14 days to Christmas!

Yesterday, I was considering the  importance of setting goals.  I usually thumb my nose at goal-setters and motivational stuff, but I realized lately that I shouldn’t because I am an obsessive goal-setter, I just never noticed it before.

For example:

  • While jogging: I’ll just go two more blocks, and then I’ll be through… or Oh, I’ve almost beat my best time!  Let’s try to get there in under 30 minutes.
  • While cleaning the house: I’m going to vacuum the living room, kitchen, and hall, and I’ll take less than twenty minutes to do it.
  • While studying: I will get through all these sections tonight, and that way I can finish the whole lesson by Friday.
  • While writing: I want to finish my first draft by New Years.

So, very short-term goals, but goals nonetheless.  Thery’re also all goals with time constraints.  I would imagine that most people live this way since we’re all trying to get things done quickly.

Now what about long-term goals?   Okay, long-term for me is, like, a year in advance.  I just can’t do the whole “five-year-plan” stuff.  Prior to my career (or fledgling, not-yet-paying career) as a writer, I thought only in long-term because, well, a scientific education takes years and years and millennia to complete.  I was estimating that my actual life and “settling” down would begin about 7+ years after I finished my M.Sc.

Now, as a writer, I think in more immediate terms.  By Christmas, I want the first draft (of book #2) to be finished.  I want revisions to be completed by June, and I want to have started writing book #3 by July.  I want to begin querying agents at the end of late summer in 2010.

That’s about as long-term as I can get these days.  Personally, it’s the short-term goals that keep me happily productive.  I like finishing tasks, finishing them quickly, and finishing them well.

What about you?  What goals do you set for yourself and what sort of deadlines?  Do you have any holiday goals?


An impressive performance of the Tea, or Chinese Dance, from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite.  The male dancer can really jump.