|Blurry. But still in print!|
One of my own goals this year is to write consistently and to finish drafts for the two novels I have been working on over the course of the past two years. At least one will be ready to be submitted by the middle of the year, and ideally, the second will be submission-ready by December. Those are my targets. And as you can see, I've put them down in print, so I can't deny them later.
There's just something about quantifying our goals, painting them into a visible target with our words, and then keeping that piece of paper in front of us so we use it to gauge how well we are doing on our journey toward our destination. It may be hard to believe that this works. But studies show that people who write down their goals are much more likely to actually achieve their goals than people who don't. In fact, one study shows you'll be 33% more likely to succeed if you write your goals down and share them with others. (Here are the details if you want to know more.)
Michael Hyatt wrote a terrific article about how he uses written goals to achieve the success he wants. And he gives five reasons why this technique works. Basically, it boils down to this:
- Writing gives you a clear picture of what you actually want. It's specific, not general. Specific places are places we can more easily arrive at.
- Writing is an action. It's the first step along the road, and once you've taken a step, it's easier to take the next step.
- Written goals help you figure out what doesn't fit with your life plan, as well as what does fit. So, you can avoid rabbit trails.
- Written goals help you encourage yourself when you're tempted to give up because things are hard.
- When you reach your goal, you can clearly see in writing where you started from. That is, you started with an idea. Then you lived it out. And being able to look back on your progress is very satisfying.
Writing goals down on paper works. Here's a real-life example:
|The famous, goal-making|
book that worked for
I have a friend who landed a book contract last year with a Christian publisher. She has been a fan of the book Write It Down, Make It Happen for years, which talks about writing goals down as a way to achieving them. Years ago, this friend of mine wrote down a goal: to be a highly sought-after author and speaker. In fact, she specifically wanted and wrote down that people would come to her, because she didn't want to run around trying to chase down opportunities. She wanted the opportunities to show up at her door.
And sure enough, that's what she got. She met someone who worked for the publisher in question. The person liked my friend, thought she had a great message to share, pitched a book idea to the publishing company, got approval, and then returned to my friend to say: "Hey, you've got a book deal if you want it." My friend is in the process of getting that book out now. How cool is that? And it's precisely what she wrote down as her goal.
I've already put my 2013 writing goals into print in this post. But what about your goals? What would you like to achieve this year? Be specific, and write it down. I'd love you to share them here. But I also suggest you write them in your journal or on post-it notes that you hang in your bathroom, or something similar, so you can go back and read them often. When you achieve those goals (and you will), let me know. Share the good news here, so we can all celebrate with you! I'll do the same.
And don't forget, we're working toward writing consistency this year too. Jump in on the discussion and the mutual encouragement with our hashtag on Twitter: #writinghabit. See you there!
Copyright (c) 2013 by M.A. Chiappetta. All rights reserved.