Setting SMART goals

“Write a novel.” That’s the first goal we have. Great, but the novel isn’t going to be written the first time we sit our butts in that chair. We need to plan how we’re going to get from point A to point B. We need goals. Life gets thrown at us. Babies, vacations, work, death, keeping up the house. There are thousands of things to distract us. If we have goals, it will give us something reach for.

Goals will only help us if they’re within reach. Just like when you’re running and you say, “I’ll run to that mailbox”, then you reach it and set a further goal, “I can make it to that light post”. We need to break our writing down into reasonable goals. When writing your goals, make sure they are SMART.

S – Specific. A goal isn’t going to do you any good if you don’t know for sure what the goal is.

M – Measurable. If you can’t measure your goal, there is no way to see if you are achieving it.

A – Attainable. It has to be realistic. If you say you’re going to write a 125,000 word high fantasy novel in one week, you’re going to be disappointed.

R – Relevant. If your goal isn’t relevant to what you’re working on, it’s not going to do you any good.

T – Time-stamped. Give yourself an ending point of when you want your goal completed.

An example of a SMART goal would be: I’m going to write *500 words/day M-F on my NA paranormal novel.

It’s specific- you state exactly what you want to do.

It’s measurable- you can track those 500 words.

It’s attainable- *this would be attainable if this were a comfortable amount for you to complete. If the most you know you’ll have time for each day is 250, then 500 wouldn’t be attainable.

It’s relevant- it’s a goal that is getting you closer to your ultimate goal of finishing your novel and getting published.

It’s time-stamped- not only are you going to write 500 words, but you’re going to do it M-F

What SMART goals are you going to set?

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