Muse Monday: Setting Goals

The beginning of the year, a time for making resolutions. Or, as dear Cogsworth put it in Beauty and the Beast, “there’s the usual things: flowers, chocolates, promises you don’t intend to keep. . . . ”

So yes, my resolutions tend to be more like “to-do lists” for the first week of January. But there is value in stopping to think about who we are, how we want to change and what we want to accomplish, and the beginning of January is as good as time for that as any. Bridget, my muse, likes for me to tell her where I think we are headed from time to time. She may — does! — disagree with me fairly frequently, but having the discussion clears the air between us.

So in the interest of getting your muse to set some goals, I offer the following:

Professional life-coaches (yes, there really is such a job, and where do I sign up? I loooovvee telling other people how to live!) say that all goals should be SMART:
Specific, Measurable, Articulable, Realistic, and Timely.

Now, there is all kinds of stuff on line telling you what that means, and I strongly encourage you to look at it. But, in general and in brief, make your goals something concrete, doable, and verifiable. Not, “I’m gonna get serious about my writing” — who the heck knows what that means? But if you say, “I’m going to write every day, at least 100 words, and I am going to write an average of 5000 words a week, that is something we can measure. I like these kind of minimum and average goals, btw. My life doesn’t let me commit to 1500 words a day, or anything like that. But I can always make myself click out a tiny minimum, just to be on the daily. And then I can make myself use the precious free time I get to reach the higher average goal.

Dear Bridgie has signed on for the 100/day, 5000/week for 2011. What goals can you set for your muse?


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