New Year, New Writing Goals

Champagne glasses with liquid and raspberries splashing

Toast to Your Successes

Wait! Are they actually new?

The first thing you should do before making new writing goals for 2014 is look back at your list from 2013 to see how you did.

Why? Because you may be surprised how much you accomplished. Yippee! Do more of that in 2014. 😀

If the opposite is true and you find that the previous year was just a black hole of time-sucking nothingness, you immediately know you need to set more practical goals for 2014.

Maybe last year’s goals were too big in scope, or you put too much on your plate for one person to accomplish. With this in mind, you can now form a list of goals for 2014 that avoids those issues.

I always say “Dream Big, but think small.” As in, small steps to achieve a larger goal.

A popular annual goal for many writers is “Write a new book.” But you can’t just put that on your list and expect to check it off next week. And if you don’t finish the book, what then? You’ll feel horrible for not having met your goal for the year. A whole year wasted? Not so fast…

Instead break that humongous goal up into small steps. After each step, celebrate the accomplishment. Because little steps add up!

I have three major writing projects I would ideally like to get done this year. So, yesterday I sat down and looked at the deadlines for each. Then I took the expected word count and calculated how many words I need to to write per day based on how much time I have before the deadline. Now I have smaller goals to put on my 2014 list. Daily and/or weekly goals I can track and put a big ol’ check mark next to when they’re done.

500 words, 1000 words, or 1500 words a day or 1 chapter per week of revisions are small, doable goals. Focusing on these, I know I’ll accomplish something by the end of the year. And it’s much less stressful to sit down at the computer each morning and think, “1000 words,” rather than “I have to finish the book.” Talk about intimidating! 🙂

So, make goals, make lists, but break the bigger things down into steps that you can act on in a short time frame so you become empowered by that sense of achievement.

Remember that every little success is another step closer to your bigger goal.