“Writing Down Goals and Objectives Can Keep You Focused,” by Mayra Calvani

I have kids, a husband, pets, a house, and many errands to run on a weekly basis. So how do I find the time to write? Well, first of all, I donfind it. I make it. You know why? Because if you wait for the perfect time to write, itll never come: there never is a perfect time to write.

One method that has worked for me is to, first of all, 1) be clear about my goals and objectives and 2) write down my goals and objectives each day before I start working. I learned this powerful trick from Suzanne Lieurance, founder of The Working Writers Club.

After my kids are off to school and my hubby off to work, I go to my office with Amigo, my adorable golden retriever, and I sit down at the computer. Before I start working, however, I open my spiral notebook and write my schedule for the day. I use Google calendar for all my weekly and monthly goals and objectives, but I also like to keep this spiral notebook for my daily schedule. There is something extremely powerful about writing your goals and objectives each day before you sit down to write.

First, I write my 3 major yearly goals at the top of the page. Then I write down the objectives that I can take today in order to bring me closer to those 3 major goals. My goals are usually very broad, and my objectives very specific.

For example, if one of my 3 major goals is “to establish myself as an author,” then one of my objectives is:

9:00-11:00 AM  work on my novel.

Unless something unexpected comes up, Ill usually keep this objective from Monday to Friday month after month until I have a complete manuscript that is ready to be submitted. If, for whatever reason, I cant write that morning, Ill try to allocate those two hours in the afternoon or at nightthough not often, as my mind is fresher in the mornings.

A typical writing day will include one objective for each major goal, for a total of 3 objectives. Each objective must be related to its goal. If it isnt, then I discard it. This is extremely helpful to help keep you focused and prevent bright shiny objects to stir you away from whats really important.

Of course I already know what my goals and objectives are, but the secret lies in writingthem down each day before I start working. This really helps keep me focused and productive. I love to tick items off as I complete them, so at the end of the day I usually feel like Ive really accomplish something and that all my projects are progressing and getting somewhere. I started using this system this January and the results have been excellent.

If youre feeling unfocused, unproductive and unmotivated, I encourage you to try this method!

About the Author:  Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer,Writer’s JournalMulticultural Review, andBloomsbury Review, among many others. A reviewer for over a decade, she now offers online reviewing workshops. When she’s not writing, reading, editing or reviewing, she enjoys walking her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Visit her website at www.MayraCalvani.com, join her mailing list, and automatically receive the free ebooks, Reviewers Talk about Their Craft and the first lesson from my Slippery Art of Book Reviewing Workshop.


Karen Cioffi said...

Mayra, Having goals and being focused is essential to any success. For me, it seems I need to keep my goals visible and even read them each day in order to keep from getting distracted.

Thanks for reminder!

Margaret Fieland said...

Mayra, great post. I recently started writing down my weekly goals again. Now, when I sit down to write, the first thing I do is consult my list. This keeps me from simply avoiding submitting, keeping up with my critique work, and the like.

Unknown said...

If I don't write down my goals, I sometimes get overwhelmed.

Magdalena Ball said...

Excellent suggestions Mayra. Starting with the big project is always a good idea.

elysabeth said...

Very good idea. Thanks for showing us a bit of insight into your writing life - E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of Finally Home, a YA paranormal mystery

Debbie A Byrne said...

Great idea!I need to do this too.

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