Did 2013 sneak up on y’all too? It seems like just a short while ago it was summertime, and now we’re taking down holiday decorations, nursing hangovers, and thinking about how to make this year even more spectacular than the last. However tempting it may be to craft a huge list of New Year’s Resolutions please don’t do it. Or at least not in the way most people usually do.
For writers, it might go somewhat like this: I’m going to get an agent! I’m going to get published! I’m going to quit my job to write full-time! I’m going to lose 100 pounds! (okay, so maybe that’s just me).
There’s a reason why we fall out of love with our goals by the beginning of February, and it’s not for lack of will or desire or good intentions. It’s because they’re too vague.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (writer, poet, aviator) has a quote that I refer to often: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Meaning that without taking concrete steps to put your plan into action, you might as well keep daydreaming. I’m not down on fantasy–believe me, my imaginary life is amazing–but if I want fantasy to become reality, I know that there’s real work involved. That’s where SMART goals come in.
In addition to making sure your goals meet the above criteria, you might find it helpful to break them up into short-term (complete in less than three months), intermediate-term (complete in three to six months), and long-term (complete in a year or more) categories. That helps me keep the impending, overwhelming sense of doom at bay.
So keep dreaming big and having faith. All that’s left to do is back it up with action. Happy New Year!