Monday 8 November 2021

Being Healthy With Your Goals - The Creative Process


It's coming up to that time of year when some of us look back at the year behind us and start to look forward and think about what we'd like to achieve in the coming year. I do a bunch of goals of different speeds. I do monthly goals on a private blog, bi-monthly on my Authortube channel, yearly there as well as here on the blog. I also do weekly goals in my planner. My point is that you can approach goal making in a number of different ways and they're not always going to be the same.

For example, my yearly goals are more broad, they stretch over the whole year, and I'll do a six month check in during June or July. My bi-monthly goals are more focused, as the name suggests, on the coming two months and the tasks that I'll need to achieve to be able to reach my yearly goals. The monthly goals on the private blog are like that too, but on a month basis, as are the weekly ones in my planner. You get the point. I start broad and work my way down to seeing what I have to manage each week/month/bi-month to achieve those goals I set at the start to the year.

You can also do quarterly goals, which are quite popular, but have never really appealed to me, but if that works for you, then go for it. I know there are a number of Authortubers who do goals this way and it's always interesting to see how they structure them all.

But why bring this up in November? Well like I said above, we're coming to the end of the year, it's not here yet, but it soon will be, and one thing I really wanted to stress this year, after the hellscape that have been 2020 and 2021, is that you need to be healthy with your goals. I don't mean that you should be making exercise or weight loss goals (unless you want to) but that you need to be sure that the goals you're setting yourself aren't going to have a negative effect on you, either physically, mentally, emotionally, or otherwise.

For me, the point of starting afresh with a new year is to try and make some positive changes. I know a lot of people will aim to lose weight, or start a new positive habit, like writing, or reading a certain number of books, and these are all fine things. They don't work for everyone, but the point of goals is to focus on you, and what you want to achieve and where you want to be in the coming year.

But they need to realistic. I understand wanting to aim high, and that works great for some people, but personally, I know that if I'm getting to the end of the year and I know that I told myself I would release ten books and write ten more, I'd be anxious as anything, and I'd be setting myself up to fail. I know that, usually, I finish four books a year, I also know that I don't think I can manage more than two releases in a year, so setting a stretch goal that I know I would have to double or triple my workload to manage, is not healthy for me personally, and it'll just lead to lots of stress, burnout and the feeling that I'm failing myself and everyone else.

So what can you do to make sure that you're being healthy with your goals? My advice has always been to start small, and that's no different here either. I know from years of writing consistently that I can achieve at most four books in a year. The way I write, the time constraints my conditions put on me mean that I can't write daily, and I can't, usually, manage more than twenty chapters in a month. There was a period a few years ago when I would aim for twenty-four chapters every month, and all it got me was burnt out. So now I stick to twenty on the regular, and then when I start two new projects, usually in May and November, I'll write two chapters in one day for a few days and call it done.

If you know what you're able to achieve in one month, one week, or even a year, and you want to stretch yourself a little, then by all means up the goal slightly. Just be honest with yourself about whether or not you can realisticly achieve it. If you know you can't, don't set yourself up to fail because no one wins in that scenario.

So when setting your goals this month, or even in 2022, make sure that you're healthy about it. Bear in mind that you have a limited time, what you're able to manage and aim higher if you want to, but make sure you won't be pushing yourself to breaking point to get there.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments below!

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