At the end of September, author Tina Radcliffe spoke to my Christian Writers group about setting goals. As part of her presentation, Tina asked all of us to write down three goals for our writing that we wanted to meet by the end of the year. She had us make two copies of this list, one of which got sealed in a self-addressed envelope.
“I will be sending these back to you in January,” she told us.
At first, I was intimidated by the idea. With the holidays looming, the last thing I thought I needed was a guilt-inducing list of goals.
I asked Tina about how to avoid the discouragement of unmet goals. Her solution was to set goals that were much smaller and more manageable.
So this time, I used a different approach. I thought about my life, the things I knew I had coming up, my schedule, my family and their needs, and I set goals that I thought were realistic.
My goals included:
- Entering my latest book, A Wife of Valor, in a contest I had been considering
- Submitting the same book to the local authors collection of the Scottsdale Library
- Blogging once a week
I’m pleased and excited to report that, as of today, I have achieved all three goals. Knowing that the weekly blog post would be the biggest challenge over time, I made it a point to count up the weeks from then until the end of the year, so I had a quantifiable target.
For fourteen weeks now, I have updated my blog at least once. Not all the posts have been brand new. Some were advertisements for coming events, which ran for multiple weeks. But I met the goal.
So what have I learned? Deadlines really can be helpful, so long as your goals are realistic. You aren’t setting goals to impress anyone. Your goals are only valuable if they enable you to reach your target.
I know this is a lesson that will help me in the future. I plan to be wiser and less ambitious when it comes to goal setting. By making sure that what I am aiming at is really within reach, I hope to have the satisfaction of achieving many more goals in the years to come.