Goals, Not Resolutions

I don’t do resolutions, I do goals.

Resolutions come from a position of weakness: I’m not doing good enough, I need to fix something. Goals come from a position of strength: I want to make something new happen.

Resolutions aren’t backed by planning. Goals are — and in making the parameters of the goal SMART (specific, measurable, appropriate, relevant, time-constrained). The plan follows, and the plan increases the chances of success.

Here are my revised writing goals for the New Year:


  • ·       Develop a platform plan by March 1, 2020
  • ·       Write/submit 5 short stories/poems/flash fiction by December 31, 2020
  • ·       Revise via developmental edit by March 1, 2020
  • ·       Send 50 queries for Gaia’s Hands by February 1, 2020
  • ·       Send 50 queries for Whose Hearts are Mountains  by October 1, 2020


  • ·       Get an agent
  • ·       Publish my first book
  • ·       Discuss with agent further books
  • ·      Develop personal sales presence
  • ·      Develop idea for next novel

Notice that my long-term goals are not SMART, largely because they depend on things beyond my control. I put them in as motivational, as a way to envision where I’d like to be. As that trajectory becomes clearer, I will be able to make them SMART.

I have other SMART goals for the year — one is to lose 30 pounds by December 31, 2020 through eating a well-balanced 1500 calorie a day diet and exercising (the development of getting physically fit is in another goal). I will evaluate my goal every month or so and adjust accordingly if I’m not losing 2.5 pounds a month. (If I’m losing more, that’s fine!)

Well-laid plans will beat resolutions every time. Unless they gang aft agley, I guess.

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