Erin Delia

Have you ever felt stuck in a cycle of unfulfilled dreams and missed opportunities? The desire to achieve greatness burns within you, but somehow, you find yourself unable to take the necessary steps towards success. I’ve been there too, and I understand the frustration and disappointment that comes with it.

But let me tell you, there is a way to break free from this cycle and turn your aspirations into reality. It all starts with smart goal setting. By setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals, you can create a roadmap that leads straight to your dreams.

Imagine waking up every day with a clear purpose, knowing exactly what you need to do to inch closer to your goals. Picture the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel as you check off each milestone, confident in your progress. This is the power of smart goal setting.

Whether you’re an aspiring writer, an entrepreneur looking to launch a business, or someone with a burning passion to make a difference in the world, incorporating smart goal setting into your life can be truly transformative.

Key Takeaways:

  • Smart goal setting can help you break free from cycles of unfulfilled dreams and missed opportunities.
  • By setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals, you can create a roadmap to success.
  • Smart goal setting can provide a clear purpose, sense of progress, and a path towards achievement.
  • Incorporating smart goal setting into your life can lead to transformative results.
  • Whether you’re a writer, entrepreneur, or aspiring changemaker, smart goal setting can help you achieve your dreams.

What are SMART Goals and How Can They Help Writers?

SMART goals are a specific type of goal-setting method that can greatly benefit writers in achieving their writing aspirations. The concept of SMART goals was first introduced in 1981 by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham in their article “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives.” By adhering to the principles of SMART goal setting, writers can effectively measure their progress, alleviate creative pressure, and stay on track toward achieving their writing goals.

SMART is an acronym that stands for:

  • Specific: Goals should be clear, concise, and well-defined. Instead of setting a vague goal like “write a book,” a specific goal would be “complete the first draft of a 70,000-word novel by December 31st.”
  • Measurable: Goals should be quantifiable and have a concrete way of tracking progress. Writers can measure their progress by setting word-count targets, tracking the number of chapters completed, or monitoring the number of queries sent to agents.
  • Achievable: Goals should be realistic and attainable within the writer’s current circumstances. It’s important to set goals that challenge but do not overwhelm the writer. This ensures that the goals are within reach and can be accomplished with effort and dedication.
  • Relevant: Goals should be aligned with the writer’s long-term aspirations and be relevant to their writing journey. Setting goals that are meaningful and in line with overall writing objectives enhances motivation and focuses efforts toward achieving desired outcomes.
  • Time-Bound: Goals should have a clearly defined deadline to provide a sense of urgency and structure. By setting specific timelines, writers can create a roadmap for their progress and set realistic expectations for accomplishing their goals.

The power of SMART goals lies in their ability to provide writers with a framework for effective goal setting. By incorporating these five key elements into their goal-setting process, writers can enhance their productivity, achieve clarity in their creative endeavors, and find greater fulfillment in their writing journey.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

With SMART goals, writers can navigate the complexities of their writing process and navigate their way to success.

The Benefits of Specific Goals for Writers

Setting specific goals can have a profound impact on a writer’s journey. In the realm of creative writing, where subjectivity often rules, having specific goals can provide a clear direction and focus. By defining your goals with precision, you can navigate through the vast landscape of possibilities and make progress towards achieving them.

Specific goals help you answer important questions that guide your writing process. How many words should you aim to write daily? How many literary agents should you query for representation? Which specific area of writing do you want to study or specialize in? When you have concrete answers to these questions, you can create a roadmap that leads you closer to your desired outcomes.

Furthermore, specificity allows for better measurement of your progress. When your goals are vague, it can be challenging to determine how far you’ve come or how much further you need to go. On the other hand, specific goals provide measurable milestones, making it easier to assess your advancement along the way.

“Setting specific goals is crucial in turning the abstract idea of ‘being a writer’ into a tangible reality. It gives you something to aim for and guides your actions each day, ultimately propelling you towards success.”

