Realistic Goal Setting

It’s been one of those weeks that’s been fast and slow at the same time. Fast in the sense that it’s just sort of flying by, and slow in the sense that my goal progress hasn’t been super impressive.

One thing I’ve struggled with most of my life is setting realistic goals for myself. I often think I can accomplish twice as much in a given timeframe as I can. This month is a perfect example. I planned to write a first draft of a novelette in one week; it took me two weeks. I thought I could revise a novella in one week. That, also, looks like it will take two weeks. And that novel I thought I could revise this month? Yeah, I’m not getting to that.

Part of what slows me down is that I have some health issues, and I never know when they’re going to flare up. During a normal week, I can accomplish a lot more than when my energy feels drained and I’m struggling to meet my goals. It goes back and forth. That’s just life, I suppose, and a limitation I have to learn to work around as best I can. And I need to learn to cut myself some slack during weeks when my health just isn’t where I want it to be. I still expect to make progress, but I won’t be flying through goals.

So, a midweek ROW80 check-in…

Writing Goals: Did some editing to White Wolf, Red Cloak, including rewriting the last scene from the hero’s point of view, and sent that story to critique partners. Did some line editing to my story The Faerie Key in preparation for sending that story to the proofreader.

Reading Goals: Finished reading A Little Night Muse by Jessa Slade and continued reading Twilight Guardians by Maggie Shayne.

Life Goals: Took a long walk Tuesday evening and did some partner yoga with hubby. I should probably start tracking my calorie intake using My Fitness Pal again, since I found that helpful. I also need to do some more cardio—maybe jogging again? No progress on the home improvement front, although I hope to do some painting in the kitchen and dining room this weekend.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

What about you? How do you set realistic goals for yourself? How are your goals coming along this month?

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8 thoughts on “Realistic Goal Setting

  1. Seems like you had a bit of a rough week. The thing to remember is you’re still pushing forward with your goals. Delays stink, but you’re still moving forward! Keep plugging, and good luck !

  2. I’m bad at setting realistic goals. I want to challenge myself, see if I can push myself to overcome whatever obstacles may come, but I falter and have to re-evaluate. It’s frustrating because I want to see certain goals all the way through but, as I’ve been told lately, I might not be ready to take on certain projects.

    • Same here! Maybe it’s a good thing if we don’t always meet our goals because it means we’re challenging ourselves. It sounds like you’ve been having a tough time of it writing-wise. I would just focus in on a project that you enjoy, maybe reread a story you wrote that you’re proud of. You’re a talented writer, so don’t give up!

  3. Like you, I expect to be able to do about twice as much as I can in any given time period. So, until I figure out how to do better at being realistic from the outset, I look at my goals as a buffet. I know I won’t get to everything. As time passes, I winnow the goals, setting some aside for now, or forever, if it’s just not going to happen.

    Tomorrow, the kids and I head off for our annual camping weekend. All of my goals will be on standby, except those that have to do with spending time with loved ones and physical activity stuff.

    I’ll probably be doing some writing along the way, but it won’t be my focus. =)

    I hope you feel better very soon!

    • I love your approach to goal-setting, Shan Jeniah. Last night I made a list of all the projects I’m working on, dividing them into “finished” (sadly, only one in that category), “draft finished, ready to be revised” (a lot in that one), and “unfinished drafts” (a fair number in that category). My goal is to continue moving projects from the unfinished pile to the draft finished pile and from that pile to the completed list.

      Enjoy your camping trip. Hubby and I toyed with the idea of spending our anniversary camping at the beach, but the Outer Banks in August tends to be brutally hot, so we’re thinking maybe we’ll aim for September, when the water is still warm but the temps aren’t blistering hot. Have fun with your kids and make lots of wonderful memories! 🙂

  4. I’m not too good at judging how long something will take, either. So, I’m always adjusting goals and deadlines. Eventually things get done, though.

    • Adjusting. Yes, that’s the key. Partly it’s just knowing that some projects will take longer, some will fly by, and new projects will demand our attention. As long as we’re making progress, that’s all that counts. And being an indie author means we have the flexibility to determine our own deadlines. Thanks, Fallon!

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