It’s that time of year again. The airwaves are full of ads for weight-loss programs; gyms are offering discounted annual memberships; and self-help books are flying off the shelves.
Me? I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions. I’ve never really understood the desire to spend the last night of the year making solemn promises–drink in hand–to get fit, or stop eating cheese, or to commit to whatever life-changing idea occurred to me during the last couple of weeks of the year.
I am, however, a fan of goal setting. I like to create a list of goals that I intend to achieve during the year, in various areas of my life.
When it comes to writing, I like to make SMART goals. That is, goals that are:
- SPECIFIC: “I’ll write ten short stories” rather than “I’ll write some short stories.”
- MEASURABLE: “I’ll write five days a week” rather than “I’ll write as often as I can.”
- ACHIEVABLE: “I’ll submit two stories a month” rather than “I’ll submit three hundred short stories this year.”
- RELEVANT: “I’ll write 5,000 words per month” rather than “I’ll run three marathons.”
- TIME-BASED: “I’ll finish the draft of my novel by the 30th of June” rather than “I’ll try to finish my novel.”