Sunday, February 17, 2008


This is the first year I’ve ever made goals. Oh sure, every New Years I make them in my head. You now, the usual I’m-going-to-exercise-everyday and the I’m-going-to-lose-50-lbs-in-two-weeks goals. Those crazy, unattainable goals for which we set ourselves up for obvious failure.

This year I set writing goals.

Setting writing goals is nothing new either. I’d always set them in my head, which was one problem because they’re easily forgotten up there. (Hey, it’s a crowded place up there, in my head.) And because they’re easily forgotten, they aren’t measurable. You can’t really go back six months from now and evaluate your progress if you don’t remember exactly what you’d set out to do six months or a year ago.

Another problem was that my goals were always beyond my control. For example, one of my goals was to be on the New York Times bestseller list. Attainable? Well…maybe one day. Who knows? Within my power to attain? Not a chance. I have no control over this. I can work hard, submit, promote like crazy, but what I cannot control is my sales. So being on the NYT bestseller list is unattainable. A goal that sets myself up for failure.

Do you follow where I’m going with this? Goals have to be something you can control.

One of my goals which I wrote down this year is to increase my readership. Well, this isn’t a goal either. Why? Because I don’t have control over it. If I tweak this a big and instead write down the ways I can increase my readership, such as going to RT this year, writing a newsletter, writing more books, blogging more, advertising more, these things become my goals. I can control all these things. Increasing my readership becomes the product of my goals.

Goals can be made to wrk for you. Write them down so you can revisit and revise them as needed. Make them attainable by making them within your control.

And don’t forget to eat lots of chocolate for inspiration.

Thanks for reading.

~ Nancy