Setting Realistic Expectations

One thing therapy has taught me is that I have unrealistic expectations of myself. And then when I don’t make a goal, I take it out on myself. And I never make my goals because they are too far out of my reach. I’ve instituted making realistic expectations when it comes to housework. I prioritize now and I don’t beat myself up if I don’t get everything done. This way I get some things done, am satisfied with myself and finish off the rest at a later time. Though to be honest there is no such thing as being done with housework. Before I would make a lofty list, stall out on the first item and then go eat some ice cream and play video games, nothing getting done.

So while I have accomplished some in setting realistic expectations, I still struggle with it for my writing. It being the last month of the year, I’ve been goal setting for 2014 and man my goals are awesome. I’ll list my writing goals below:

1. Finish the rough draft, the revision and submit the queries of With Teeth.

2. Finish the revision and submit the queries for Heroes in Name.

3. Write and submit 52 flash fiction stories (one per week)

4. Write and submit 12 short stories (one per month)

5. Finish the rough drafts of Bad Apple and Duty, Love, Honor.

Anyone else tired after all of that? For some people the above is entirely possible. For me, it may even be possible, if I forsake my kids, my responsibilities and any other activity but writing. It isn’t very realistic of me. So I have a couple of choices in how I handle my goals. I can set the high goal and be happy that I accomplished anything that I do or I can make my goals much more reasonable. I’m going with reasonable.

1. Finish first draft of something

2. Revise a novel and submit queries

But these are “simple”. I know I can do it so I’m going to also make some stretch goals, aka goals that are just a little bit out of reach. Goals that I probably won’t make but that I will accomplish much in trying to reach them. I’ve decided not to plan out which projects I’m going to work on and let my muse have a little bit more room rather than being boxed in.

My stretch goal for 2014 is to write 1 million words. This can be first draft, blog posts, rewrites, anything. I want to reach 1 million words written in a year. Breaking this goal down, I am aiming for 20k words written a week or about 3k a day.

So when making goals for yourself, how do you go about it? And what are your goals for 2014?