Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Problem with Setting Goals

Before my second book came out, I decided that I wanted to get 1,000 Twitter followers before the release date. It was an achievable goal, but I didn’t achieve it. The reason is simple. I knew what I needed to do—tweet more, follow more, and interact more—but for a long time, I didn’t actually do it.

That’s the thing about setting goals. It’s not enough. In fact, without a plan, it’s meaningless.

I’m not normally so bad about goals. I wouldn’t call myself ambitious, but I am pretty motivated and determined. I think everyone who's ever finished a book, not to mention published one, has to be.

See, a lot of people talk about writing a novel, but they never actually do it. Or they write a few pages and then give up. They have a goal, but they don’t have a plan. They’re not willing to put in the work day after day after day. 

Without a plan, a goal is just a wish. It's nice, but it's not very practical. 

This is the mistake I made with Twitter. We all make it at some point or another. We want something, so we wish it were real, when what we actually need to do is take daily steps to make it real. 

So how can we achieve our goals? I think these four steps are important.

1. Create a realistic timeline. This should include the ultimate goal as well as key milestones along the way.

2. Focus on things you can control. Many things are out of our control. When we obsess over those things, we aren't accomplishing anything. We need to concentrate on the things we can actually do. 

3. Decide whether or not to share. Personally, sharing goals stresses me out, but for some people, it's a great motivator. Think about whether it will help you.

4. Reward yourself for your achievements, even small ones, but don’t be too hard on yourself for your setbacks. You can always try again.

P.S. I'm up to 1,000 Twitter followers now. Thanks for follows!