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Monday, January 2, 2012

Goal Setting

Can you believe it's 2012 already? What a great opportunity we have. A new year, a new beginning. Here's a chance to start something new and a chance to do what didn't get done last year.
Like many people, I make resolutions at the beginning of a year and, also like many people, my resolve wanes after a few weeks or months. I heard a speaker on television last week talk about ways to help follow through on goals. One of the ways was to write them down. He also mentioned making smart goals. Not brilliant smart, but SMART. I thought, holy cow, I know what that means. For many years, I was a trainer of Girl Scout leaders and an instructor of trainers. In my own training, I learned SMART is an acronym for:
Here's an example. People say they want to write a book. Good idea but not a SMART goal. To change this into one would be: "I will write a contemporary romance by the end of 2012." It is specific (a contemporary romance), measurable (a completed manuscript), relevant (if you're a writer), and time-related (by the end of 2012). The last criteria, is it attainable, can be a little tricky. Can a person complete a novel in a year? If you write one page a day every day, you would have a 365 page manuscript (over 90,000 words). That's a good-size book.
Two posts ago, I wrote about the camera I received as a Christmas gift and how it led to my photography hobby. I need to do something with all the photos I've taken. Somehow, I've gone from religiously putting well-labeled photos into albums to storing them in shoeboxes. I didn't get a digital camera until 2009 (I know, I was woefully behind the times). With a regular camera, I always took several shots of the same scene/group of people in case one didn't turn out. When it came time to develop the roll of film, I usually got double prints to share photos with family. Needless to say, I have LOTs of photos.
So, one of my goals for 2012 is to do something with all those pictures. Here's my SMART goal:
I will put all my photos into albums by the end of this year.
Wow. That is a daunting task. I think my last album is for photos taken in 2001. Not only do I have shoeboxes full of photos, I have hundreds of digital photos, too.
Sadly, my normal reaction when facing a task of what I consider overwhelming proportions is to play ostrich. I ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist. Breaking down a big goal into manageable (less daunting) ones can make achieving that goal possible. So, I'm also making a plan of action.
 1. By 1/31/12, I will sort my photos into save or toss. (OMG, throw away photos? Maybe another goal should be to give myself permission to throw away—and/or delete—duplicates and just plain lousy pictures.)
 2. By 2/28/12, I will sort my photos according to the year taken. (Because I'm such a linear thinker this method works for me.)
 3. Each month from March through December, I will put photos from one year into an album.
This whole task will probably tie up the dining room table for the entire year but, hey, maybe I'll get on a roll and finish early.
When I first joined my writing group (the Mid-Michigan chapter of Romance Writers of America), Nancy Gideon was often the program speaker for our January meetings. She did a great motivational talk on setting goals for the year, concluding with instructions to write down three things we wanted to accomplish that year.
By writing down my goals, I make them more "real". I'm a list maker and a checker-offer. Many people can mentally make goals and keep them. Not me. My intentions are always good. Follow through is more difficult. Keeping my written goals in front of me—like taping the list at eye-level next to my computer—will help.
Now, on to writing the rest of my goals for this year: organize my office, clean the basement, increase my readership, publish the sequel to Switched...
Hang on. I think my first SMART goal should be: By January 4th, I will write my goals for 2012 along with a plan of action for each.
I hope by sharing one of my goals here I will encourage you to make and keep your goals for 2012.

On Friday, January 6th, I'll be Margo Hoornstra's guest on her blog. I hope you'll stop by.


  1. Recently returned from a self-imposed bookstore tour, I actually only visited a few in Vero Beach; but I did find a list of distributors (on the web) for self-launched authors, so I sent them all a copy of my book with instructions on buying it wholesale.

    My goals include:

    Finding out how much CreateSpace has done to distribute my book.

    Contacting Michigan papers with my 5-star review.

    Sending Michigan bookstores my review.

    Contacting Senior facilities to find:
    a. their librarian
    b. their pastor
    c. their activities director

    (in order to promote and possibly discuss my book)

    Send two inspirationals, one contemporary and one historical to contests.

    Maybe write a blog about his and her children of married couples who have previously been divorced from other people.

    Contact my computer person to find out:
    How to load a picture to Linkedin
    How to start a discussion on Linkedin
    How to change a picture on my website
    how to blog on my website (Florence is probably listening.)

    Rohn Federbush, author of "Salome's Conversion"

  2. Wow, Rohn. Good luck with those goals. Also, congrats on your great review.

  3. Thanks for the wisdom, Diane. I hope you accomplish that photo goal. It's been one of mine too. Not done yet.

    All the best, Annette

  4. Great post, Diane! I'm setting writing goals for this year too. This is a great way to accomplish goals!

  5. I like the way you have a large goal and break it down into smaller, achievable chunks. I'm going to have to do that in order to achieve some of my bigger goals - like losing weight and clearing out the basement! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks, Annette, Jennifer, & Patricia. Good luck with those goals. Patty, you just named 2 of my other goals. LOL


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