Friday, January 21, 2011

Worthless Resolutions, Achievable Goals

Ah, yes, the dreaded New Year’s resolution. How many did you make this year?

OK, I admit it. I used to be one of those folks who created a list of New Year’s resolutions. But failing year after year was no fun. Many of those goals didn’t make it past the first week of the new year.

Several years ago when I began writing again, my strategy changed.  After hearing (or reading) many writers advise focusing on achievable goals, I decided to move in that direction. While goals are great, setting yourself up for failure is not. Being realistic about “resolutions” while having at least one BHAG (big, hairy audacious goal) can set you up to succeed.

Now, each year I review how I did with last year’s goals. The major goal from last year: begin to write something every day. You have to know me to understand how difficult I made this for myself. Many writers tell you to find even 15 minutes to write every day and you can finish a novel in a year.

I allowed distractions to dictate my writing life. Instead of utilizing fifteen minutes when I had it available, I chose to dabble in other things (translation: reading blogs, Facebook, Twitter). While those things are all great, I learned they needed to take a backseat behind my primary goal of writing daily.

The good news? In October I set a monthly goal of 25,000 words. I’m a little organizationally anal, so I need to set up a daily word count and track it, so I can monitor progress. And it worked. I not only hit 25,000 words in October, but also in November and December. I’ve almost surpassed that total for January.

Achievable goals. If I can do it, so can you. So start today and you’ll find confidence you lacked, and the opportunity to build upon them. Bigger and better things await you in 2011.

Oh, and my BHAG for this year? Connect with an agent or editor who believes in my work.

Until next time,


  1. Mind if I steal your resolution of writing something every day?

  2. Not at all, Debbie. There's room onboard that boat for everyone!

  3. Let me know how I can help connect you with an agent, Kirk.

  4. I think that is a goal I will make for myself! Thanks Kirk. Your progress is very encouraging!