Specific, Measurable Goals
Happy New Year! Are your resolutions or goals gaining momentum for achievement?
During the weekend, I took my pen and paper planner and copied several pages on the printer. The pages list the words: goal, steps, due, project planning, and notes.
A fancy planner is not necessary for what I’m about to share. If you have a pad of paper, preferably letter-sized, it will be sufficient. To begin, take a few pages and write GOAL at the top of each page. One page is used for each one of your goals.
I’ll share one of my writing goals for the month as an example.
For the word goal, I stated, “Write 1 article per day, every day, for 31 articles by the end of the month.”
For the word steps, I wrote:
- Write something, no matter what, every day.
- Keep a list of articles written and submitted.
- It’s okay if the writing doesn’t work, at first. No one needs to see it until it’s edited.
For the word due, I wrote the start date of January 1 and the deadline of January 31. I also wrote the budget for this project costs nothing. I have plenty of pens, paper, and my laptop at home.
Under the term project planning, I wrote another series of steps, which reinforced what I wrote under goals. These are:
Write something — ANYTHING — every day as a starting point.
I like this step because it includes action and momentum to move forward.
Keep a pen and paper handy to capture ideas.
The pad of paper I mentioned earlier is the item I keep next to my laptop, throughout the day. There are times when I’m in the middle of working and an idea comes to mind, often at an inconvenient time. I scribble a few sentences and get back to work.
I also love the pad of paper. I use it when looking up various publications on Medium and want to take a few notes. I’ll write down which sites are active or which sites have not published recent items.
I transfer this information to notes on my laptop, then toss the pages. Decluttering is another goal for the new year!
Have the faith to submit stories to publications.
This step is a bit trickier and takes a certain amount of judgment. There are moments when intuition kicks in and indicates an article needs further revision.
Sometimes after editing, I’ll find a sentence where a word I’ve chosen is not the exact one I want. I’ll then save the article and turn to another activity for an hour or two. When I come back to what I’ve written with a fresh perspective, the word I want becomes clear.
Rotate submissions between publications to remain marketable.
I love writing on Medium and enjoy its wealth of publications. I have chosen to submit to various publications as not all writing fits with the theme or vibe of a particular publication.
It’s worth researching and reading several articles from a publication to see if your work would fit, needs to be revised, or needs to be submitted elsewhere. Reviewing the submission guidelines for each publication is helpful. I pay attention to the types of articles accepted and word length.
When submitting, it’s assumed that work is edited, spell-checked, proofread, and polished. If you’re writing late at night, sometimes it’s worth waiting until the morning before submitting. I’ve caught several mistakes after a good night of sleep.
It’s worthwhile to set goals with steps that are specific, measurable, and achievable. “I’d like to write,” or “I’d like to write several articles,” are more wish-centered than pinpoint-focused.
Taking the time to consider and write down specific steps will reveal your thoughts. It may suggest a course of action you’d like to take.