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:~: Friday, January 05, 2007 :~:

One Last (Well, Maybe) Word on Goals

I'm reading What Do You Really Want (a book on goal-setting for teenagers) by Beverly K. Bachel.

Earlier this week, I'd talked with my friend about her goals. She's very detailed, keeping a list of goals to meet and then checking them off at the end of the year before making a list for the coming year.

Me? Not so much.

I have goals. I know what I'm working toward, but I've learned that if I try the "two pages per day" or "sixty pages a month" or something like that, it doesn't work for me. I have no clue why, because I can lay out a unit plan and make it work down to the day. However, simply because I don't have specific daily or weekly goals doesn't mean I don't know where I'm going.

Are you goal-challenged? I thought I'd share some of the points I picked up from Bachel's book (and may add others in later Friday posts).

First, Bachel shares three myths about goals:

Myth #1: Who needs goals? I'll be fine without them.

R-ight. Do we really set out to write one page? No. It's a book. It's a focus. As writers, we especially need that focus (even if we don't break it down into words per day goals, LOL).

Myth #2: I have to wait 'til January 1 to set goals.

Nope. I actually find myself setting goals according to when I finish a book. I set a goal to have the next one finished (we won't discuss how far off I was on MOU, 'kay?), and I work toward that. I've set promo goals for myself (now, those I did have to break down by day, simply because the whole concept of promotion was so overwhelming to me).

Myth #3: I have to do it all by myself.

Yeah. Right. I have a whole list of people who've helped me meet my writing goals. Some of them aren't in my life anymore -- my former writing cohort Jen who grew beyond the writing we were doing. Others are here on a daily basis. I wouldn't have accomplished much without them.

Bachel advocates setting SMART goals and offers this advice. She says goals need to be:

SAVVY: easy to understand and use
MEASURABLE: specific about the outcome
ACTIVE: clear about the action I need to take
REACHABLE: within my reach
TIMED: complete with specific deadlines
This weekend, I'm looking at my promotional and writing goals and reworking them as SMART goals.
How do you work on goal-setting? How do you make SMART goals?



Blogger Joan Swan said...

Interesting little twist on viewing goals.

I don't use SMART goals per-se. But I end up employing those concepts.

I'm more of an overview goal maker...I don't do the pages per day thing. Mine are a little more flexible, maleable to fit my life (which is stressful enough without adding strict self-imposed deadlines and goals to it).

Generally, I meet my goals. If I don't, it's usually because that goal doesn't matter to me anymore, my focus or wants and needs have changed, not because I quit or gave up or didn't know where I was going because my goals weren't clear.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

I don't do daily or even weekly page goals. I don't write goals down, per se...I simply have them with me in my head all the time. Maybe a part of it has to do with teaching...after nine years of regulations, strict lesson plans and doing everything "by the bell", I think I've detoured the other direction and purposely gone for an unstructured life. I'm terrible about writing down appointments and that's come back to bite me in the ass a time or two.

For my RWA chapter, I'm in charge of keeping track of the monthly goals (we do a small goal-setting thing before each meeting) and generally, I make my goal although I rarely remember what goal I set from one meeting to the next.

Your post has me thinking though. Tonight I'm going to sit down and list out some very specific things I want to accomplish this year related to writing - things I can control.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Linda Winfree said...

J, I can't do strict goals, either. I chafe at them. I think of using SMART goals as more of a way to help me manage the tons of things going on in my life.

Oh, E, I can't do the daily/weekly goals. I've tried, exactly twice. Doesn't work for me. But I do have to have a working TTD list and I tie my goals into that. It's the only way I can keep track of what I'm supposed to be doing!

I actually think teaching and unit planning have made me a better goal-meeter (is that a word, LOL?). I know that sounds weird, but I find myself with a mental calendar in my head all the time and fitting our curriculum to it. Now I have two calendars up there -- a teacher's calendar and a writer's calendar.

Maybe I'm too visual for my own good, LOL.

7:53 AM  

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