Monday, August 5, 2013

Setting Goals

I've been thinking about goals quite a bit lately, more specifically, writing down my goals for my writing career. At the beginning of this year I wrote down ten writing goals for myself. Some were small and seemed easily attainable. Finish that short story and submit it? Sure, no problem. Others seemed more daunting. Write that novel rough draft? Eep! But I pulled out the list recently, and you know what? I've achieved all but two. And it's only August! True, one of those goals is actually a four parter that I should break down, but still... I've gotten stuff done!

I recently read Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. The book is chock full of great advice for building an online presence and marketing. One of the things that stood out was something he mentioned about Lou Holtz. Now, I'm not the biggest Lou Holtz fan. In fact, every time he comes on TV during football season, I roll my eyes. I'm afraid if I ever meet the guy, I'll roll my eyes as I shake his hand because it's a habit.

Anyhow, Holtz made a list of goals for himself back in the late 60's after he was fired from his job. He wrote down 107 items, some of them as far fetched as appearing on The Tonight Show or being invited for dinner at the White House. Guess what? He did both of those things, as well as scratching off nearly a hundred of those goals.

There's something about picking up a pen and writing down one's goals that make them more real, more concrete. You've stopped dreaming and you've committed your dreams to paper. You've implanted them more firmly in your mind.

So I decided to borrow from some writing friends (and Lou Holtz) and come up with a huge master list of goals to achieve over a lifetime. I included some I'd already accomplished, like publishing my first book, and highlighted those. You know what? There are pitifully few items highlighted. But I like to look at the goals from time to time to remind myself of the direction I'd like to go, and I like to imagine that I'll start checking things off more frequently.

So if you haven't written down your writing goals, or your career goals, or your life goals, then go do it right now, and put that list some place where you'll see it often.

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