Setting goals, part two

By Katharine Swan On Wednesday, March 29, 2006 At 12:27 AM


The other day I posted on setting goals. I'm sorry to say that so far this week I have not worked on my story for an hour every day, but I blame that partly on the house; closing on Monday took up a lot of time that I normally would have spent writing. And today...well, I had errands to run and babysitting to do. I'm justified.

In any case, I don't always meet the goals I set, and I think that's okay. (As long as they're not deadlines my employers are setting!) The way I see it, setting goals helps me get closer to my ultimate goal, even if I don't meet the daily ones every time.

Case in point: after reading a very good book on writing recently, The Well-Fed Writer, I mentioned that I'd taken a tip from the author and set a daily income goal for myself. I definitely don't meet it every day, but on the days that I do, I feel pretty good about myself. And although there are certainly many days that I fail to meet my goal, I have succeeded in topping last month's income (which was, itself, tripled from the month before) - and I still have another payment or two due by the end of the week!

Goals can help, but you need to be flexible about them. There are simply some days when you won't meet them, and others when you will surpass every expectation for yourself. Goals serve you better if you think of them more like guidelines - milemarkers to let you know where you are and how you're doing.

That being said, I've been having a rough time meeting my goals lately. My wrists have been aching on and off from all the computer work, and although they are much better today, I am worried they'll get worse again if I'm not careful. And the house, of course, has provided a lot of distractions, and will continue to do so (even more now) for probably another month, until we're completely done fixing it up and moving in. Some extra babysitting lately hasn't helped either (although the extra money is always good). I have a feeling that the next month will be even busier - I may have to address my sleep habits in order to make for some extra time.

My goals will keep me more or less in check, however. Even if I don't meet them every day, it doesn't matter, because they remind me that I love the job I'm doing now, but that if I want to keep doing it, I need to have an income to show for it!

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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