APRIL 16, 2019

How to Set Writing Goals You’ll Achieve

You’re a writer, so you’re blessed with the ability to dream big and put those dreams and ideas down on paper. But, if you’re accustomed to dreaming big, you might have a hard time setting goals you’ll be able to realistically achieve. If this is the case, know that you’re not alone. We’ve all been there.

As writers, it’s often a challenge to will our creativity to manifest itself on-demand. However, we also have to keep ourselves on track to be able to complete our projects before we lose inspiration or miss a deadline. Fortunately, several techniques have been developed on the topic of achieving goals. In this article, we’ll go over some of them and tell you how they can help you to finally stay on-track and complete your writing projects.

1| Get SMART

A popular mnemonic device for goal-setting writers is, “SMART,” which stands for “specific, measurable, attainable, recorded, and time-bound.” The easiest way of setting writing goals is to identify…

Specific goals that are easy to describe and check off on a list.

Measurable goals that have a clear finish line, so you know when you’re done.

Attainable goals that are achievable within the bounds of your time, resources, energy, etc.

Recorded goals that end up on your to-do list, so you and you alone are accountable.

Time-bound goals that have a due date and are worked on during dedicated times.

2| Make it visual

We find that writing out your writing goals is helpful, especially if it’s in a visual format so you can see what comes first, second, and so on. White boards, sticky note boards, and cork boards are great for this, but make sure to put it somewhere that doesn’t obstruct work time and distract you.

3| Assemble a toolkit

To keep track of your goals and make them time-bound, you’ll need a project management tool for due dates and details. We like Trello because it’s free and offers many user-friendly features within a clean, modern interface.

Tasks live on “cards” within “lists,” and within each card, there are lots of features and fields to keep you organized and on-track, such as due dates, attachments, labels, checklists, status, reminders, and more.

4| Set boundaries—in addition to goals

It might seem counter-intuitive, but defining boundaries is even more important than setting writing goals. Decide when and where you’re able to work, and when you’ve met a boundary, walk away from your writing. Of course, you should carry a journal to keep track of ideas as they pop into your head, but when you have clear boundaries set, you’ll be more motivated to get stuff done when it’s time to work.

5| Establish a self-reward system

It’s amazing how fast a puppy will pick up on a new trick when there is a treat involved. Humans are not that different, so make sure to reward yourself when you reach even the smallest of goals. Maybe you get a dish of your favorite frozen yogurt for every five blogs you write, or get a guilt-free movie night after finishing a chapter. Writing-related rewards are great, too! Think a custom Moleskine notebook or a cool ergonomic mouse!

Need a little help setting writing goals? Want a partner to help you reach them? Our mentors will work one-on-one with you to set a writing roadmap and find ways to get you exactly where you want to be. Contact us online today!