Saturday 27 February 2021

Tiny Goals by Claire Fayers

 There's been a lot of discussion about goal-setting and motivation lately, including Saviour Pirotti's excellent blog post a few days ago.

January is the tradition time to think about goals and I hit the ground running. Buoyed up by goal-setting workshops, I invested in a notebook and a set of coloured pens. I set up to-do lists, with different categories of tasks in different colours. I learned the difference between objectives, projects and tasks. I created weekly timetables and a progress spreadsheet to track my work every day. Success meant 1,500 words a day plus an hour at the piano and, because we've just moved house, some of the necessary 'settling in' work of painting, assembling furniture and unpacking.

And then I tripped on a paving slab in the garden, couldn't use my hands for two days and couldn't bend my leg to sit at my desk for a week. That wasn't on my timetable.

I ended up spending a lot of time reading - not research, not looking for inspiration, but just reading for pleasure with a book propped on a cushion. It was a great week. No pressure to do anything, just the quiet company of other people's words. I hadn't realised how much I'd needed a break until it happened.

Now I'm back at work, with a small hole in my knee and a big one in my progress spreadsheet. But, fear not, because I have the answer.

I will set tiny goals and I will do lots of them.

100 words of first draft earns the Writer's Badge of Merit. (I've earned two of them so far just writing this blog post).

100 words of editing earns the Making It Better ribbon.

10 minutes of thinking up character names gains the Star of Nomenclature.

10 minutes of planning a chapter achieves the coveted Look Who Knows What They're Doing crown.

Randomly thinking up an idea whilst doing something entirely different wins the Bonus Inspiration prize.

Then there are associated activities. Going for a walk achieves the Author's Health Award. Making a cup of tea and remembering to drink it wins the Waste Not Want Not.

And how about not doing things? Not eating a bag of crisps wins the Giving Up for Lent award. Not spending 10 minutes web-browsing gets me the Concentration Champion prize. Not buying fancy stationery I don't need gains the Medal of Frugality. (Though, obviously I am going to need to buy a lot of fancy stickers for all these awards.) 

Who wants to join me in March for a month of tiny goals? Fun, easily fitted around other commitments, (almost) guaranteed success. And maybe we'll look back at the end of the month and be surprised at how much we've actually achieved.

Claire Fayers writes fantasy and adventure stories for 7-12 year-olds. Her new collection of Welsh Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends, published by Scholastic is out now.


Jade said...
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Penny Dolan said...

Claire, that make a hot drink and forget to drink it is the story of my life these days.

I like the sound of your Little Awards and celebrations. What a nioe post!

Bonnie Helen Hawkins said...

Thank you Claire this made me laugh and helped when I was feeling low.