As the new year approaches, it’s a good time for writers to revisit their goals.
Writers.com has some good advice on how to set smart, reliable, achievable goals. They use the acronym SMART.
SMART is all about the properties of a good (“smart”) goal.
It stands for:
Specific. Make your goal or objective as specific as possible. Say exactly what you want to achieve in clear, concise words.
Measurable. Include a unit of measurement in your goal. Be objective rather than subjective. When will your goal be achieved? How will you know it has been achieved?
Achievable. Be realistic. Ensure that your goal is feasible in terms of the resources available to you.
Relevant. Your goals should align with your values and long-term objectives.
Time-bound. Give yourself a deadline within a year. Include a time frame such as a week, month or year, and include a specific date if possible.
Here are seven goals I can think of that match this acronym.
- I will finish my outline for my work in progress by (insert date)
- I will set aside (insert amount of time) to write each day, for at least 5 days a week.
- I will finish my work in progress by (insert date)
- I will join a critique group and commit to it (insert number) times a month.
- I will submit my work to (insert number) of publications each month.
- I will read for (insert amount of time) a day.
- I will share my content on social media (insert number of times) a week.
You will notice I did not write things like. “I will finish my work in progress.” Or. “I will get published.” Or “I will write 12,000 words a day.” The best way to accomplish a goal is to make it specific, realistic, to create firm deadlines, and to break it down into small achievable pieces.
Committing to the process is also more important than making “getting published” a goal. There’s no way to know for certain that you will get published, but instead it’s better to make the goal something like, “I will submit to 2 publications a month,” because that is something you know you can achieve.
I added a social media component, because an important aspect of writing in today’s world is having followers who are interested in your work.
I also added reading and critique groups because these things help you to get better as a writer.
Check out this article on writers.com for more information.