Posted in On Writing

Functional (writing) Goals

Guess what; it’s still January.
Only 24 days into 2022, so I’m still talking about preparing for the year.
In accord with my last week’s post, I’ve spent time shut away from the world every day. I’ve also attempted to use those moments as meaningful ways to enrich my writing skills. In doing so, I’ve found an interesting podcast. The Writers Block Party is new to me, and if it is new to you, this post may be of interest.

One episode I particularly enjoyed was about goals. Even though I’m a bit of an anti-new-year resolution person, I do believe in goals. I’m not going to spend time justifying why. I’m simply going to dive in and give an account of their podcast.

The podcast suggested making three categories and having three targets within each category.
Categories are:

GOALS

HOPES

DREAMS

Goals are achievable. Goals are actionable tasks for you to perform. These goals should be checked off by the end of the year because no outside element prevents you from achieving them. For a writer, that may be to submit to x amount of manuscripts or complete x amount of pages. For anyone else, it may be to exercise x amount of days a week. (That’s always a common theme in January, isn’t it?) Or it may be to clean out your closet before March. Actionable, achievable, real.

Hopes are still a bit in your control but may be affected by outside elements or circumstances. You may hope to have a polished manuscript by a designated time. You may hope to successfully find your dream agent. You may hope to lose 5lbs or get in touch with an old friend this year or save a specific amount of money.

Dreams are almost entirely outside of your control but are still important. Wasn’t it Carl Sandburg who stated, “Nothing Happens Unless First We Dream”? So get dreaming. A writer may dream they get published in a magazine or win a contest. You may dream of finding the perfect job or person. You may dream of quitting your day job to paint all day.

In each of these categories, have three. You may find that they all tie in together. You may find you’re not focused enough to achieve any one thing. I found being realistic about what are dreams, what are hopes, and what are goals to be very practical.

I have my goals written down (as suggested in the podcast) and hanging at my desk. Simple. Three goals. Three things to put the majority of my energy towards. Three hopes. The ideas to move towards as I achieve my goals. Three dreams. Fuel for the fire of intent and creativity.

With one final week left in January, some people may have already given up on resolutions. Or will think it’s too late to focus on one. February is a new month, a new week, a new day; start today. Or begin next week. Be kind to yourself and don’t stress about it. But also, be kind to yourself and know you are worthy of achieving goals, having hopes realized, and dreams come true.

Author:

dog groomer, dog trainer, and storyteller for children and the young at heart.

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