April Challenge: SMART Goals
Have you signed up for the 2020 APRIL CHALLENGE yet?
You still have until 11:59 pm on March 31st to join! (Sign up and pay using the form at the bottom of this post).
Let's talk about SMART GOALS.
A set number of words or a percentage of revisions accomplished are both SPECIFIC. Researching, brainstorming, or plotting aren't SPECIFIC. All three can take you down a rabbit hole of wasted hours. Now, I'm not saying any of those are a waste of time, because we know they're not, they're just not SPECIFIC when it comes to goal setting in this Challenge. They're not clearly defined or identified, they're not a dedicated, SPECIFIC goal.
MEASURABLE is just what it sounds like. My goal is 15,000 words. I can MEASURE how far along I am by how many words I've written. I can also MEASURE what I should accomplish each day (15,000 words divided by 30 is 500 words a day, 3,500 words a week), and if I'm behind how many words I need to write in order to catch up and get back on track. If I'm working on revisions, I can measure how far along I am in percentages, ie 25%, 50%, 80%, etc. Both SPECIFIC and MEASURABLE are tangible, for example a set number of words or a percentage of the total number of pages to be revised.
Only you know what is ATTAINABLE for you. I know I can write 10 – 12,000 words in a month. I'd love to be able to do 20 – 25,000 words. With my 'day' job, however, I'd be setting myself up for failure. I chose 15,000 to stretch myself, but still be able to make the goal. Times are uncertain right now. Many are self-quarantining, unsure when they'll return to work. Best case scenario, what do you feel you can accomplish? Worst case scenario (other than spending your time picking lint from your belly-button), what do you feel is the least you can get done? What's at the middle of those two extremes? Do you feel that spot is ATTAINABLE? ;o)
If we take ATTAINABLE to the next level, we have REALISTIC. Being REAL with ourselves. I want each and every one of you to succeed in next month's challenge. Things happen, as we've all seen in the last few weeks, which adds to our need to get REAL with ourselves. We're all writers, living in the REAL world, each with our own outside influences, pressures, and commitments. However, writing is also one of those commitments and I'm asking each of you to commit to your APRIL CHALLENGE goal. Make sure it's a REALISTIC one. Don't set yourself up for failure before you even begin.
We've got TIME-BOUND wired. The Challenge begins April 1st, and concludes April 30th.
Hope you'll join us!