Thursday, July 26, 2012

Goal Setting

My day planner, as I think I have mentioned before, has insight from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.   Though I don't always, I happened to read the hint for today which is based on Habit 2:  Begin With the End In Mind.  Covey says (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, pages 135-137):

"Many people jump from goal setting to execution.  However, to achieve a goal, you must first define and then master the specific activities, tasks, behaviors, and events required to reach the goal.  It is also helpful to clearly define how you will measure success and to proactively think through possible barriers to your success and mitigate them."

This was like a lightbulb for me this morning, a major "duh" moment.  So often, I think we set our goals, do our best (or not) to achieve them but really give little consideration to how to go about it specifically or how to fight through or prevent any road blocks.  At least, I know that I don't do so.  If there is something I want to accomplish, whether it be writing or work related, I often set it as a goal but do not really set up my environment and day-to-day life to foster the completion of the goal. 

I'd love to hear any strategies you use to help yourself be successful in goal completion in your life, writing or otherwise.  Thanks, in advance, for your insight.


  1. Hi Karin,

    Great topic! I find that when writing up my goals I need to write steps along with what will help me achieve my goals. Such as, GOAL: write for educator publishers. STEPS:

    Give myself a self-imposed deadline.

    Research educator publishers through Book Markets for Children's Writers

    Cross reference info to their website

    Create unique cover letter and follow their submission guidelines, and of course mail out.

    Move on to the next publisher and keep going until mail out at least 5 submission packets.

    All the best,

  2. Great advice, Donna! Thanks so much for sharing and stopping by.


  3. Hi Karin,

    Being the analyst that I am I tend to break goals (e.g., Meet contest deadline) down into measurable tasks (e.g.,
    1) read contest guidelines,
    2) decide on a topic of interest that meets requirements--general theme, age, gender, etc.,
    3) working backward from due date determine when manuscript needs to be complete,
    4) decide if critique is desired and factor into schedule,
    5) assess if research might be required and factor into schedule,
    5) determine when first draft should be complete,
    6) determine number of words/pages that must be written each day,
    7) outline or start writing, whichever you prefer.

    I don't always follow this approach but when I don't I tend not to be as successful and flounder and experience a lot of frustration.

  4. You are so right, Patricia! Detailed and measurable steps are necessary and have been very lacking for me as of late. I appreciate your response and sharing what works for you.