Sunday, January 2, 2011

Goals…not Resolutions

New Years resolutions have turned into a bad joke. Anyone I talk to about them laughs. Everyone thinks they should make them. Everyone wants to make them. After all, we want to lose weight, become more organized, save more money, write more pages. But we all know that New Years resolutions are pretty much doomed to failure. So why make them to begin with?

I don’t. I make goals.

Goals, at least to me, seem more concrete. More than just wishful thinking, I have to write down my goals. List the steps I need to take to reach my goals. Daily or weekly goals are so much easier to comprehend. So much easier to believe we can accomplish them. One thousand words a day means 7 thousand words a week means a category length manuscript at the end of three months. Or a single title length in only another month. If I can make those smaller goals, chances are I can reach my yearly goal.

Of course, sometimes goals change. I’ve found I need to be flexible. If I have submissions out at two different publishers, my goals for the next quarter may change depending on whether I receive an acceptance or a rejection and from whom. Which leads me to another point about making goals.

Don’t make a goal over which you have no control.

I see so many writers who make a goal to get published this year. While you have control over how many words you write, how many manuscripts you complete, how many submissions you send out, you have no control over an editor offering you a contract. While, of course, that outcome is something you are working toward, don’t put it on your goal list.

Now I need to sit back and think hard about my goals for 2011. They need to be challenging, yet still achievable. They need to make me look forward to the year ahead. I have a calendar up on my office wall (Santa brought me the NYC firefighters calendar for Christmas.) I like to write my daily word count on the calendar. It helps me to keep track at a glance whether or not I’ve made my goal for the week.

Good luck making and keeping your goals for 2011.

I had some good news on New Year’s Eve. I signed contracts for a four story series titled Paolo’s Playhouse, with Samhain. The first story, Flaunt It, will be released this spring.

Happy New Year to all. Can’t wait to see what 2011 has in store for us all!

SEE ME – Available now
FLAUNT IT – Coming Soon


Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Congrats on signing the new contracts, Natasha. That is a fantastic way to start a new year.

I don't make resolutions and I am not a list maker. I may jot something down every now and then, but never a list. It sorta makes me crazy. My daughter says it is because I am a Gemini, but, then again, she is a list maker for everything. I just always do my best to get as much done as I can and then let it go. I am a worrier and the lists would just add another thing to worry about...

Sometimes life just isn't easy, but that is the greatest challenge.

Natasha Moore said...

Thanks, Paisley. When you come right down to it, goal setting is the same as writing - no rules, just what works for you :)

Mona Risk said...

I am a list maker. I make daily lists and love to cross the lines.
I don't write goals, but I write my resolutions and wishes. Last year I managed to keep my resolutions. And a few of my wishes came true. Can't conplain.

Sheila Tenold said...

Good post, Natasha, and congratulations on your new story series!

I'm a list maker the same as Mona. If I don't have a list I feel lost. I'm ready to set my weekly and daily goals to paper. Now I just need to get the right-sized desk calendar. We've been away from home since Dec 9th :~)

Natasha Moore said...

Hey Mona and Shelia. I see I'm not the only list maker. Of course...sometimes I can't find my list :) Never did keep the resolution to get more organized!

B. A. Binns said...

I did the same thing, I mad a goal for myselt, not a resolution for 2011, about a week ago because resolutions are just another word for "it won't happen." And these are true goals, things that i control, not wishes that rely on things outside of myself. I'll be blogging about me goal status every month to keep me honest by keeping my progress in public.

Good luck with your goals.

Joanne said...

Congrats on your New Year's Eve contracts. Like Mona, I love to write lists. It's a great feeling of accomplishment to cross something "off the list".