ABCDEFs of Goal Setting

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With the new year upon us, many people will spend the first part of January making resolutions…and spend the rest of the month breaking them. No, I’m not trying to be negative, but realistic because I’ve done the same thing year after year and wind up with the same feelings of discouragement and failure.

On Monday’s MBT Ponderers blog, my friend Beth Vogt wrote about banning new year’s resolutions and how liberating the experience was for her. Instead she focuses on one word each year and uses that word to help her maintain focus on what she wants to achieve throughout the year.

During the My Book Therapy Monday Night Chat, Susan May Warren talked about goals and shared strategies she uses to keep her goals in alignment throughout the year. Instead of me repeating what she said, you can read about it here.

Setting goals is a great way to help you stay focused on what you want to achieve, whether it’s being a smaller size by this time next year, paying off credit card debt, or completing that novel. In order for you to succeed in achieving your goals, follow the ABCDEFs:

  • Achievable–Keep goals within your power to maintain. Once you determine what your goal will be, you need to put steps in place to help achieve those goals. For example, if you want to finish your novel this year, look at your schedule and determine how much writing time you will have. Then, determine how many words you need to write daily to achieve your goal.
  • Believable–In order to achieve your goals, they need to be believable or realistic. Saying you’re going to write six book this year may be a stretch, especially if you have a full-time job. Make sure your expectations are realistic. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
  • Concrete–To be successful, goals need to be concrete and measurable. Make a list of your goals. Seeing them on paper helps you to stay focused. Determine what makes your goal measurable. Determining you will write 1500 words a day gives you a target to help you stay on track for achieving your believable goal of writing a novel this year.
  • Deadline–Give yourself a deadline for achieving your goal. If you plan to pitch your novel at a writer’s conference, use that date as a deadline to have your novel ready. Not only will that help you determine word count and editing time, it helps you to stay focused. 
  • Evaluate–Every few months, evaluate your goals and see if you are on track for reaching them by the deadline. If your expectations are too high, you’re setting yourself up for failure. If life circumstances are preventing you from reaching your deadline, change your goal. This is not a do or die thing. 
  • Finish–Even if you didn’t meet your deadline, finish anyway. You will still receive a great amount of personal satisfaction than if you threw your hands up and decided since you missed your deadline, then why bother. Finishing allows you to decide on new goals with new deadlines based on your previous experiences. 

Goals are milestones you want to achieve in your life. Setting achievable goals with reasonable deadlines will help you to be a more focused person.

Your turn: What goals have you set for yourself this year? Do they follow the ABCDEFs? What changes can you make to make them achievable?

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