It’s a new year and if you’re like the majority of the human race you’re planning to set goals for 2010. You have a burning desire to tackle an area where you think you need to improve yourself or your life. You visualize where you want to be in a few months or by the end of the new year or even years down the road. Come midnight on January 1st, you’re totally focused. Your jaw is set and you’re determined to meet those goals until ...da, da, da! …your first set back.

If your goal is to get up earlier, the set back will be the morning you oversleep. If your goal is to lose weight, your set back will be the first cheeseburger or candy bar you’ll gobble up. If your goal is to write every day, the setback will be the day life took over and you didn’t have a minute to boot up your computer or grab a pad and pen.

It’s important to keep in mind when working towards your goals that there will be setbacks. As sure as the sun will rise in the east, there will be setbacks. They happen. How you handle them will determine if you will make your goals.
Like a cowboy who gets thrown off his horse, you need to get off your butt, dust yourself off and get right back in the saddle. Like a ball player who gets thrown a third curve for a strike out, you need to shrug off the disappointment, study the pitcher and stand up to him again. Like the chef whose cake falls, you need to start over. I could go on with the analogies, but you get the picture.

Hints for making your goals for 2010.

1) Make your goals reasonable. Something you can control. And be specific.
Ie: (Non-writing related) I want to lose twenty pounds in 2010. (Writing related) I want to write my next book- 375 pages.

2) Write the goals down. Yes you can have more than one. Excelling at one might help your determination to do better at achieving the other. Post the goals where you will see them every day.

3) Break the goal or goals into manageable bits.
Ie: (NWR) I want to lose five pounds by March. Five more by June and the final ten by the November 1st. (WR) I will write 10 pages a week.

4) If you’re the type of person who needs to report to someone, an accountability partner, find one and set up a schedule to report. IMPORTANT NOTE: Keep in mind there will be weeks, maybe several in a row, when you are the one having trouble making your goal. Remember that cheeseburger. It’s okay. There will be weeks when you will shine.

5) Don’t get depressed when a mini-step toward the goal is not met on time. Life happens. Computers crash. Kids get sick. Husbands come home with candy hearts. Enjoy life. A happy person is more productive.

6) Mondays are the first day of the week for many of us, probably because of the business world, and the day of the week we seem to be most productive. It’s a mind thing. If you have more time to exercise or write on the weekend, try thinking of Saturday as being your first day of the week. Make a calendar labeling Saturday as the first day of the week if that will help you. Again, it’s a mind thing.

7) For the most part, we know our schedules for the week. Plan the minutes or hours you’ll work toward your goal out.

8) Make a list of things that have stopped you from making your goal in the past. Post that list too and don’t go there. Ie: Television, email, over volunteering, buying junk food, over stocking the pantry.

9) Remember the old adage. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

10) Remember this saying: Just do it. It says it all.

I hope my list will help you make your goals in 2010.


  1. Skhye // December 29, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

    I don't wanna go there. But feces happens. :) Nice post. I wanted to lose 20 pounds last year but only lost 17. So, you won't see me shedding any tears! I'm going to stay on track this year and lose the other 10. I learned last summer I wasn't supposed to eat wheat. I fell off that wagon around Thanksgiving. So, it's time to try some new rye recipes I've just discovered. ;) Thanks for shaking the pompoms. ~Skhye

    Huge prize: a cache of Time-Guardian treasure. To enter, join me by midnight New Years Eve at:

  2. KELLY FITZPATRICK // December 29, 2009 at 10:26 AM  

    What is it about 01/01 that makes me obsess about my weight?

  3. Patrice // December 29, 2009 at 10:34 AM  

    Good post Autumn,
    I like the idea of setting up doable expectations, so that each one seems manageable. My goal is to go through the manuscript I finished in December, ONE MORE TIME, to tie up any loose ends, and get it off for editing by Jan.21st so that it can be handed over to my agent. That means doing about 20 or more pages a day, every day. It's doable. And then I want to take a nice break and work on losing a dress size, and spending more time to my sweet husband who gets neglected because I'm always working so hard.
    So heres to our goals!
    Good luck one and all!

  4. Kathy Otten // December 29, 2009 at 10:35 AM  

    Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder to break the goals for the year into more manageable ones. Like old get back on the horse analogy.

