Setting Goals

Posted by Judy | 8:40 AM | 14 comments »

Debbie Macomber spoke to the STAR (SpacecoasT Authors of Romance) group here in Florida. For those of you who’ve never heard her, Debbie is a very inspirational speaker and a down-to-earth, fun but practical person. She chose Setting Goals as her topic.
Of the several goals she mentioned, only one referred directly to “writing” goals. Some of the other goals included: A new experience in 2010, one thing about yourself to improve, family goals, recreational goals, financial goals, physical goals, and spiritual goals.
Goal setting shouldn’t include large picture, nebulous things. Start small. Perhaps a physical goal should be to take time from writing to walk around or to do small exercises between writing stints. Making the goals achievable is important. Goals can be expanded on a regular basis. From small exercises at the computer, a new, expanded goal might be going to the gym for one hour a day, then two. You get the idea.
Sometimes we writers can be so focused on our writing--typing away in a room by ourselves, translating the stories in our heads to paper-- that we forget how important it is to be healthy and well-rounded. A recent article in our newspaper told of the dangers of people sitting in front of computers for long periods of time. It stated that those who spend their lives doing that run the risk of shortening their lifespan. EEEK! Time to set a few goals.

What personal or writing goals have you recently made for yourself?


  1. Barbara Monajem // February 10, 2010 at 8:59 AM  

    Heh. Well, I'm trying to get less frazzled about having a thousand things to do.

    One thing at a time. One thing at a time. Step by step.

    I'm fortunate in that I don't just park my butt in a chair. Apparently physical movement is good for brain function. I'm constantly hopping up and down to do laundry, dishes, go for a walk, etc., and at work I value those dashes to the copier and the file cabinet. Body movement means brain movement, too.

  2. Judy // February 10, 2010 at 10:19 AM  

    Great, Barbara! My writing companion is a Dachshund named Winston so I'm up and down quite a bit and I've now scheduled walks around the block every couple of hours for him and for me!

  3. Mona Risk // February 10, 2010 at 10:34 AM  

    Last year I was lucky enough to achieve my goals. This year all I want is to persevere. I would be happy to write a new book, but I didn't set that as a goal. I noticed that setting goals makes me very stressful. I am an achiever. If I don't reach my goal I become a nervous wreck and kill myself of work until I reach it. So this year my only goal is not to get stressed.

  4. Judy // February 10, 2010 at 11:33 AM  

    Mona, you made me smile...Love your new goal. See? We all need them. LOL

  5. Joelle // February 10, 2010 at 11:50 AM  

    Goals are incredibly important. Thanks for mentioning them. I actually started a small - 5 writer - group that discusses goals once a month...then we all are terrified not to meet them because the other 4 will call us on it.

    Goals help keep me focused. This month my goals seem to be more editing based, but I plan on getting some work done on a new book. Those four ladies will ask me about it and I hate saying I missed my goal.

  6. Mary Marvella // February 10, 2010 at 1:02 PM  

    Last year I set a goal to dance or wiggle while I washed dishes, brushed my teeth, dried my hair, and during some of the dances on Dancing with the Stars. I lost weight. I stopped doing that and I'm gaining some of that weight back.

    We need goals and we need reality checks and resets for goals we can't manage.

    This post comes at a good time for most of us.

  7. Mary Ricksen // February 10, 2010 at 1:57 PM  

    I'm working to get my second book published soon, so I won't be a one hit wonder.!

  8. Nightingale // February 10, 2010 at 1:59 PM  

    I think I need to set some smaller goals. I tend to be the perfectionist. I do move around during the day, but on the weekends do tend to park myself in front of the computer.

  9. Autumn Jordon // February 10, 2010 at 2:01 PM  

    Judy, I love talking goals. I posted my goals on my blog January first for the world to see. So far there is only one I'm behind in. Reading outside my genre. There are just so many great books in romance. I keep finding more I need to read.

    I think it's very important to set realistic goals and steps to them. Easier to make baby steps and not giant leaps.



  10. Beth Trissel // February 10, 2010 at 3:03 PM  

    Debbie is amazing. I've heard her speak. Made me feel like a real slacker by comparison.

  11. Joanne // February 10, 2010 at 4:33 PM  

    Debbie is a very inspirational speaker. Goals are important. I'm trying to finish my third manuscript by June.

  12. Judy // February 10, 2010 at 5:45 PM  

    Thanks, everyone, for chiming in. Reading other people's goal helps me to see where I stand. I like the idea of goal setting in a group as long as people are understanding. LOL. Mary, liked your idea of moving around while doing chores. Hey, whatever works. I might use that for me...:) Autumn you were brave to set them out there for everyone to see. Small steps are fine...

  13. Scarlet Pumpernickel // February 10, 2010 at 10:00 PM  

    Judy, thanks for the nudge to set goals. It is something that we should learn to do and yet, somehow we neglect. I met Debbie at National in Atlanta back in 96, wow that's been a while ago! She is one neat lady. I greatly admire her!

  14. Pamela Varnado // February 12, 2010 at 1:24 AM  

    I remember when Debbie Macomber spoke at national. She talked about goal setting and I still have the index card where I jotted down my goals. I carry it around in my wallet as a daily reminder to stay focued.