A few weeks ago in one of my classes, we focused on SMART goals. SMART goals are used to create objectives and goals (obviously…), and while we focused on them in a business sense, I think SMART goals apply to writing as well.
Goals should be specific, they should be measurable, they should be achievable, they should be realistic, and they should have a time frame.
Specific: Goals shouldn’t be vague or general; they should be specific. If your goals are specific, you have a much greater chance of achieving them. For example, don’t say “I want to write everyday”, say “I want to write 500 words everyday”.
Measurable: You should be able to measure how your goals are progressing. Give yourself milestones and self-imposed deadlines. Word count meters are a good way of doing this, and you can watch yourself move forward to achieve your goal.
Achievable: Also known as Attainable. You should have the ability to achieve your goals. The goal shouldn’t be too extreme, such as “I want to write an entire novel in three weeks*”, but should be something you can achieve.
Realistic: I think that this point is similar to the Achievable point. Goals should be realistic in that you can succeed in them. You should be able to work towards it. I’ve also seen this point called Relevant, which states that a goal should be worthwhile.
Time frame: Similar to Measurable, a goal should have a time limit. Having you goal as “I want to write a novel” doesn’t fulfill this criteria. Rather, make your goal “I want to write a novel in six months”. Having a time frame gives you a deadline and something to work towards.
So, for the comments, what are your thoughts? Have you ever heard of SMART goals? Do you use them? Let me know!
* I was going to write “I want to write an entire novel in a month” …but people across the world are doing just that write now. I’ve even heard of some people who have written a novel in three weeks.