by Kasey Tross
Whoa! This is MMW's
Not all of them have been published, but many have, and each and every one represents effort and dedication from our MMWs. So here's to you ladies (and a gentleman or two)! :-)
Kind of fitting that today I wanted to say a few words about goals. You see, I am a goal person. I just love me some big, juicy goals, and I especially love the feeling I get when I reach them.
This summer I set a goal to read the Book of Mormon by the time the kids start school again, which is two weeks from tomorrow. I put up a chart on the fridge with tiny squares for each chapter, and I have filled in each square as I've completed it. I knew I needed to do about 2 chapters per day to succeed, which seemed very doable to me. Of course, there were times I got behind- like the week before vacation when I was trying to get us ready to go and then the week we were on vacation- but I jumped back on the wagon when we got home and I increased my daily reading to catch up. I just love the feeling of coloring in those little squares, and I love how my daily immersion in the scriptures is bringing the Spirit into my life.
One thing I've learned over the years is that for me, goals need to be cumulative, rather than calendared. What does that mean? It means I set a deadline for myself to accomplish a task, and then I divide that task into manageable chunks to ensure I accomplish it by the deadline, rather than setting a goal to do something every day. I kind of stink at consistency, but when I see a deadline looming you'd better watch out because this MMW is gonna make it come heck or high water! Plus, there's always hope- if it's cumulative, even if I've been slacking I can still make it up (like the scripture reading) whereas if it's a goal to do something every day then as soon as I miss a day I have failed.
Make sense? Good.
I've decided that's what I need to do with my writing. Rather than setting a goal to write or edit "x amount" of words or chapters each day, I'm going to set a goal to have a certain amount finished by a certain deadline. Last year my mom helped me by being my accountability partner- my goal was to write 3,000 words each week, and yes, most of those got written at 11pm on Saturday night.- but they did get written!
And, as in my scripture reading, a visual reminder like a chart is awesome. You might think it's kind of childish, but I just love that feeling of filling in another block and seeing that chart filling up, getting closer and closer to my goal. I think for my writing I will get creative and make a mock-up book cover for my WIP and put the chart on that. That way I will be able to see my progress as I go along and remind myself what I'm working for.
Keep in mind that goals aren't just for writing, and they aren't just for grownups. Recently my two middle girls have been having a tough time getting along so I sat down with them to create some simple goals to encourage them to mend their relationship. They decided they would each hug each other once per day, and they would each do 1 kind thing for each other each day. They haven't been perfect at it, but just the effort they've been making has already helped their relationship tremendously.
Now that school is starting up again, what goals do you have for yourself? For your kids? Are you a chart nerd like me??