If you’re like me (and most writers out there), you likely struggle with eliminating distractions and remaining focused on the task at hand.
Wherever you are in your writing process, goals are important.
Sometimes setting goals can seem like a daunting task, especially while writing a book. There are so many steps that it overwhelms you to know where to even begin.
Begin with knowing that you’ve got the powwwah! Sing it loud and sing it proud, my friend, because you do have the power!
You are very capable of setting and achieving your goals. Be prepared to celebrate your small successes along the way. They will ultimately lead you to your final goal of holding your published book in your hands.
If you’re like me (and most writers out there), you likely struggle with eliminating distractions and remaining focused on the task at hand. Follow the steps I’ve outlined here and you will begin to see positive changes in your life.
Let’s get started.
#1 - Determine your “why”
Answer this question: Why are you writing your book?
Consider how it will positively impact the lives of your readers and the world as a whole. Consider how it will change your own life by discovering the many opportunities that come from writing a book.
Write the answer to this major question and hang it up where you will see it as you write each day. It will serve as motivation and help you persevere as you navigate through the world of self publishing.
#2 - Be committed
Some days will be super easy to stay committed and excited about working toward your goals. Other days will test you. These challenging days will shake you to your core and flood your mind with doubt. In moments like these, revisit your “why” and focus on accomplishing one step at a time (more on this later). What’s the next step toward reaching your goals?
Don’t view the entire mountain at once. Take your first step toward the top. Soon enough, you will reach that long awaited breathtaking view at the “top.”
#3 - Set a deadline
Use a planner to record the deadlines for your goals. When it’s written in your calendar, it’s more likely to get done.
#4 - Plan your reward
You deserve to be celebrated! After all, you’re on your way to becoming a published author!
In order to remain motivated, set weekly or monthly rewards to work toward. Plan it today. Remember to enjoy it once you’ve earned it and be grateful for your progress thus far!
#5 - Break it down into smaller steps
You can choose how you want to set up your goals. When setting my own goals, I start with the big picture then work backward.
With the big picture in mind, I break it down into smaller goals - weekly then daily. This helps me know what needs to get done each day in order to stay on track with my ultimate goal.
#6 - Take action
You may find that writing your goals on paper is the easy part, but following through is the challenge. You’re not alone!
Here are some tips to help you stay on track:
- Prioritize your To-Do list: Choose 1 - 3 tasks you MUST complete that day. You can’t move onto anything else until those selected items are complete. Remember to reward yourself in some way! This helps you know what to focus on first, get started right away, and manage your time well.
- Set time limits: Set a timer. Work with full focus for 30 minutes then take a break for 5 minutes.
- Track your progress: If you like visuals like I do, you can also keep track of your progress using a stoplight visual. Write your goals in the following color-coded columns: Get Movin’ (red), In Progress (yellow), and Accomplished (green). As you complete each task, move it to the correct column. This helps you see all of the tasks you’ve accomplished thus far, but it also helps you write appropriate goals based on what is still left in the red column. It’s a magical feeling moving a task from red to yellow or yellow to green! Progress!
This all sounds nice and peachy, but the reality is … there will be difficult days. Life happens!
For whatever reason you are having an “off” day, ask yourself this question: What is at least one thing I can do today that will get me one step closer to my ultimate goal?
Even if it’s not the most productive day you’ve had, at least you can go to sleep that night knowing you completed one important task. Be proud of the effort you put forth toward your goals. But also, give yourself some tough love to get back on track the next day.
Remember that positive habits come from consistency. Be patient. Success may not come right away. It takes time, belief, and consistent effort.