This month's subject is: Goal setting for writers: Planning to Make Your Writing Dream a Reality, run by Gary Frank and Jennfer Persson.
I'm a big fan of goal setting. I get a lot more done (with a lot less stress) if I break my ambitions down into long, medium and short term goals. Big, scary goals, like 'Write two, submission-ready, novels in a year', or 'Take part in fifty author events (including at least twenty solo ones)' seem much more achievable once you break them down into bite-sized pieces.
Long-term goals eg: 'What I want to achieve in the next 12 months' are important, so are medium-term ones but I've found it's the short-term, daily ones which make the difference between success and failure.
I break my writerly work week into five chunks, Monday thru Friday. I give myself the weekends to catch up, move further ahead, or simply relax, depending on how I feel at the time. I could divide the week's work into seven parts, but if I feel I have to do something every day, I get fed up with it. And when I inevitably miss a goal, I feel bad. Weekends are my 'recharge' time. They help me keep motivated over the long haul.
Goal-setting can prove immensly helpful, but it can prove tricksy too. It's good to set yourself a grand, long-term goal, but for me, I've found it pays to make absolutely sure the short and mid-term goals are sensible ones. It's great fun to while away the hours, mapping out the year's schedule by the month, week, day and hour, but if you're not careful, you can lose sight of the important things, like actually working towards whatever goal you set yourself.
Another potential mistake is to set yourself unrealistic goals. It feels great to decide you'll write 10,000 words a day, every day for a year, but it's such a big goal, you automatically give yourself an excuse for not achieving it, and I don't know about you, but I find excuses awfully tempting.
How about you?
What's your take on goals and goal setting?
Do you set yourself written long and short-term goals?
If you set goals, how often do you review them?
Does goal setting inspire you?