Effective Goal-Setting

8 12 2012

ROW80LogocopyI’m reaching the three-fourths point of the 80 day writing challenge I embarked upon at the beginning of October. It’s time to reflect on whether I did a good job setting my goals.

How often did I meet the goals?

  • 5,000 words per week: I met this goal two weeks out of 9. I revised it to 2,000 during Thanksgiving week and I met it that time. That translates to roughly 33.3 percent of the time, I met this goal.
  • Writing for four hours per week: I met (or exceeded) this goal six out of the nine weeks. That means I met this goal 66.6% of the time.

My analysis of these figures suggests that the amount of time I spend writing is easier to control than the amount of words that are written. This might mean that using time for goal-setting is a better measure for inspiring me to sit down and write.

How did I approach the goals?

I scheduled a set time to write on four days every week. If something came up on a Saturday during the allotted writing time, I redirected myself to a different day and time. Sometimes I spent extra hours when things were flowing well and then I could give myself a break on days when the creative juices seemed to dry up.

I committed myself to spending the time in the chair at the computer. While this didn’t guarantee superlative writing, it did get blog posts written and thousands of words added to the first draft of my WIP.

What wasn’t successful about these goals?

Not making the word count discouraged me, rather than encouraging me to write more the next week. When I didn’t make the word count for two consecutive weeks, my competitive side wanted to throw in the towel. After all, I had school work that was suffering because I diverted my attention to writing at the scheduled hour. If I couldn’t make the goal, why add the stress of feeling like my school work wasn’t top notch?

What will I change for future challenges?

The word count will be reduced to 1,000 words per hour. I’ve proven I can spew out that amount on a consistent basis. In fact, I managed to produce at least 4,000 words in a week for 55 percent of the time in this challenge so far.

What I learned from this challenge?

  • I can write a fair number of words of fiction every week.
  • If I sit it, they will come.
  • Goals compel me into action.

The bottom line: don’t count me out. I’ll be participating in this challenge or others like it, in the near future.





2 responses

14 12 2012

I loved reading this post. As an intuitive type, my evaluation methods are very different, and I find your process fascinating!

Something I truly value about this challenge is the way each of us can endlessly adapt it to meet our changing needs. I’m glad you are considering another round, and glad I read your post today!

16 12 2012
A Pregnant Pause – #ROW80 Update 12/16/12 « shanjeniah

[…] Effective Goal-Setting […]

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