Monday, September 20, 2010

Benefits of Weekly Goals

I used to be totally against goal setting of any kind. I thought they'd rope me into not being as creative.

A year or so ago, I tried giving myself a daily word count goal. Yuck! Talk about tons of stress. Every day was stressful as I tried to meet my goal--especially on days that I didn't feel very well or super motivated.

Then this June, I thought I'd try goal-setting again. This time, I set weekly goals of things to be done. My weekly goals this week are: 1) Post blog. 2) Edit short story for Port Yonder Press. 3) Send out short story. 4) Finish new chapters of Halfblood.

I like this system a lot better because it gives me a little more flexibility. I can take it easier on days when I don't have as much time, and on days when I'm really motivated, I might finish all my goals for the week all at once. Today won't be one of those days ;0). I've found that it really helps me to remember what I need to do, and when. Plus, it motivates me to beat the clock.

I do have a list of yearly goals in the back of the notebook too, where I don't look as often because that way it doesn't make me stress as much.

Of course, I also find it easier with this system to not overload myself with goals. I pick three or four, or even five if the tasks aren't much, of the most urgent or short term goals. I write them down at the beginning of the week. Also, I can adapt this system to Justin's work week. If he's working only 5 days that week, I plan for that. If he's working 8 days in a row, I plan for that. Then when he's off work, I might get a little bit done, but I don't plan for it.

How do you motivate yourself? Do you use weekly/yearly goals, word count goals, or do whatever you want?

3 responses:

Galadriel said...

I really need to do that sometime. College calculus has the potential to steal my soul if I don't have a schedule

Mary P said...

Goals and motivation--just one more reason for a whiteboard! I honestly wonder how I survived for years without it!
For me, my goal setting method varies as I need it to. Last December when I was desperate to finish the first draft of my novel, my word count goal for every day was just to beat the record I set the day before. I was cranking out upwards of 5k a day by the end!

Heather said...

@Galadriel: College calculus? Blah! I can easily see how that would devour time...

@Mary: I need a whiteboard. A big one. :0)

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