Monday, January 4, 2010

Are you SMART? Setting New Years Goals!


I hope you are all refreshed, recovered from any hangovers, and ready to start kicking some ass in 2010 :).

I've always been wary of New Year's resolutions. Whenever people talk about them, it's inevitably followed by an eye roll or a knowing wink.

Oh, sure. Yeah. Good luck with that. Har har. We'll see how that's going in two weeks.

However, this year is different. Instead of resolutions, I'm creating some S.M.A.R.T. goals for myself, including mini stepping stone goals. S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound--all good things!

A lot of clever people on the internet have been talking about their goal setting techniques, and I've ripped a lot of them off to come up with something I think will work for me.

My goals so far:

1) Finish Legacy of the Empress final edits!

-- Edit at least 10 pages per weekday
-- Finish all edits by 1/30/09
-- Finish husband’s edits within a week of receiving them (he'll get them 1/31, and then I'll politely harass him until they are done. Bless him.)

2) Try my hardest to get an agent!

--After finishing husband's edits, prepare manuscript for submission within a week of the Final Once-Over
--Post query on forum one last time
--Perfect query based on feedback
--Begin Query Storm 2010!
--Remember over all that if this book doesn't get me an agent, another will :).
--Keep writing!

3) Finish my second novel, Hollow Land!

--Develop a daily writing routine that works for me
--Allow myself the freedom to write weird crap the first time around.

As you can see, I'm trying to do my writing goals in stages, so I can focus on one thing at a time, cross it off the list, and see some early successes to keep me going. This sounds like a much better plan than setting a goal like "WRITE EVERY DAY," fail to do it for a couple of days... you know, ever... and then feel like a screw up. I think this may be the key to actually accomplishing one's goals :). Interesting, no? It's like, common sense or something.

This year, I'm also trying to get fit, but instead of writing "be healthier," I'm making a multi-tier goal sheet for that as well.

1) Get to [redacted goal weight] and stay there

--Phase 1 (2 weeks)
Limit calories 3 days a week
Get on the bike for 30 mins or more twice a week.
Do 5 pushups and 10 situps twice a week.

--Phase 2 (2 weeks)
Limit calories 5 days a week
Get on the bike for 30 mins or more 3-4 times a week.
Do 10 pushups and 20 situps twice a week.

--Phase 3 (Will assess when I get there)
Lose 1lb of fat per week.
Get on the bike for 30 mins or more 3-4 times a week.
Do 15 pushups and 30 situps three times a week.

2) Do an unassisted pull up!

Phase 1 (2 weeks)
Follow above plan until I'm able to do 50 sit ups/50 push ups.
Add 5 negative pull ups into routine 3-4 times a week.

Phase 2 (2-6 weeks)
Move up to 10-20 negative pull ups 3-4 times a week.
Attempt a pull up at least once a week
Don't give up!

Phase 3
Do a pull up in someone's face at the gym
Gloat, complete with fist pumps like Atreyu, in Neverending Story. WOOT!

I'm starting really small and slowly so I know I'll be able to develop the habit, encourage myself, and overall stick with it!

By being specific and breaking it up into smaller goals, I already feel encouraged by having a sensible lunch & breakfast today and doing some push ups at my desk :). Hooray!

What are your plans for this year? Do you have goals you're planning on achiving?


I missed you guys! :D How was everyone's holiday?


Christine Fonseca said...

LOL - SMART goals...working in the field I do, I am very used to writing goals! I will save my goals for a later blog post (it is the Blog Chain topic), but yours look terrific~

Rebecca Knight said...

Well that just proves it--I'm psychic! Looks like I have to think of more insightful things to say about goals... lol. Off to a good start ;).

Bethany Wiggins said...

Amazing goals... it's seeming to be the start of an awesome year. I hope your resolutions all come to pass!

Iapetus999 said...

That's too specific for me...I'm too random, and my worst enemy is disappointment or discouragement. So I just go with the flow.

I'm trying to drop 30 lbs myself...good luck!

Rebecca Knight said...

Thanks, Bethany! :D You, too!

Lapetus: I've learned the hard way that I have to give myself some small goals along the way or I just wander aimlessly. I sort of envy people like you, though! Good luck to you, too!

Iapetus999 said...

(it's iapetus btw)

Yup, I just wander aimlessly.
What actually works for me is not goals but deadlines. Yes I know they're similar but having a concrete date helps for some reason.

Rebecca Knight said...

Oops, sorry Iapetus :D!

I'm the world's biggest procrastinator, so if I have a deadline, I'll literally wait until the night before and then panic.

I'm always in awe of folks w/ enough discipline to get the job done w/o smaller steps, when it's a personal goal :).

Nisa said...

Your goals are awesome! Good luck with them! Especially the pull-up! :D

Tere Kirkland said...

LOL, good luck with the pull-up and the gloating. I can't help you with that goal, but if you need a beta for The Hollow Land, well, you know who to call.

That would be me, in case you're having trouble reading between the lines. ;) The cold has given me brainfreeze, so I imagine it must be worse for people who don't live in the Deep South.

Yunaleska said...

Lots of great goals there! Me - no resolutions, never do. Just see what happens in 2010. It's been great so far.

ElanaJ said...

Ugh, SMART goals makes me think of all those hours I spend in professional development.

But good for you! I hope you reach all of your goals this year. I can't wait to read about it right here!

Tamika: said...

I love Jamie Ford! His book was fabulous!

Great post, some hearty reminders that we really have every reason to reach success. The tools are all at our fingertips!

ajgallion said...

Hi Rebecca -- What lights my fire when things get dark? Walking toward the light, i.e., the computer -- opening up the manuscript-in-progress, and marveling..."Did I write that? Not bad..." :) Sometimes, a little pat on the back from myself does the trick.

Nishant said...

Looks like I have to think of more insightful things to say about goals... lol. Off to a good start ;).

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