Growing up I was never one to set any goals. In fact, it was absolutely foreign to me. Once I was more grown and things changed, I changed, and I wanted to reach for loftier goals – I had no idea how to accomplish that.
For years I struggled with learning goal setting. Sometimes, I would become so frustrated that I would simply quit trying. I’d coast through my day to day life attempting to do something toward reaching my goal. Most of the time I’d fall flat on my face.
It took me awhile to find methods that worked for me and to adapt them to where they weren’t frustrating for me.
One of the best things I learned to do was how to break down goals into bite sized chunks. While I may have the larger more loftier goal of say writing a novel, since that is what I do. If I focus on the large picture of all the work I need to accomplish to do that, it won’t get done. I become so bogged down by everything that has to get done.
To combat this sensation I tried breaking it down into smaller goals. While the end goal remains the same of finishing the novel, the hubby man tried removing all my plot cards and only given them to me six at a time. That way it would appear that I don’t have as much work to do.
While I appreciate the attempt, it didn’t work for me. In fact, I became more frustrated then ever. Not only was I struggling to write, but all the work I put into the plot was gone like that from my cork board. When that didn’t work he gave them back to me.
I signed up for NaNoWriMo to help combat my lack of small goals as well. After all, that is exactly what NaNo is about – breaking one large goal of 50,000 words down into daily tasks of 1,667 per day.
That is when it dawned on me. That was exactly my problem. I hadn’t broken up my goals small enough. So, instead of removing the cards so I couldn’t see what was coming up. I instead looked at my calendar on the wall, took into account all of the important upcoming dates and set a deadline.
Not NaNo’s deadline by the end of the month, but before Thanksgiving. I needed to finish the first draft of this novel before the holiday. It also helped that the hubby man’s birthday is the day after that and I simply didn’t want to work over both of those. So, I wrote my deadline on the calendar.
That was my slightly smaller goal then finishing the first draft of the novel. The next step was to break it down smaller than that. I needed something I could handle. Thanks to NaNo, that one was easy. To write every day until it was complete. I will admit, that was rocky before I put all these other goals in place. I missed a few days in there so I had to refocus with these other goals.
Now that I knew I’d write every day until my deadline I took my guessed final word count, took off the words I’d already written. Once I had that total, I divided it by the number of days I had left before I hit my goal. That gave me the total number of words I needed to write every day to hit that goal.
In the beginning, I can say that it was hard to hit that number. In fact, I missed it so much that the number to hit a day had grown to the point I still am not hitting it. While, the method isn’t completely perfect, I am determined still to hit my deadline for finishing the first draft for the book.
We are sitting roughly nine days from that point, including today. My word count goal is still 85,000 and my total is barely over 31,000. Needless to say it figures up to be a little under 6,000 a day to hit my goal.
I have yet to hit that during this month, but I am determined. The closer I can hit to that goal the less I will be crunching at the end.
I’ll admit during all of this I keep glancing at my plot cards and praying it’ll hold an entire 85,000 word count novel. I’m sure it will as I still have so many of them to go, but the doubts do creep in from time to time.
Now, I really do need to dig into work if I hope to hit that nearly 6,000 goal. Do you have ways that help you accomplish the large goals? If you do, please share. I’m always looking at ways to perfect my methods.
Until next time, remember to L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it) or it isn’t worth doing.