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!