By setting specific goals, you shape the trajectory of your writing journey. Whether it’s completing a novel, publishing a collection of poems, or becoming a freelance writer, specific goals serve as stepping stones that guide you towards success. They keep you focused, motivated, and accountable for your progress.

Why Specific Goals Matter

1. Clear Direction: Specific goals provide a clear roadmap, helping you prioritize your writing efforts and avoid distractions.

2. Focus and Efficiency: When you have specific goals, you can channel your energy and resources effectively, optimizing your chances of success.

3. Measurement and Progress Tracking: Specific goals allow you to measure your progress in quantifiable terms, providing a sense of accomplishment and motivation.

4. Accountability: By setting specific goals, you make a commitment to yourself, increasing your sense of responsibility and dedication to achieving them.

5. Overcoming Procrastination: With specific goals, you have a tangible destination, making it harder to procrastinate or stray from your path.

In conclusion, specific goals offer writers a multitude of benefits, from providing clear direction to enabling effective progress tracking. By setting specific goals, you shape your writing journey, increasing your chances of success and fulfillment as a writer.

The Importance of Measurable Goals in Writing

Measurable goals play a vital role in successful goal-setting for writers. By creating goals that are specific and quantifiable, writers can track their progress and stay motivated on their writing journey. Let’s explore why measurable goals are crucial for achieving writing success.

When you set a measurable goal, such as writing 10,000 words in one month, you establish a clear target to work towards. Measuring your daily word count allows you to see how close you are to meeting your goal and provides a tangible way to track your progress. This helps you stay focused and dedicated, knowing that every word you write brings you one step closer to your objective.

Tracking your progress is not only motivating but also allows you to make adjustments along the way. If you notice that you’re falling behind your word count target, you can identify the reasons and take necessary steps to get back on track. On the other hand, exceeding your goal can give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, boosting your confidence and pushing you to set even higher targets.

Benefits of Measurable Goals in Writing:

  • Clear direction: Measurable goals provide writers with a specific target to work towards, giving them a clear sense of direction in their writing journey.
  • Motivation and accountability: Tracking progress and seeing how far you’ve come can offer a sense of achievement and boost motivation. Measurable goals also hold writers accountable, encouraging them to stay committed.
  • Identifying patterns and areas of improvement: Measuring progress allows writers to identify patterns, such as peak productivity times or areas where they struggle. This awareness helps them make necessary adjustments and improve their writing process.
  • Effective planning: Measurable goals enable writers to develop effective plans to meet their targets. Breaking down larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks makes the writing process more organized and less overwhelming.

Remember, measurable goals provide a roadmap for your writing success. They allow you to track your progress, stay motivated, and make necessary adjustments. So, set measurable goals that align with your aspirations and watch your writing dreams become a reality.

“What gets measured gets managed.” – Peter Drucker

Benefits of Measurable Goals in Writing Explanation
Clear direction Measurable goals provide writers with a specific target to work towards, giving them a clear sense of direction in their writing journey.
Motivation and accountability Tracking progress and seeing how far you’ve come can offer a sense of achievement and boost motivation. Measurable goals also hold writers accountable, encouraging them to stay committed.
Identifying patterns and areas of improvement Measuring progress allows writers to identify patterns, such as peak productivity times or areas where they struggle. This awareness helps them make necessary adjustments and improve their writing process.
Effective planning Measurable goals enable writers to develop effective plans to meet their targets. Breaking down larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks makes the writing process more organized and less overwhelming.

Achievable Goals and Avoiding Failure in Writing

When it comes to pursuing your writing dreams, setting achievable goals is key to your success. It’s important to avoid setting yourself up for failure by establishing goals that are too challenging or unrealistic. Assessing your capabilities and workload will help you set goals that are within reach and keep you motivated along the way.

“The biggest mistake writers make is setting goals that are too lofty without considering their current circumstances.”

