It’s easy to dismiss making resolutions especially if, like me, you forget or neglect them by February 15. But setting your writing goals for the upcoming year is different than your typical New Year’s resolution. Writing goals are meant to give you a blueprint for getting those words on paper, developing a platform, and deepening your writing relationships.
Here are 6 steps for setting writing goals you’ll actually keep in 2018:
Steps No. 1: Establish the types of goals you want to establish.
Start by thinking of different categories of goals. Maybe you want to publish a certain number of articles, earn a certain amount of money, develop a certain number of subscribers, build a certain number of writing relationships.
Step No. 2: Within each type of goal, establish 3 levels of accomplishment.
I like to use the FAR method to think about far reaching goals. The acronym stands for Foundational, Awesome, and Ridiculous.
If you’re establishing your far-reaching goals for publishing a certain number of articles in the upcoming year, establish 3 goals.
If you hit your Foundational number—say 20—you’ll be on track for your basic goal and be content with hitting that number.
If you hit your Awesome number—say 35—this is when something unexpected and delightful takes place and surprises you.
If you hit your Ridiculous number—say 50—this is when the miraculous happens. You couldn’t have planned for it—maybe you become a regular contributor at a publication—and you more than double your foundational number.
Step No. 3: Review your goals with writing friends who are with you and for you.
If you haven’t developed writing friends, that should be one of your top goals for the upcoming year. Find people who you can talk through your goals with so you say them aloud and ask for honest feedback. Sometimes in this process, you’ll need to reflect honestly about what you accomplished in the previous year. Your goals may need to be adjusted accordingly.
You may even want to exchange your goals with your closest writing friends for encouragement and accountability throughout the year.
Step No. 4: Print out your goals and place them in a frame on your desk.
If your goals are in front of you each day, you’ll be far more likely to accomplish them.
Step No. 5: Schedule regular reviews of your goals.
Set a reminder on your calendar every other month to review your goals. Which are you accomplishing? Which are you neglecting? Which do you need to focus more time and energy to accomplishing? Every two to three months place a reminder on your calendar to evaluate.
Step No. 6: Plan a year-end review.
At the end of the year, review your goals and accomplishments. Plan a celebration for all the foundational goals you met and those that exceeded your expectations. Lay out your goals for the following year and let’s see your name in print and online in ridiculous places.
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