On Monday I wrote about my wishes and dreams for 2015, and I mentioned how I was going to turn those dreams into goals for the new year. But before I start turning my dreams into goals, let’s review the definition of a goal. According to Google, a goal is “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.” I would also add:

  • Goals are realistic.
  • Goals are achievable.

1-4 image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

1-4 image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

And in order to create a goal we need to do four things.

  1. Dream.
    We need to have a dream. Fortunately we did that the other day. If you haven’t already written out your wishes for 2015, now is the time to do it. Remember if you share those dreams, it creates accountability. You can share your wishes either on your own blog, Facebook page, or even in the comment section of my post.
  2. Plan.
    We need to have a plan. We need to formulate a list of steps or even a checklist of things that we need to do to achieve our goal. For example, a good goal is to lose 5 pounds. It’s realistic. It’s achievable. But if you don’t figure out how you’re going to lose that weight, then it’s never going to come off. You have to plan to cut your calories and increase your fitness level.
  3. Timeline.
    We need to create a realistic timeline. I might set a goal to get an agent. I might draw up a list of all the different agents I could submit to and draft an email to use as my query letter. But if I don’t actually start querying in a timely manner, this goal could take forever to achieve. On the other hand if I decide to send out 10 letters a day that’s as unrealistic as sending 10 letters a year. I have to find a balance that makes sense for that particular goal.
  4. Adjust.
    We need to make adjustments to our dreams, our plans, and our timelines as necessary. Sometimes the way we worded our dream ends up being unrealistic. We then need to adjust accordingly. Or we may discover that the plan we have made is not actually practical. For example, my husband and I wanted to create and sell Lego play tables. However, we have been unable to source parts for our table at a reasonable price. This has forced us to rethink our plan. Finally, we also sometimes need to adjust our timelines. Life happens. We can’t always predict when and how much time a project will take. If you find you are speeding through your plan, great! Adjust your timeline accordingly. By the same token if you find that you just are having trouble meeting a specific timeline, again adjust. These are goals you are setting for your self. There is no need to unduly pressure yourself with unrealistic or unworkable timelines.