Will 2018 be your best-ever year? That depends on the goals you set, and the actions you take. As the saying goes, if you do what you always do, you’ll get what you always get.
To set goals which will inspire a wonderful year, you need to dream big.
Dream big: set Wildly Improbable Goals (WIGs)
My personal coaching students complete a ”goals” sheet before we begin working together. My own goal is to inspire them until their goals match their potential as writers.
None of these writers (that’s right, not a single one) have BIG, glorious goals, and it’s my aim to inspire them until they catch fire and create WIGs. You may never reach any of your WIGs, but that doesn’t matter. What counts is that your goals inspire you, so that you’ll achieve beyond your dreams.
Sadly, from the age of eight onward, we leave childhood behind, and slowly we leave our dreams behind too. Why not make 2018 the year you dare to dream again?
These tips will help.
1. Start with Warren Buffett’s “2 List” goals strategy
James Clear describes this strategy in this blog post.
Basically, create a list of 25 of your goals. Then, of those 25, circle the five goals which are your top goals. You now have five goals which deserve all your focus.
What of the other 20 goals? You may think that you should work on them occasionally, but Buffet says:
“… Everything you didn’t circle just became your Avoid-At-All-Cost list. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top 5.”
2. Meditate daily, even if it’s only for five minutes
You’ve got a mind. It’s busy. You’ll discover just how busy when you try meditation. There’s nothing much to meditation. It’s not complicated. You just need to sit, and focus. Usually, your breath is the chosen focus point, because it’s always with you. 🙂
When you begin meditation, you’ll feel it’s an impossible task. Before too long, you’ll feel that meditating each day, no matter how short the time, is like coming home.
Writing is much easier when you meditate (even if you think you can’t do it, the attempt is enough) because your focus carries over into everything you do and feel, for the rest of the day.
3. Journal, please: get stuff out of your head and onto the page
Successful writers journal, so please write a few sentences.
Snap a photo or two.
Do it daily. It will help you to achieve your goals.
4. FINISH what you start, no matter how much you HATE it
Make this your mantra for 2018: if I start it, I finish it. Finishing what you start is a habit — an essential one for a writer.
Every writer has half-completed projects on his hard drive. That’s fine. Delete them all. If you decide to keep a few, schedule them for completion in 2018/ 2019. Don’t want to schedule a project? You know what to do — DELETE.
Going forward, complete every writing project you begin, without fail. This is hard at first, because you’ve developed the nasty habit of quitting.
Quitting is a nasty habit because every project goes through phases where you hate it. If it’s fiction, you hate the characters and plot. If it’s nonfiction, you’re concerned that this is the greatest rubbish ever written.
A tip for completing fiction: go back to the beginning, and find the story question. Make that your focus, and you’ll complete your book.
Your tip for nonfiction: interview people who know about the subject matter. Then get on with it and write. 🙂
5. Keep a time log for a week to discover that you have more time than you think
It’s horribly easy to waste time without realizing what’s happening. Keep a time log for a week — if that’s too hard, keep a time log for just a day.
Each day (or for one day), write down what you did in the past 30 minutes, every 30 minutes that you’re awake.
You’ll be surprised at how much time you can find for writing.
Please remember this essential task: review your goals daily
Review your five goals once a day. Create tasks to help you to achieve those goals, and work on your tasks each day.
Shush! Avoid chatting about your goals
YOU achieve your goals. No one can do it for you.
Unfortunately, others can and will put obstacles in your way, either deliberately, or unwittingly.
You can chat all you like about a goal after you achieve it. Until that happy day arrives…. shush. 🙂
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