Matching Actions with Goals

We are well into the second month of 2013 and it is time to get very serious as well as professional about writing goals and the actions that make them happen before too much time elapses in 2013.

We all know that it is most productive to shave down our writing goals to the top three, maybe four for the first half of the year. We understand that too many goals will lead to frustration because it will interfere with our productivity and set us up for failure.

 We are all professionals and we also know that it takes action to make our goals come true but often our actions may not line up with our goals. How this happens is simple, life gets in the way.

So my advice to you and mainly to myself is to re-evaluate goals vs. action steps. When we do this we can change our productivity and ultimately the results of all our writing efforts.

This is what to look for when analyzing goals and actions. Ask yourself :
  • Are your writing goals specific, measurable, and attainable?
  • Do your action steps move you towards your goal?
  • What actions can you delegate or even delete?
  • How much of what you do is busy work that may actually be disguised as procrastination? ( Bingo.... A light bulb just went on in my office space)
If you can answer these questions with honesty and make the necessary changes to your writing habits you may well be on the way to publishing another great work.

Honestly we only have so many hours in any given day. Being flexible enough to allow life to happen but controlling how we spend much of our time will make our actions align with our goals in a more productive way.

Blogging for instance may not be the best use of time if you have nothing ready for submission. Revising the first paragraphs of a beginning story trying for perfection when you don't have a well rounded character, a conflict important to the reader, or any idea where the story might fit in the market place may make having the perfect beginning paragraph worthless to your goal.

My goal is to be a published children's writer. But I also want to publish magazine articles. My third goal is to make money with my writing. Blogging for pay is an action step that lines up with goal number three. Researching and writing on my children's book is an action step for goal number one. Researching for articles in the quilting arena fits my second goal.  Creating new blogs that don't directly relate to the three goals would be non-productive at this stage and clearly for me allows me to procrastinate so I am deleting those for the time being.

This is how I see myself in the middle of month two of 2013. I need to realign my actions with my goals. How are you feeling about your actions and your goals? Whether you are an expert author or just beginning your writing career,  it is never a waste of time to re-evaluate where you are going and how you are going to get there. And whatever you do, keep writing.

Terri Forehand writes stories for children, health related articles for a variety of blogs, and is the author of The Cancer Prayer Book and The ABC's of Cancer According to Lilly Isabella Lane. Living in Nashville Indiana with her husband she finds the beauty of nature there gives way to procrastination. Visit her blog at or her website at


Heidiwriter said...

It's difficult to set realistic goals and to know what actions will put you on that path (and to stick with them consistently!) I know what you mean about procrastination!!

Karen Cioffi said...

Terri, great examples of finding areas to cut back on and great questions to ask yourself. Creating a realistic writing plan is so important. This year I'm working hard to keep focused on my goals. Thanks for sharing!

D. Jean Quarles said...

Great post. Thanks for reminding us to stay focused.

Magdalena Ball said...

A timely reminder Terrie. Time is going by so quickly and it's very easy to get sidetracked.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Great post Terri. I think without clear goals we can spend our time on things that don't help us move in the direction of our dreams.

Anne Duguid Knol said...

I'm good at making goals--hopeless at sticking with them...shall try again Terri, thanks for the re-motivation.

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