Dear Doomed to Fail,
First of all, I don’t believe for a minute that you’re doomed to fail. You had the motivation and insight to set goals and make plans to achieve those goals - that says a lot about your desire to make this happen. Also, you’ve not thrown in the towel - you’re searching for answers on how to proceed and reach success.
Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur, said, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” I believe it. Of course it’s not all about discipline, it’s also about the rationale or purpose behind your goals. In other words, what intrinsic force is pulling you along?
Achieving your goals can also be about garnering support (who’s in your corner?) and “heart.” Is your heart in this task or tasks? Think about all this while I relay my goal setting experiences (since you asked).
As a writer, my life is full of goals. In fact, I had the goal of writing this column prior to moving and I followed through. I had the goal of publishing my new historical fiction, The Bootmaker’s Wife, before the end of last year and it hit Amazon just before Christmas.
Much of writing is fun or, as you say, doable. Like “living” on the Nebraska prairie in 1875 and responding to folks like you. It’s the editing and the rewrites that are challenging. Especially with a book, the real discipline begins with the post editing rewrite. This is where the rubber meets the road and I have to doggedly go back line after line, chapter after chapter and bring a manuscript to life. This is where I have to simply put “my nose to the grindstone” and chisel out new scenes, better dialogue, etc. Not much fun going on here.
This might be the stage you’re in today - grinding out the more difficult steps that will help you reach your goals. This is where being able to visualize the end result helps. “Keeping your eye on the prize” is what helps me put one foot in front of the other during the tough times.
Your goals are probably wildly different from mine but the process may be much the same. Here are two more tips: Get an accountability partner (I meet with a writers’ critique group twice a month) and reward yourself when you accomplish steps along the way (my midway reward for the historical fiction was a solo trip to the Nebraska Sand Hills - the geographical location for the book).
Finally, ask yourself, “Given the discipline it’s going to take to achieve my goals, is it worth it?” If the answer is “yes!” then you’re on the road. Just knowing it’s going to be hard work will help you stay connected to your outcome and achieve your goals by year-end. Good luck!
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