Set a Goal You Can’t Miss

Once again for my ROW80 update, I have to report that I fell short of my goals. I’ve seen a lot of this with NaNoWriMo, too. And of course, we hear other people besides writers, having to-do lists and goals they can’t possibly accomplish in the time allotted.

I didn’t think my goals were unreasonable when I initially set them, yet I feel like I worked the past three days on this revision, and I still didn’t quite get through as much as I wanted. I got through Chapters 15 and 16, and almost got Chapter 17 revised – then I found one more scene, one that had been moved from earlier in the chapter. I also ran into a plot point that won’t work the way I wrote it, so I need to come up with something else. And the type-in? Stop laughing.

So this week, I want to set goals the Writers’ Boot Camp way. But the principle doesn’t just apply to writing, we can apply it to any big task. Writers’ Boot Camp is a workshop taught by author and former Army Ranger Todd Stone, and if you’re a writer and have the chance to take it, do it! He may even show up to teach the workshop in a camouflage kilt. 😀

Anyway, he started out the workshop talking about goals. Usually, we’re encouraged to set goals that are attainable, but not necessarily easily. Stone takes the opposite approach: he suggests setting a goal so low, you can’t help but make it! Here were the examples he gave:

Can you write a page a day? If you’re not sure, how about a paragraph? Or even a sentence???

Yes, that small. The thing is, we usually are able to go much further – so we get more done, AND we have that sense of accomplishment in saying Yes! I met my goal!

This could easily be applied to decluttering, getting your house in order, or working on a big project of another sort.

So I am going to set a small goal this week. I just can’t bring myself to say I’ll only revise one page, so I’ll go for that last remaining scene of Chapter 17, and the type-in of Chapter One.

How are you doing on your goals, whatever they may be? Have you ever tried this tactic? How did it work for you?