Debra Mullins

Goal Setting in 2014 and the First Post of the 31 Days of Books Giveaway!

Oh, come on. It’s New Year’s Day, and you really thought we’d get away with not talking about setting goals?

All those years ago, back in the previous century, if I hadn’t set my sights on publication and decided on a road to get there, I’d still be dreaming about seeing my name on a book cover some day. But because I set goals, I did get there. And you can, too—whatever your goals may be.

This is a poster of the cover of Donovan’s Bed, one of my favorite books. It hangs on the wall of my office to remind me that I can get where I’m going, as long as I set a path and follow it.


Setting goals is a good thing. Really, it is. It promotes discipline and helps us achieve things. For instance, when I’m on deadline, I set a goal to get a specific number of pages written per day. If I didn’t do that, my deadline would come along and I’d have no book!

The number of pages I set fluctuates each day, depending on what I have going on. If it’s a day where I have to work (yes, I still have a full time day job), then I will set my goal for less pages than, say, a Saturday where I don’t have to go anywhere. This is one of the most important things to remember about goals: You have to make them realistic. Sure, I could set a goal to write 20 pages on a Tuesday. Heck, I can set any goal I want. But is that a realistic goal? Not with an 8-hour commitment to my day job, it isn’t. On a Tuesday, a goal of 4-5 pages, which takes me 1-2 hours to write, is realistic. On that Saturday where I don’t have anything else on the schedule? Then yes, 20 pages is realistic. It takes me all day, but I’ve done that in the past when I needed to get a book in. I know I can do it, because I already have. So it’s realistic.

Books aside, if you’re like me, maybe you have some health goals in mind for January. I need to lose weight, which is hard because it means unlearning bad habits and replacing them with good habits. That takes time and concentration. And I’m not talking about dropping ten pounds; I need to lose a considerable amount of weight. The idea of tackling such a huge goal intimidates me. Can I do it? Maybe. It’s kind of scary to think about it. But if I look at the weight I need to lose and compare it to writing a 375-page book, then it gets less scary.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Those of you who are not writers may think writing a 375-page book is a huge undertaking. And it is. It’s a Big Goal. However, I’ve already done it fifteen times by breaking that big number into a smaller one that I tackle each day. Maybe if I do something similar with my weight loss, I’ll have more success. What do you think? How do you think you can accomplish big goals? Sound off in the comments!

Reminder: Anyone who comments gets put in a drawing to win a free paperback copy of one of my backlist titles!