Most successful freelance writers and editors establish goals. Some do it annually, others twice a year and some develop a weekly plan that includes goals.
Goals can also be effective when you start working on a large writing project. You know what I mean. If you’re writing a book you might make it a goal to finish a draft of a chapter in five days; if you’re writing an article you might set a goal of finishing the draft by end of business today and the final edit by the end of the week. Goals of x number of words or pages is another approach.
It’s best, of course, if goals are written down and have a due date attached. Which is fine as far as it goes. There is, however, one more element and that’s rewarding yourself when you achieve a goal.
By rewarding yourself you’re closing the circuit with a bit of happiness or joy. When you reward yourself for achieving a goal it actually makes it a tiny bit easier to achieve the next goal. Rewarding yourself is just one more excellent way to train your mind to be truly self-supportive.
One of the tricks of this system is to use small rewards as well as large ones. Sure, if you get your book written you may want to reward yourself with a week’s vacation, but if, along the way, you reward yourself for each chapter or section, you’ll finish the book more quickly.
Here are some of the small rewards I use for myself:
- An trip to the library.
- A fresh cup of coffee or tea.
- 10 minutes sitting on the patio just enjoying it.
- A 10 minute call to a friend.
- A call to a writing friend to let them know I’ve completed a task and want to celebrate.
- Buy myself lunch at a restaurant I like.
- A walk through my local botanical garden.
- Take my grandkids to a movie.
- A nap (with a good book.)
- 15 minutes exploring websites I think I don’t have time for.
- 30 minutes caring for my garden.
You get the idea. Most of these are free or close to it. Most of them don’t take anything like a whole day. As I look at this list I realize three hours is probably the longest time investment on the list (movies with the grandkids); many don’t even require me to leave my desk.
I know when I remember to reward myself my writing and even my life goes better.
How am I going to reward myself after I finish this blog? A slightly longer than usual hot shower to get ready for lunch with my Master Mind group.
Image from http://www.sxc.hu