Setting achievable goals allows you to make steady progress towards your writing dreams. It’s essential to know your limits and set realistic expectations that take into account your available time, energy, and other commitments. By doing so, you increase your chances of success and avoid feeling overwhelmed or discouraged by unattainable goals.

If you find that your initial goals are too difficult or not aligned with your capabilities, don’t hesitate to make adjustments. Reevaluate your goals and make them more manageable. Breaking down larger goals into smaller, more actionable steps can help you maintain momentum and build confidence along the way.

Stay Motivated and Build Confidence

By setting achievable goals, you set yourself up for positive experiences and accomplishments. Each milestone met will boost your motivation and deepen your belief in your writing abilities. It’s important to celebrate your progress, no matter how small, and acknowledge each step forward.

Remember, success is built on a foundation of achievable goals. By setting realistic expectations and making adjustments along the way, you’ll find yourself gaining momentum and staying focused on your writing journey.

achievable goals

5 Tips for Setting Achievable Writing Goals:

  1. Know Yourself: Take stock of your strengths, weaknesses, and external factors that may impact your writing goals.
  2. Plan Ahead: Create a roadmap with specific, measurable, and time-bound objectives to keep yourself on track.
  3. Break It Down: Divide larger goals into smaller, actionable steps to make them more achievable and manageable.
  4. Stay Flexible: Be open to adjusting your goals as needed to adapt to changing circumstances or unforeseen challenges.
  5. Find Support: Surround yourself with a community of fellow writers or mentors who can offer guidance, accountability, and encouragement.

By following these tips and setting achievable goals, you’ll set yourself up for writing success and pave the way for your creative aspirations to become a reality.

Relevance and Goal Alignment in Writing

When it comes to goal setting for writers, relevance is key. It’s important to ensure that the goals you set align with your ultimate writing dream. For example, if your dream is to become a full-time creative writer, setting a goal to learn coding may not be relevant to the larger dream.

Instead, focus on setting relevant goals that directly contribute to your writing aspirations. Consider goals such as:

  1. Setting up a professional writer’s website to showcase your work
  2. Hiring a web designer to create a visually appealing online portfolio
  3. Investing in a creative writing course to enhance your skills

These goals align with your writing dream and can help you progress towards success in your chosen field. By setting goals that directly support your ultimate vision, you ensure that your efforts are focused and purposeful.

Goal Alignment for Writing Success

Aligning your goals with your writing dream creates a powerful synergy that propels you towards success. By keeping your ultimate aspiration in mind, you can stay motivated and inspired throughout your writing journey.

Helen Keller once said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” By aligning your goals with your writing dreams, you cultivate a clear vision for your future and pave the way for tangible achievements.

When setting your writing goals, take a moment to reflect on your deepest aspirations. What does writing success mean to you? How will achieving your goals align with your overall dreams and aspirations?

By answering these questions and aligning your goals with your writing dreams, you infuse your journey with purpose and increase your chances of reaching new heights in your writing career.

Benefits of Relevant Goals in Writing Key Takeaways
1. Clear direction and focus – Align your goals with your writing dream
2. Increased motivation and inspiration – Stay driven by connecting your goals to your ultimate aspirations
3. Tangible progress towards your dream – Set goals that directly contribute to your writing success

The Power of Time-Bound Goals for Writers

Setting time-bound goals is a powerful strategy in goal-setting for writers. By establishing deadlines, you infuse your writing journey with a sense of urgency and accountability. Deadlines provide structure and help you create actionable steps to work consistently towards your goals.

For example, imagine setting a goal to write an 80,000-word novel within the next nine months. This time-bound goal provides a clear timeline for your writing process. It enables you to break down the task into manageable parts, such as setting monthly, weekly, or even daily word count targets. By adhering to these deadlines, you can create a well-defined plan that helps you stay on track and meet your ultimate goal.