  5. Barbara Edwards // December 29, 2009 at 10:38 AM  

    Nice reminder to break it all down into digestible bites. One small step for writerkind. A page at a time. I'm not even thinking about my weight. That was a autumn resolution that has gone very well--five pounds and counting. Small bites.

  6. Autumn Jordon // December 29, 2009 at 10:42 AM  

    Skhye, Awesome. You are where I want to be a year from now, In time for my son's wedding. Congrats! I always say baby steps. You're proof it works. Thnaks for commenting.

  7. Autumn Jordon // December 29, 2009 at 10:55 AM  

    Kelly, I think it's all the info commericals, swim suit issues, and the clothes we recieved as gifts that need to be returned. You are not alone, sweetie.

    Or maybe it's something we know we need to do but have been putting off. The new year syndrome (NEW YEAR NEW START) brings it to the top of our list.

  8. Autumn Jordon // December 29, 2009 at 10:57 AM  

    Patrice, you have a great plan! And you gave me an idea too. Kudos to you.

  9. Autumn Jordon // December 29, 2009 at 10:59 AM  

    Thanks, Kathy. Good luck in the coming yeat making your goals. Keep me informed on how you're doing.

  10. Autumn Jordon // December 29, 2009 at 11:06 AM  

    Awesome job on the weight lost, Barbara! And you kept it off over the holidays. Great!

    My motto for getting my writing done is WORD BY WORD, LINE BY LINE, PAGE BY PAGE. When I started on this path, I had four kids at home. A word at a time was all I had time for. It worked!

  11. Lynne Roberts // December 29, 2009 at 1:08 PM  

    Great post, Autumn.

    My goals for the new year are pretty simple--on paper. ; )

    I set smaller goals too. (5lbs by spring) It helps me stay focused.

    Thank you for the reminder that life happens.


  12. Barbara Monajem // December 29, 2009 at 1:24 PM  

    My goals are already set for me, in the form of numerous deadlines, writing and otherwise. Hopefully I'll find some time to address lifestyle goals needing attention (such as being careful about what I eat and doing lots of exercise... The dog my daughter just adopted has been a huge help with the exercise thingy).

  13. Scarlet Pumpernickel // December 29, 2009 at 1:51 PM  

    Autumn great post, I don't want to even think of setting goals today! I'm babysitting my beautiful granddaughter and we are being bad! Started with oatmeal, datenut bread and English Breakfast tea and it's down hill from there. She just asked what's for lunch. The child is a bean pole and has a metabolism that runs in hyper-drive. I just hope it stays that way. Now I have to go fix lunch! Then she wants to go shopping! Then she want to play on the computer and listen the her mp3/4 player and dance. Sheesh, I need a nap! Will get around to thinking of resolutions when she goes home. Back to playing Nana! Ciao!

  14. Mary Marvella // December 29, 2009 at 1:59 PM  

    Good post, Autumn and thanks to the folks who commented already.

    I suspect weight loss is a popular goal because women usually feel they want to be slimmer. I set a goal to lose down enough weight that the pants I wore would be looser, then too large. It happened. I set that goal again often enough to lose 30 + pounds. I started gaining it back as soon as I started thinking in terms of pounds.

    Make your goals meaningful for you and use language that makes sense to you.

  15. Mona Risk // December 29, 2009 at 2:32 PM  

    Surprisingly I achieved all my goals for 2009, including losing weight, excercising, publishing, ... I have been thinking about this year's goal for a whole week but I came out of my meditation confused and wondering, am I better because I achieved these goals? I don't think so. When I look at next year, it's blank. No goals, no wishes. I want to keep that I earned with so much work.

  16. Autumn Jordon // December 29, 2009 at 2:39 PM  

    You are welcome, Lynne.

  17. Autumn Jordon // December 29, 2009 at 2:43 PM  

    Kudos on the deadline, Barbara and yeah for the doggie adoption and the exercise.

    I'm trying to think of exercise like an M & M. I can't have just one. Need more. Crave more. LOL

    Do you think it will help?

  18. Beth Trissel // December 29, 2009 at 2:55 PM  

    Excellent advice! We have similar goals. Maybe we should check in with each other along the way and see how we are doing.

  19. Mary Ricksen // December 29, 2009 at 2:57 PM  

    I've decided not to have any New Year's resolutions, it's better that way! So Now I won't break them.

