Each year I set goals. For several years I posted my writing goals online. I did this to provide transparency and offer encouragement to you. I also made them public to help hold myself more accountable. Plus the mere fact of writing out our goals increases the chances of us actually reaching them. Holding our goals in our heads does not have the same effect.
Then at yearend, I’d report on my results or the lack thereof. Most years I faced more embarrassment then exhilaration. Occasionally the goals were outside my control, not measurable or unrealistic, all of which are things to avoid in goal setting. But mostly the year didn’t unfold as I expected, with new opportunities superseding my once-good goals or surprise twists of life conspiring to distract me.
In the end, I failed more times than not. Yet I persist in setting goals and have done so again. It’s just that this year I will keep them to myself. As I said a few weeks ago “set a goal that will stretch you.” My three goals for the year will certainly stretch me. Yet they are within my control, measurable, and reasonable. However, it remains unseen if they are realistic. Separately they are feasible, but together they may crowd one another out.
I yearn to complete all three goals, and I would feel so good to do so. Yet already I have doubts. Instead of goals, the super stretch me, perhaps I should shorten my reach and pick things a bit easier to grasp, perhaps a lot easier.
Regardless, my writing goals will surely make for an interesting year.
Peter Lyle DeHaan is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.