The power of announcing your goals

I belong to a writers’ goal group. It consists of a total of 4 women and when we meet (we try for once a week) we declare our goals to each other. Very simple and yet very powerful. Not only do the goals include our writing goals but they have, over the years, also included personal goals, for example, 2 of us have competed in triathlons as a direct result of declaring that goal and then cheering each other on.

photo credit: Melody Campbell

It’s a mini-support group of the best kind.

The name of our group is D.A.R.E and after 3 years we can’t fully remember what it originally stood for (I do know the D was for Dumbledore) but it doesn’t make any difference, the acronym says what it should say. In the group we dare to dream and we dare to set down on paper what it is we want to accomplish. The power behind being accountable in immense.

This Monday we met for our yearly anniversary meeting. We talked about what we have accomplished in the past year and we also discussed not only our goals but our big dreams for next year. It’s been a busy few weeks, I wasn’t really prepared for the meeting and so in desperation I came up with only some of the more obvious goals.

I’d like to get a little travel in, I want to exercise more, and to do more with our writing.

We talked about writing retreats at relatives houses, and we talked about how we all had tremendous potential, we just need to harness and focus it, in order to keep moving forward. This is the year we’ll get our writing out there, we told each other.

But I also want to do more. I want to make a difference this year, I want to be responsible for change. I want to teach, I want to learn.

Which is why, right after the meeting I purchased a notebook that will be dedicated to my efforts of reaching my goals next year. I’m going to spend the next few weeks thinking about this and deciding exactly what it is I want to accomplish and the best steps to take in order to get me there. I’m also going to identify what success means, how I’ll know when it is I have reached my goal.

When that ball falls on a bright and shiny new year, I’m going to be ready to hit the ground running.

I’ll have a game plan, and, more importantly, I’ll have my 3 friends cheering me along the way.

How about you? What are your goals (writing and otherwise) for the next year and how are you going to be accountable to them?

***

Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.

Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens).

Cost of the notebook? 4.99, setting up goals for the next year? Priceless. 

8 thoughts on “The power of announcing your goals

  1. Oh I miss my writing group! I had an excellent one in MA. I need to get on the stick and find people locally who share similar visions.

    • Lee,

      Even though we are all writers in my group, I want to make the point that this is a goals group. I’ve never actually belonged to a writing group. At Dare, we don’t critique each others’ writing (but will if asked) and we don’t read our writing to each other. Even though much of what we do, and even though we started because of writing, the emphasis is on setting and working toward goals.

      We simply declare our goals (sending them out to the universe) and cheer each other on when we’ve made progress.

      I guess my point is that it’s a group that can consist of any group of people. The only requirement is that you have to want to do things in life.

      Wendy

  2. My goals for 2012 are to compile an adult fairy tale novel from many of my postings and the non-posted connecting narratives. I will produce my own artwork. I will be accountable on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitters, at my own webisite, http://granbee.wordpress.com, and through emails to a few selected fellow writer/blogsters.

  3. Oh, the challenge of containing myself! Goals you ask? First, finish moving into a new home and getting myself fully settled into my new office, including possibly converting to some kind of paperless system to reduce chaos! Second, more writing. Especially branching out to earn more money because I’d really like to buy a laptop computer I can lug around (right now most of my extra money goes toward extra-curricular instruction for my daughter). Third, begin to develop my author’s platform. Fourth, MORE creative writing which means writing short stories, polishing up my book outline and beginning the process of chapter writing.
    The latter is not meant as the goal with the least priority but the goal that is accomplished while I am doing everything else.
    Simultaneously, there is the process of getting my youngest ready for college which means helping her scope out art programs and get her portfolio ready and tripping her back and forth to art workshops and so forth. In two years, she will be off and I hope to have a book ready by then if I time it right.
    Hmm, when to sleep and how to accomplish such complex, ambitious goals, above all else, keep balance?
    THAT is the trick!

    Sometimes, Wendy, stating all my goals outloud sounds ridiculous! I think to myself: “Who do you think you are?” NO ONE can possibly accomplish all of that and maintain a healthy state of mind and body! But I suppose voicing it to the world (even if it is only a few friends), is a form of commitment and thus, it brings you a little closer to the end point.
    :)

  4. I have discovered Springpad (for the computer and a smartphone app). It’s a great way to organize and keep track of our your thoughts, projects, recipes, goals, budgets, and the list goes on. It is also helpful on the go. If you want to add a note to it simply break out the smart phone and get your thought down. Then once at home there it is on your computer or at on your work computer. Thanks for the inspiration I am going to create a goals folder in Springpad (and you can even share with friends if you so choose.

  5. I don’t have a smartphone, but that sounds like a great way to organize! I do it the old-fashioned way – day planner, strategic schedulilng (which almost NEVER quite works out the way you want it to on a weekly basis, haha), and a disciplined commitment to achieving SOMETHING at the end of the day! :)

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