room.  Realize that life can sometimes throw curves and be prepared.

How badly do you want it?
It takes wanting something enough not to give up at the first sign of problems to keep working on a goal.  Don't quit too soon.  In fact, if you've set a specific time period in which to reach your goal, see it through.  Why?  Because even if you don't reach your goal, you've made progress.  Celebrate it.  You can always try for that brass ring again.  If you decide to do that, you're already a step ahead, because you've seen some of the things that can trip you up, and you can adjust your plan in accordance.

There are all kinds of goals, not only for writing, but for making life easier, healthier, and more fun.  Whether it's getting more exercise, losing weight, organizing your home or life, or taking a vacation, setting goals can help you be a success.  You can find some great tips online to help you along the way, from planning and the process of working on goals to reaching them.  Here are just a few:

We're only a little more than 3 months from the end of 2011 and the biggest goal setting day of each year: New Year's Day.  Why not try setting some small, short term goals to get in some practice before the holidays hit?  Remember, it takes 21 days to make a habit.  

What's your goal for the next month?

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