Failure to plan is planning to fail — a PLAN for success

No one wants to fail on purpose, but failure to plan can lead to failure. Today we’ll look at the process of goal setting for SUCCESS that I use.

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My plan comes from Bob Mayer’s WHO DARES WIN, The Green Beret Way to Conquer Fear and Succeed, which is available here.

There are three components:

• Focus
• Strategic goals
• Tactical goals

Experience has taught me when you know where you’ve been and where you’re going, you go farther than when you just drift along.

Creation of a concrete list, imo, is critical.

But no goal setting process is complete without a review of the previous year’s STRATEGIC GOALS. Every time I do this, I never fail to discover I have accomplished far more than I thought. I’m betting you would see the same results.

Not only do I set measurable goals for myself, I also reward myself for my accomplishments!

After my review, I determine a FOCUS for the New Year.

A target.

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In 2012, my focus was epubbing. btw, I accomplished my goal  as you can see on the left  side bar: The Pendant’s Promise, my debut novel, is available to purchase.

 FOCUS is whatever will move you toward achieving your object for the year. Your yearly FOCUS can be studying a particular craft area, networking, or reading x number of books and analyzing the author’s technique.

After FOCUS come STRATEGIC TARGETS.

I give serious thought to these questions in setting my targets for a New Year.

1. What do I want to write this year?
2. What do I want to sell this year?
3. What will I do toward getting my name out there?
4. What writing craft do I need to focus on?
5. What’s on my reading list?

Once I have answered these questions, I set the targets broken into three month, six month, and one year objectives that culminate in two year and three year goals.

These are SMART goals:
S -Specific (and Strategic)
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant (results oriented)
T – Time-framed

For example, a specific, strategic goal might be stated like this:
At the end of the first quarter 2013, I will have two short stories submitted to such and such periodical.

Then I establish a list of METHODS to accomplish my strategic goals. My last year’s list looked like this:

1. Write 100 NEW words per day
2. Spend minimum of 20 hours per week writing
3. Attend two writer conferences

No wishy-washy, weasel-worded methods like I’ll write every day. Too easy to let life interfere and be lax with methods like that.

My methods are:

Specific.   Measurable.   Attainable.

Same with my TACTICAL WEEKLY GOALS which might include:

1. Write three query letters
2. Complete critique partner’s edits
3. Outline two scenes for WIP

Either I accomplish what I’ve set out to do or I don’t. I know where I’m going and whether I’m there at the end of the week.

And, yes I do write out these goals every week and record my progress.

To quote, Pablo Picasso: “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.

I also happen to be blessed with an accountability group to provide additional focus and encouragement toward accomplishing what I’ve set out to do. We share weekly then alternately cheer or bring out the cyber whip based on our goal reports.

I hear you groaning. You’re saying all this takes too much time.

I don’t deny this process takes time, but having a SMART goal plan provides not only focus, but also helps solidify intangibles into something tangible.

I can’t guarantee SUCCESS with my plan. I do promise goal-setting will direct you on the right path because to hit a target you must aim.

Goals set your aim.

I  encourage you to think about a writing plan for the New Year.

YOUR TURN: Have I convinced you? Will you set SMART goals for this year?

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4 Comments on “Failure to plan is planning to fail — a PLAN for success

  1. Pingback: Bye, bye 2013! | Judythe Morgan

  2. Pingback: Moving ahead. Claiming your Dream. | Judythe Morgan

  3. I don’t know about SMART goals for this year, but I do plan to finish my current WIP and write at least one more. Best of luck to you on your writing goals for the year!

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