Lessons Learned: Goal Swapping

At my writer’s group meeting on Saturday, I had to confess that I didn’t reach my goal to write or edit 1,000 words per week. What’s more disappointing is that I didn’t make last month’s goal either. The goals weren’t heavy. I thought I could manage working full-time, take care of my family, and reach my goal. Needless to say I was a little upset. In my Author Business Plan, my goal is to write four books in four years. Yikes! I need to step up the pace. Even at 1,000 words per week, I am stretched to reach the larger goal.

I then took a step back and thought about the “writing” work that I had completed for the first quarter of 2014. I judged three contests in three months. The first contest was to read five books in five weeks (books ranged from 193 pages to 554—small print pages) and then score them. The second contest was to read the first 50 pages of five manuscripts and score those within 3-4 weeks. The third contest was to read the first ten pages of four manuscripts and then score and critique/edit them. This may not seem like a lot but with the family events I’ve had, this took up the majority of my spare time.

Looking back, I see that I had been very busy, but just in a different way. I can’t feel bad for not writing as much as I wanted or reaching my goal. I have to look at it in a different light. I goal swapped. I had made commitments to deadlines for the above contests. I reached those goals by setting aside my personal writing goals.

What I learned is that I need to be flexible or prioritize, even with my larger goal. I can monitor and adjust as needed. The trick is not to stress myself out but to find a balance. I can re-engage and get back to my 1,000-word goal starting this week. Like riding a bike, I can jump back on to get to my destination. I’ll just have to pedal a little faster each week to catch up.

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