Happy New Year! Recovered from the holiday season yet? Need another week off? Getting going on dreams, wishes and goals can help get you energized. I’ve got my goals for the year and they include goals around health, writing, family, business and fun. Now I’ve got to make sure I do what it takes to reach these goals and to do that I need to be SMART about it.
Do you know about SMART goals? The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. I know for me that when a goal can’t be worded in a way that all of these areas are hit upon, then I don’t succeed completely. “To finish writing my manuscript in progress” is a good goal. But to say “I will complete my manuscript by writing X number of words per week and be ready to edit by October” is much clearer and, for me, has a MUCH greater likelihood of accomplishments. A great article on creating SMART goals can be found here.
And what about our characters?
Debra Dixon writes about us knowing their internal and external GOAL / MOTIVATION / CONFLICT, but the process of the characters getting to their goal, the likelihood of them having success, hinges on them being SMART goals. And when you are having trouble with your plot or a scene, look to see if your character needs to get clearer on their goal and how they can accomplish it. Make it more timely. Make it less attainable. Make it bigger than they thought it was. Make them wonder if it is even realistic.
Isn’t it great when what we do for ourselves also works for an improves our writing? I wish you a year filled with joy and special dreams and goals coming true.
What are some of your goals and wishes for the coming year?