Goals are important to any professional, but especially to writers. I know when I had the dreaded day job, I hated it when my boss asked what my goals were. When I was fresh into the company I could tell the boss, but when I was within a few years of retiring, my goal was to retire.
With writing, there is so much more to it. One has to be realistic about their goals, but that doesn't mean we can't reach for the stars. We sometimes want to reach higher than we think we can.
The main thing about goals to remember is they need to be SMART goals.
Specific goal - write 5 pages a day, 6 days a week
Measurable - the number of pages per day or week
Attainable - can I write 5 pages a day, 6 days a week? If yes, then it's attainable, if not, then need to change the goal
Realistic - look at what a typical week looks like, is it realistic for me to write 5 pages a day, 6 days a week
Time-bound - 1 week
This is pretty simplistic but this is what I do. I have daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals and yearly goals. I also have 5 year and 10 year plans/goals. The reason for this is to track where I am, plus the IRS (in the US) can ask for your 5 year and 10 year plans if they think you're not doing this as a business.
It's amazing on how things change which is why you do re-evaluate your goals. I always look at my monthly goals to see how I progressed and change the next month if needed. On the yearly goals, I look at them once a year at the end of the year to see how I did and make the next years plan accordingly.
The 5 and 10 year goals, I do look at maybe once a year or every other year.
If you're not making a weekly goal, take a look at your daily goals and see what happened that week and then adjust.
This isn't written in stone, but it gives you a benchmark.
Just remember goals don't make you a professional, but they make do make you look better when asked what your goals are.
Next week: Keeping Track of Time