There’s nothing like the adrenalin rush from setting a goal. Yes, I believe in goals. And the reason is this: goals give me direction and a finish line to strive for. Early in life, my Mom taught me that merely wanting something was not enough. It is critical to plan, and have a process in place to achieve goals.
November has ushered in the much awaited National Novel Writing Month. You know it is my fourth year participating in this grand venture. Yes, I have drafts sitting around. This November, I have set myself writing goals with more focus. Also, I am being blackmailed by a couple of friends who keep asking “What happened to your book?”
Along with this lovely task – writing – I must juggle my rather full routine so I can cruise past the finish line.
Let me show you how I am tackling the NaNoWriMo this year!
The goal is to write at least 50000 words of a book’s first draft in 30 days. Now obviously I am not going to be able to do that overnight. So here is what I’ve done:
Goal: 50,000 words in 30 days. Intimidating!
12500 words per week (7 days) Slightly better.
1667 words per day – that’s doable!
See what I just did?
I just split my goal into do-able bits. Short term goals that serve as stepping stones to my long term goals.
My focus now, is to make those 1667 words happen every day. And when I do that, that’s how I’ll make sure my daily goals support my weekly goals, which in turn support the month’s goals, enabling me successfully finish what I set out to do.
After that, I have a tentative plan in place with time frames to edit, polish, fine tune and dress my draft, taking it closer to its appointment with a publisher.
I’ve set aside a time to write every day and am trying my best-est to stick to it. It is one of the three must-do items on my list every day for November. A non-negotiable. On November 30, I’ll have a lot more than 50000 words, hopefully.
As of today, Day 3, I am very much on the schedule, with a little extra. Oh, I love the extras!
So my trick is this: focus on the daily activities that steadily lead me to my finish line. It goes without saying that I prioritize and shut out the noise that keeps me from doing what I have to do. Social media, I am looking at you!
I now have a specific and measurable goal in place and a realistic plan to follow, with a deadline to reach. Along the way, I have mini-goals so that I can track my progress, review and take action to put myself back on track where necessary.
Of course I am going to be distracted – I have a backup plan for those lapses.
I also have some rewards in place to motivate me. As I approach each milestone, I must pat myself on the back, right?
I am a woman on a mission.
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