Mental Health Monday–Goal Setting How-to’s

The new year is fast approaching, as is the ole New Year’s Resolution list. We writers can use this time as an opportunity to plot out (haha, like the pun?) our writing plans for 2011.

But how does one determine which goals to set?

Generally, goals need certain qualities. (See picture below.)

(Pic from

A goal needs to be SPECIFIC. Saying, “I want to write a novel” is much different from saying, “I will write 1000 words a day for 60 days and have a 60,000 word novel done in two months.”

A goal needs to be measureable. Saying, “I want to write blog posts more regularly” is intangible. Consider phrasing it as thus: “I will write and post three blog posts a week.”

A goal needs to be attainable. Saying, “I will write a novel a week for 52 weeks” would be unattainable for most. Committing to writing 500 words a day may be more feasible. This number could be lower or higher, depending on your schedule.

A goal needs to be relevant. Saying, “I will write X” when your topic is Y will not get you nearer to your goal.

A goal needs to be time-bound. Saying, “I will write a novel” without detailing an endpoint will not motivate you to get something done. Saying instead, “I will write a novel and finish it wihtin three months” is a much more concrete and useful method.

Follow these easy steps and you’ll be well on your way to developing goals!


Be sure to check out Lydia’s post on Medical Monday!

10 comments on “Mental Health Monday–Goal Setting How-to’s

  1. Lynn Rush says:

    WRITE ON! Great advice on goal setting! So many times people set goals too high, don’t reach them, then become upset by that.

    😦 Thanks for this!

  2. Ciara Knight says:

    Great advice! I’m setting a goal for learning. I’m going to complete an upper level course. I think. LOL Okay, non-committal. It’s more a money thing. 🙂

  3. Excellent post on making resolutions that will stand up to the rigors of implementation. Thank you for sharing! Blessings to you, Laura…

  4. Le sigh. I need to work on goals. Sometimes I even forget to give my characters SMART goals. “-}

  5. Great post and I hope you don’t mind, I’m going to send a link to my local rwa gals. I think they’d love this. We set our goals in the last meeting, and I’ve already forgotten them. If they’re not posted above my computer, I don’t even think about them again!!!

  6. Harry says:

    Great post.

    You may want to check out, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. It’s clear, focused, easy to navigate, worth a try.

  7. lbdiamond says:

    Lynn–great point–you can have a big long-term goal, but it’s helpful to have a lot of little goals along the way to see progress.

    Ciara–good luck!

    Carol Ann–thanks!

    Deb–LOL! I forget my characters goals too, haha. Good thing I have notes.

    Rachel–Thank you!

    Harry–thanks for stopping by.

  8. Kerri says:

    Oh I love this! Yes I should think about goals for next year. Almost 2011 and tis the season for planning ahead! Happy New Year everyone!

  9. […] week, I featured two posts on goals. One focused on how to’s and the other focused on my approach to goals. Today, I’ll actually share my list of writing […]

  10. I was trying to find a time tracking device that I could integrate with patient care and charting. Something like an app that I could put on the computer which might have the following right click markers that could be integrated with the computer clock:
    1) Beginning to look at patient record.
    2) Calling patient
    3) Patient leaves the office
    4) Finishing note

    I am here via, of course, Google.

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