My SMART Goals

It’s official: 2012 is here!

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I like fresh starting points. It’s a type-A trait for me. Whenever I look to start or change something, I tend to wait for a fresh starting point. New day, new week, new month—new year. Little changes start on a new day or week. Big changes are reserved for the rarer starting points, especially a new year.

So, although many people are against New Year’s Resolutions, or cringe at the thought, I embrace the opportunity with optimism restrained by a touch of realism. I don’t go all out with craziness, like, “I will be published in 2012.” Instead, I go for something like, “I will complete an novel and begin querying.”

I also use the SMART goal approach. For those who aren’t familiar:

Specific—I want to lose weight vs. I want to lose 10 lbs.

Measurable—The goals should have a way to measure progress/success.

Attainable—Don’t set yourself up for failure.

Realistic—You should be both willing and able to accomplish your goal.

Timely—There should be concrete time frame to accomplish your goal.

So, without further ado, here are my writing goals for 2012!

  1. I will write 500 words/day, except for Sundays and holidays.
  2. I will finish Dividing Spirits by March 31st, using my 500 words/day.
  3. I will be ready to begin Cortesia’s story by mid-April,
  4. I will set aside two hours in the afternoon to devote to my freelance writing/editing.
  5. I will attend the ACFW conference in September.

Do you set New Year’s Resolutions? Do you have any secrets to achieving success?


About Ralene Burke

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients. Her first novel, Bellanok, is being published as a 4-part serial! When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

5 comments on “My SMART Goals

  1. I like your 500 words a day. I think I can do that. It’s small but I know how fast they can add up if you do them consistently. I think I’ll also use Write or Die to help me with that habit.

    I wish you luck on those goals! And I look forward to your revisions on DS.

  2. Here’s to 500 words a day. Or something close. Hopefully more.

    Keep up the enthusiasm, Ralene. Some of us out here need to see it. It’s probably all that warm sunshine you get to bask in.

    (I shouldn’t complain. It’s going to be 60 degrees in Kansas this week. That’s…kind of insane, but I’ll take it.)

  3. Ren–Write or Die? Yes, 500 words will add up quickly! Esp if you find yourself surpassing it just a little each day. 🙂

    Robynn–As a Kansas gal myself, I’m gaping at your 60 degree comment. I think this time last year was still in the 30s with snow. hehehe…

    • Write or Die is both a program and a website created to …um… encourage you to focus on writing. It discourages lagging or daydreaming, rereading/reminiscing or worrying. It’s there to help you keep putting down the words, one after the other until you meet a time or word count goal. It allows varying degrees of punis –er, discouragement, but I must admit, one of the degrees is sure to keep you writing. It’s a conditioned response thing. Try it out. They’ve changed their website but I hope they’re still doing the free version. WriteorDie.com

      the free online section is in the “Web app” area. Note, you type it into the text box on the site and then REMEMBER to copy and paste your writing to whatever document you want it in.

  4. I come from the other angle. I’m a rather passive perfectionist/cynic, which means I dread every New Year because I already anticipate the mess I’m going to make of any resolutions. It seems like as soon as I make any plan, God spins it around on it’s head, and suddenly I’m in an entirely new direction! So why bother?
    However, your bite-sized plan is inspiring, so I might just head on back and do my own. 500 words a day does sound doable. Thanks for the inspiration from the other side of the coin!

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