January the first—the most motivational day of the year—the day we are filled with confidence that this will be the year we achieve our SMART goals. We all start out with such good intentions. Why are some goals achieved and others forgotten? It comes down to the way we plan our SMART goals.
- Specific — If your goal is too general, it’s harder to keep an image of the end result in mind. ‘I want to be a writer’ is too general, ‘I want to write everyday’ or ‘I want to finish the first draft of my novel’ is more specific.
- Measurable — Can you keep track of your progress on this goal? If your goal is to finish edits on your novel, break the goal down into steps that you can tick off. Perhaps the first is to contact at least ten people to read your draft, or you could break the novel into areas that need addressing, such as characterisation, setting, plot problems, dialogue, etc and work through one at a time.
- Achievable — Make the goal something that is within your grasp. Don’t choose things your can’t control, such as games of chance, and don’t aim higher than your ability. Producing ten novels a year might sound great, but would be near impossible to fit into your life schedule.
- Relevant — How will this goal add effect to your current life? If you’re currently in your final year of study in the field of science, choosing a goal such as touring with a rock band would only distract you from your current achievements.
- Time-bound — Setting deadlines to achieve goals greatly increases the chance of success.
But even the SMART goals template is not enough to endure duration needed to achieve the goal. You need more. You need to ask one major question about your goal.
If you have a clear purpose, a reason for all this hard work (and any good goal is hard work), then you’ll stay focused and motivated until you reach your goal. But wait. There’s more.
You have many aspects to your life, your work, family, interest, health, etc. You have to do it all, it’s not like you can just stop caring about your health because you want to write a novel. Still, you need to prioritise your goals, set ONE big goal for the year. All your other goals still exist, you can make them to-dos or set monthly goals. For example; I’m embarking on a whole health and fitness routine goal with my family. It’s got to happen, it will happen. I’m also teaching, learning, writing, editing, and running an amazing writer’s retreat (see the bottom for a link for more info on that). But I need ONE clear goal for 2015. And I need to commit. I also want it to be challenging.
Publish THREE novels in 2015!
What are your SMART goals for 2015? Can you choose ONE main goal? And the big question — WHY do you want this?
Keep a visual of your goal handy and remind yourself why you’re doing this every day!
Is your goal to attend a writing retreat in 2015?
The Rainforest Writing Retreat held it’s first event in May 2014 — 0ur aim was to provide a supportive environment where writers could come together, relax, mingle, write and learn. It was an amazing success. 2015’s retreat will be even better. Click on the image below (or go to: www.RainforestWritingRetreat) to find out more about this incredible three day retreat, filled with writing masterclasses from popular authors and industry professionals, laughter, good food, and the opportunity to pitch your manuscript to a highly sought-after publishing house. All this, and the costs are kept to a minimum to make this retreat accessible for all writers.