  20. Autumn Jordon // December 29, 2009 at 3:28 PM  

    Scarlet, Your priorities are straight and this is a great example of life happens. Enjoy the day and plan those goals out tomorrow.

  21. Autumn Jordon // December 29, 2009 at 3:30 PM  

    Excellent advice, Mary! I love think of weight loss in that way. See this discussion can go in so many directions. Thanks for posting.

  22. Autumn Jordon // December 29, 2009 at 3:43 PM  

    Mona, I think it is awesome you accomplished so much in one year. Reading your post, I'm just wondering if your true desire is to continue on the path you've already set. Continuing to learn more about your work and yourself. Totally AWESOME! One of my goals will be to read more, both craft books and fiction. I want to widen my spectrum. Does that make sense?

  23. Autumn Jordon // December 29, 2009 at 3:44 PM  

    Beth, I think were sisters separted at birth. LOL. Sure we can do that. I'd love too.

  24. Autumn Jordon // December 29, 2009 at 4:27 PM  

    Mary, Just because January 1st is looming near doesn't mean you need to make an resoluations or set goals. You can do that anytime just like Barbara Edwards who responded. So it's okay to be a free bird.

  25. Elisa Beatty // December 29, 2009 at 5:05 PM  

    Thanks, Autumn, for the good advice! Gotta find me an accountability partner...

  26. Sherry Gloag // December 29, 2009 at 5:12 PM  

    Autumn, I love your comment about 'line by line, word by word'. I'm in the middle of my first'official' revisions, and often feel overwhelmed at the prospect of the work ahead. So I'll pin your comment where I can see it and make that my new year's resolution, too. Thanks ;-)

  27. Autumn Jordon // December 29, 2009 at 5:26 PM  

    Hey, Elisa. Thanks for stopping by. As I told you before, I'm PA Dutch Thick-head. Once I get something in my mind, I go for it. Good luck finding a partner.

  28. Autumn Jordon // December 29, 2009 at 5:29 PM  

    Sherry, A big job can be overwhelming. Visuilizing it in small phases really does work for me. I'm glad you liked my motto.

  29. Kathy Kulig // December 29, 2009 at 5:45 PM  

    Great job. I like the idea of breaking goals down in parts. That way you don't get discouraged. Persistence, not perfection is the way to go.

  30. Autumn Jordon // December 29, 2009 at 7:14 PM  

    Hey, Kathy. I'm so happy you stopped by. You're are so right. Persistence is the key. Without it, one setback will stop you cold. Thanks for adding that.

  31. Jana Richards // December 29, 2009 at 10:18 PM  

    January 1, the time for looking forward and setting goals, and for looking backward to see how you did on last year's goals. Sigh. Hopefully I'll do better in 2010. Thanks for reminding me not to give up Autumn.


  32. Janice // December 30, 2009 at 6:54 AM  

    Great entry, Autumn! I posted a link to it for the newly formed "Health and Fitness Goals Support" Yahoo group. Anyone interested in joining, go here:


  33. Autumn Jordon // December 30, 2009 at 8:47 AM  

    You've got it, Jana. Don't give up. If you're having trouble meeting your goals, go back and initialize them. Are they something you can really achieve in the period of time your looking at? If not, maybe you need to rethink them. Break the big goal down into bits and don't give up when that setback happens.

    I'm guessing you're a writer. A lot of writers set themself up, me included, stating a goal such as I'm going to sale a book this year. That is a goal you are not completely in control of. Stating I'm going to work at my craft everyday, I'm going to revise until I think my work is the best it can be, I'm going to enter contests and get feedback, I'm going to submit to X number of publishers, those are all goals you can accomplish. Of course having your book published is the ultimate goal of every writer but there are so many factors that we don't have control over. Market trends, editors likes, publisher needs. If you meet all the above goals, surley you will get your wip into the hands of an editor.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. AJ

  34. Autumn Jordon // December 30, 2009 at 8:48 AM  

    Hey, Janice. Thank you so much. I appreciate the support. ((HUGS))

  35. Anne Marie Novark // December 30, 2009 at 12:29 PM  

    Great post, Autumn. I'm still pondering my writing and lifestyle goals this week.

    Very helpful reminder to break them down into smaller doable bits.

    I think we tend to overlook the little successes. I know I do.

  36. Mary Marvella // December 30, 2009 at 8:24 PM  

    Great job, Autumn!

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