Monday, October 1, 2012

Got Goals?

I don't focus on what I'm up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.
~ Venus Williams

What keeps me going is goals.
~ Muhammad Ali

Well, it’s a new week and a new month!

And that means I’ll take some time out today to write down some go-getting goals.

Yeah, I’m one of those crazy New Year’s resolution folks, as well. And frankly, I do not care that those same 5 pounds have shown up on the list every year since 1993 – dang it, it just feels good to take time out once a year to imagine them Some. Where. Else.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure that I get a heck of a lot more writing done when I put my goals on paper.

And I’m in good company…

Dr. Gail Matthews of Dominican University of California found that those who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not. For those who also shared their goals with a friend, achievement went up even more.

Then there’s Dr. Dave Kohl from Virginia Tech who found that goal-writers earn 9 times more over their lifetimes than the folks who did not. Cha-CHING!

But you don’t really need to look at the research to realize the POWER of writing down goals.

You only need to look at a cat –
(Typical Cat Desk)

It’s a pretty well-known fact that cats DO NOT write down their goals.

So here’s the same cat 10 YEARS later –


Same messy desk…

And you can bet his novel’s not finished either.

PROMPT: Do you have a writing/art goal for the month?

If you’re not a goal-setter, try it this month for those creative projects you usually just dream about. Keep your dreams BIG, but make the goals you set small, achievable, and deadline-driven.


  1. One of my goals is to age as well as that cat.

    1. Oh no! Maybe premature aging is the little-known ugly downside of writing goals...

  2. My goal is to finishing editing my wip so I can start querying. Great post!

    1. AWESOME! And now that you've shared it, it's as good as done! Thanks for the compliment :)

  3. I am a TOTAL goal-writer-downer (yes, that's the proper way to write that)! I don't do it monthly, though. I write down my writing goals each January-ish, emphasizing what I can control. For example, "Finish manuscript by _____" or "Enter the PNWA contest this year" rather than "Get an awesome agent." I aim high but stay realistic. Then I chip, chip, chip away. :)

    Another great post, Barb!

    1. No wonder you're always so chipper! ;) I love the emphasis on things you can control -- excellent point (Barb says as she erases "Get an awesome agent" from her list).