We continue with our discussion of New Year’s Resolutions:
Do you have any tips for keeping true to your goals?
To keep true to your goals, really believe they are possible and work toward achieving them. Look for those moments that seem inspired by the universe, and use these moments to help launch your goal achievement forward. Don’t just expect things to land in your lap. Make a plan, and use it to move forward in life.—P. J. Hoover, author of the middle grade science fiction novel, THE EMERALD TABLET.
I think one sometimes overlooked element here is knowing what you really want and being realistic about what is required to get it. A lot of people “want” to be writers or to have a published book, but they don’t actually want to spend much time writing. In that case, a goal isn’t going to do much good, I don’t think, unless that goal is more process-oriented, such as, “spend an hour a day writing” or “come up with a book project that I enjoy so much, I don’t want to do anything else.”—Joni Sensel, author of THE FARWALKER’S QUEST and other middle-grade and YA fantasies.
Joni makes a good point. This also brings up the difference between goals and tasks. A goal is a big step, like, “Become a published writer” or “Make over $20,000 by writing this year.” Tasks are the small, specific steps you need to take to get there. Even if you complete every task successfully, you may not reach the goal because some aspects are out of your control. Still, if you have a goal, you’ll have a much better chance of reaching it if you identify the intermediary tasks. They can also act as a reality check. For example, let’s say you’re a beginning writer who wants to sell a book manuscript this year. The first step might be to research what it takes to be published. You might learn that most writers have to spend several thousand hours studying and practicing before they get published. You realize that to study and practice writing for 2000 hours, you would have to work 40 hours a week for a year. You can’t do that. Maybe you bump back your goal of selling a book to five years and set a new goal of having two or three short stories ready for submission by the end of the year. Your tasks could be to spend five hours a week on writing, read a different children’s magazine every week, and take a summer writing class.—Chris Eboch, author of the middle grade HAUNTED series about kids who travel with a ghost hunter TV show.
The group was pretty quiet on this one, so Readers, help us out. Do you have any ideas?
Tomorrow: We wrap up with How do you celebrate success? What happens when you fail to achieve the goal?