Let's Talk About Goals


Let's talk about goals for a minute. It might be a long minute because this is a 714 word blog. But all the same, take a seat and let's chat.

Goals, fam

Goals are important. Goals keep us moving. If anyone ever tells you goals don't matter, or that goals aren't worth anything, tell them that they're silly. But do it nicely, because there's just no reason to be mean.

Why do goals matter? Because if you don't have something to focus on, it gets really hard to make progress. Let's take a look at some simple examples. A goal most people have is to pay their rent/mortgage/lease, etc. You may not sit down and list that as a recurring goal, but it definitely is, unless you really don't want shelter and love being uncomfortable. With that goal in mind, how do we pursue that? You have a job that pays a certain amount. If you didn't have to pay rent, you might consider a different job that can give you more time to do something else you love.

If you are an athlete, your goal is to win. If you run, your goal is the finish line. Would anyone watch professional sports if no one kept score? No. Because we all want to see a goal met. That's why we don't have the National Upward Football League.

So set goals. If you've never been great at setting goals or keeping to them, keep reading.

Set Goals

This post is geared mainly toward writers, but the principles can apply to any field, really. What will your goal be? Is it a certain word count? It's okay to paint broad strokes here. Maybe a yearly word count? Maybe just to write a certain number of days a week. Maybe your goal is to write a certain amount of time each and every day. Figure out what that goal is, and write it down.

Why write it down?

Something almost magical happens when we write things down. It becomes tangible instead of an abstract thought. It becomes approachable. It kind of seals the deal. So write your goal down and keep it visible.

How do you know what to set your goal as? For one, keep it simple. If you've just started writing recently and haven't built up good habits or disciplines yet, don't set out to write 10,000 words a day, because it will be nearly impossible to keep that up, unless you've quit your job to write full time. In which case, I applaud your bravery, best of luck.

Make it simple. Like 200 words a day simple. If and when that proves too easy, double it. Then double that, and so on. But start small. Set yourself up for a big win, not a discouraging defeat. Write for 15 minutes a day. Write for 2 days a week. Whatever that looks like for you, start small. Then reward yourself, and up your game.

Track Your Goals

Now that you've set up your goals, you need to track them. You can do this however you would like, but this is important. You will never be able to know if your goals are too hard or too easy if you never bother to track them.

If you keep a traditional journal or a bullet journal, use that. Or maybe set up a spreadsheet if you're tech-savvy. Perhaps an old-fashioned paper calendar is your best bet. Whatever it takes, keep an eye on your goals know when to simplify or up the stakes.

My next post will have some free resources to help with this, along with (hopefully) a video tutorial, so keep an eye out for that. The important thing is to track what you're doing so that you can reward yourself for big victories and learn from the losses.

This is just a simple primer for attacking goals. My next post will have some specifics about winning with your goals, and a resource to help you track your writing goals. Many of the concepts you've read here have been adapted from a great book on setting goals and finishing strong, called Finish, by Jon Acuff. You can check it out on Amazon, here:

Keep writing and keep owning your goals. Next time, we'll start getting our hands dirty.