One of the things you learn about participating in National Novel Writing Month is whether having a deadline and a ridiculous goal works for you. It apparently works for me in the right situations. Of course, there is more to achievement than setting a goal and a deadline. Every year people make resolutions on January first, many ones that are vague or unrealistic, like “this year I will be thin” or “this year I will become a rock star”.
Setting goals is all about specifics. Measurable things, like writing 50,000 words. With a timeline, like 30 days. That’s why Nanowrimo works for so many people. It is a marathon effort with a beginning and an end.
So I have made myself a deadline of Dragoncon, which is labor day weekend. That’s step one. The next step is- what do I want to focus on achieving? There is so much going onin my life- my kids and husband, my career, my writing aspirations, my health and my security. Having Dragoncon be the deadline helps me use it as a theme- Dragoncon is a four day event of absolute geeky wonder and silliness, full of costumes, friends, celebrities and a sharing of the books, movies and shows we love.
Here’s what I have set:
- Earn $1,000 in writing money to pay for the trip. (The most I have ever earned for writing in one year is $70)
- Fit into the waist cinch I bought for myself at the 2011 Dragoncon (This means losing some belly fat)
- The ability to relax and not worry on the trip (this means having a happy, healthy family and a functional team at work) Yes, this one is a bit vague and I need to clarify it.
Setting goals is not a “fix it and forget it” thing. You set the goals and then set minigoals, actions, and smaller deadlines. You evaluate your progress and make adjustments. I have other goals for work and for friends (there’s a wedding this year in June that will have goals attached to it!).
Tell me about your goals! Sharing goals is a good way to make yourself accountable.