With the new year recently upon us I got to wondering about resolutions and goals and quotas.
Personally, I'm not one to make a New Year's resolution. It's my belief that if I feel so strong a resolve to do something, then I should be doing it. Like right now. Immediately. No need to wait for a new year.
Setting goals, or establishing quotas for my writing is one of those things. And so I don't get depressed or feel like a failure if I don't meet my goals, like so many feel when they make a New Year's resolution and don't live up to the task, I set my goals almost unattainably high.
You might say that's crazy, that setting so lofty a goal will automatically lead to failure and depression. But to me, it's a matter of perspective...
Let me show you what I mean.
My goal is to write for four or more hours a day, every day, and to complete at least one polished chapter, somewhere between seven to twelve pages a week. With everything else going on in my life I'm seldom able to consistently meet those goals. This does not mean I do not write daily and produce polished material. In fact, since the middle of December, Christmas holidays and all, I've written six semi-polished chapters of the novel I'm rewriting.
I'm happy with what I've accomplished, even though I have not quite met my goals. This contentment comes about because when I established my goals I made sure to plant a seed in the back of my mind telling me my goal was more than likely unattainable. Doing this allows me to gracefully accept defeat when I do not reach the quotas I've established.
On the other hand, when I'm able to meet or exceed my established goals and quotas, I get a sense of accomplishment unlike any I’ve felt when I've established lesser goals or no goals at all.
Crazy? Maybe so. But the system seems to work for me.
If your system isn't working. Try something else. Change your perspective... Until you find what works for you.
One final note. I believe that if we do not push ourselves, or are not pushed by others to reach beyond what we think we can accomplish, the end result is simple.
We will achieve less than what we are capable of achieving.
I'm not ready to settle for that. Are you?