Friday, April 13, 2012

L: Light at the End

L:  We set goals and work to reach them. Hopefully, we all do that.  Sometimes that goal seems far, far away. If not in a distant galaxy, it's so far in front of us achievement or time wise, we can't imagine being there.  I think it's important to set some smaller, shorter goals, ones we can make and then pass on our way to that big celebration at the end.

I expect the saying, 'the light at the end of the tunnel' had been around for a long time.  Seeing that symbolic end to our toil, inspires us to work even harder.  It's important to be able to see it.  If there's nothing but dark in front of us, we may get lost or give up in frustration. 

Some of my students set fitness goals.  I know a few girls who want to lose weight, for some of them a large amount.  They struggle to accept how setting small goals will ultimately help them reach their larger, long term goal. We can get caught up in the same short-sightedness as writers.

So set some short term goals.  Perhaps rather than say I'll write a 100,000 page novel by the end of the year, I say I'll write an average of ten pages per week.  Perhaps instead of saying I'll sell thousands of books this year, I'll set a goal of a three week blog tour and a certain number of hours spend on promotion per week.  Short goals I can accomplish that could help me toward my larger goal.

We all need to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and when we get there, we enter that next tunnel and work toward the next light.

 Do you set big goals or do you break it down into smaller ones? Do you write down your goals or keep them in your thoughts?


  1. Terrific post. As a former teacher and professor, I can relate to it!

    If you've the time, pop over to my blog. I'm the award winning author of the Bella and Britt series.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I do both. I set big, year long goals and then I break it down into months and weeks and sometimes days. I write them down and occasionally blog about them because I think that helps hold me to them. I can't pretend the goal never existed if I wrote it down.

  3. no i really haven't been setting writing goals, until this exercise :)

  4. I'm terrible about setting goals.

  5. I totally agree - setting short term goals that lead to long term goals is the best way to get to the light at the end.

  6. Honey, sometimes my goal is just to get out of bed and brush my teeth. How's that for short-term? Thanks for urging me to perhaps set more ambitious goals!

  7. Hi, I am a teacher as well as a writer, and I do need to remember that short term goals are so important. They help so much when things feel overwhelming-to do bite size tasks that you can digest and feel good about! I'm over from A to Z, so pop on by if you like. (Catherine Stine's Idea City).

  8. Keeping this in mind really helps get through things, and reach what we're trying to reach. Thanks for a great inspiring post!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  9. I always try for the little goals first, those that I know are easy to achieve

  10. I set small goals every week, post them on my blog, and work my way through them.

    It makes me accountable, but it is also a solid record to look back on and see what I've achieved so far this year.
    Good post.

  11. I have found writing down goals keeps me on task. If it is a large goal then I break it down into baby steps.

  12. I usually set some crazy goal and most always attain it....last year my goal was not drive my car to all. I rode my bike daily- except once when it rained so hard I thought I would get hit by a car and I ended up walking to work- my goal earned me being crowned "Bicycle Commuter of the Year" for my county. This year my goal was to never miss a duty (I teach) but I stupidly forgot to go to traffic duty on Tuesday :( Bummer.

    Cool post.
    Happy A-Z Apil!