There is something to be said for writing down goals (and reviewing them occasionally). It keeps the subconscious mind forever percolating on them and directed at achieving the desired outcomes. And this pertains to anything in life, not just writing. I always believed in this idea, I’ve just never seen the true power of the excersize until today. I just dredged out, and read over, the goals I set for 2017 (back in Feb) when away on a writing retreat with a friend, during which we spent copious amounts of time discussing and formulating a goal-focused writing plan and marketing strategy we wanted to implement for the year. We recorded our goals (both micro and macro, by hand, and on paper. There is something about manually transcribing them that helps solidify them in the brain) and then broke them down into bite-sized achievable chucks, assigning each to one quarter of the year.
I'm thrilled to report (and this comes as somewhat of a shock to me!) that I've addressed, if not accomplished, every single one of them, already! (In some way, shape, or form.) And it’s only August!
The result of that exercise was a very detailed spreadsheet (one for macro goals, one for micro goals, and one for marketing) and an overall encompassing mission statement in the form of a lengthy affirmation, (containing several personal targets of achievement) that I've repeated every day before I start work.
Today, I had a peek at some of the micro goals. (I don’t look at those goals daily, I just repeat the affirmation mission statement.) I was shocked to see that I've attempted or addressed all of those goals, as well! This pleases me to incredible lengths!
Though my writing career, admittedly, is still not where I want it to be, I'm encouraged by the thought that I'm moving in a steady, systematic fashion (at last!) in pursuit of an end goal. I'm also addressing each goal I’ve had identified as 'essential in achieving a desired outcome' and the very fact that I am addressing those goals (or have accomplished them) is a HUGE step in the right, and life-affirming, career-wrangling, direction for me! This means I am just that much closer to achieving the end goal; whereas, last year at this time, I was floundering around without direction, feeling overwhelming and wanting to give up.
It is important to note that the goals I speak of, are goals I set, goals that I deemed 'necessary to grow my business', that would help me to write in a defined and desired direction. (Something I’ve bravely decided to make a change and am daringly pursuing. More on that later in another post!)
Point being, by simply writing down my desired goals and formulating plans around them, FINALLY taking the time to sort through the heap-loads of information I've gathered on self-publishing (out of the mountains of information I’ve spent two years) then organizing that into a formidable plan ( using ONLY what I’ve deemed is a right fit for me. That step is very important!) I am that much closer to obtaining stability and direction in my career.
So, what have I learned from this experience? Writing down the goals made them real. On the paper. In my head. And in my mind.
And although I haven't realized it, subconsciously, because of this process, my mind has never stopped trying to achieve what I indicated were my desirable outcomes! Because of this process, my mind has been constantly and consistently working to help me solve the puzzles I put before it, inadvertently assisting me in the pursuit of my goals.
So, write them down people. Those goals of yours. Formulate plans around them. Amass your research, muddle through it, and organize the wealth of knowledge you've been collecting into a manageable, achievable, digestible plan. Keep only what you believe is a good fit for you and your writing style/life, throw out the rest. Streamline the madness, then incorporate only that into a plan. That way your goals become clearer and your mind can process them. Then begin the pursuit of ticking off those manageable boxes on the way to achieving your own personal plan for success! Beats floundering around aimlessly, feeling overwhelmed in the great sea of self-publishing (or life), any day. Right?