“A goal without a deadline is just a dream.” – Robert Herjavec

Time-bound goals also foster a sense of progress. As you meet your deadlines and achieve milestones along the way, you gain a tangible sense of accomplishment. This progress fuels your motivation and propels you forward on your writing journey. Each deadline met becomes a stepping stone towards the success you envision.

Furthermore, time-bound goals cultivate discipline and time management skills. Writing can often be an introspective and solitary endeavor, and it’s easy to fall prey to procrastination or become overwhelmed by the vastness of a project. However, when you set deadlines, you create a clear focus and a sense of purpose. You establish a routine and commit to making progress within specific time frames, ensuring consistency and productivity in your writing practice.

Benefits of Time-Bound Goals for Writers
1. Enhanced motivation and accountability
2. Tangible sense of progress and accomplishment
3. Improved discipline and time management
4. Structure and focus in the writing process

Assessing Strengths and Weaknesses in Writing Goals

When setting writing goals, it is crucial to accurately assess your strengths and weaknesses to ensure their effectiveness. By considering various factors such as your current commitments, available time, innate passion and drive, required sleep, and support system, you can craft realistic goals that align with your individual circumstances, increasing your chances of success.

Assessing your strengths involves recognizing the skills, knowledge, and experiences that work in your favor as a writer. These strengths can shape your goals and determine the areas where you can excel. Additionally, acknowledging your weaknesses allows you to identify areas for growth and improvement, helping you set goals that address these areas.

For example, if you are a night owl who thrives during late-night writing sessions, you can leverage this strength by setting a goal to dedicate a certain number of hours each night to writing. On the other hand, if you struggle with time management, you can set a goal to establish a writing schedule or seek strategies to improve your time management skills.

Assessing Strengths:

  • Identify your writing skills and areas of expertise
  • Recognize your unique writing style or voice
  • Evaluate your ability to handle criticism and feedback
  • Consider any specialized knowledge or research skills you possess
  • Take note of your past writing successes or achievements

Assessing Weaknesses:

  • Identify areas of writing where you struggle or lack confidence
  • Recognize any gaps in your knowledge or skills
  • Evaluate any challenges you face in staying motivated or focused
  • Consider areas where you may need to seek additional training or support
  • Take note of any recurring mistakes or obstacles in your writing process

By conducting a thorough assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, you can set meaningful and achievable writing goals that align with your aspirations. Understanding your unique abilities and areas for growth empowers you to design a personalized roadmap to success.

Identifying Obstacles and Creating an Action Plan for Writing Goals

Once you have set your writing goals, it’s important to identify potential obstacles that may hinder your progress. By recognizing these roadblocks, you can develop an effective action plan to overcome them and stay on track toward achieving your goals.

One common obstacle for writers is a lack of time. With busy schedules and various commitments, finding dedicated time for writing can be challenging. However, by creating a schedule and prioritizing your writing, you can make the most of the time you have available.

Another obstacle may be a lack of motivation or inspiration. Writer’s block or self-doubt can hinder progress and make it difficult to stay focused on your goals. In such cases, joining a writing community or seeking mentorship can provide support and inspiration. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals can help you overcome creative obstacles and generate fresh ideas.

Financial constraints can also be an obstacle to pursuing your writing goals. Investing in mentorship programs, workshops, or writing courses may require a financial commitment. However, there are many resources available online and at libraries that offer free or affordable options for skill development. Alternatively, consider applying for writing-related jobs or freelance opportunities to gain experience and supplement your income.

Obstacle Action Plan
Lack of Time Create a writing schedule, prioritize writing, and eliminate time-wasting activities
Lack of Motivation Join a writing community, find a mentor, or seek inspiration through books and workshops
Financial Constraints Explore free or affordable writing resources, consider applying for writing-related jobs or freelance opportunities

Remember, every writer faces unique obstacles on their writing journey. By identifying these challenges and creating an action plan, you can proactively overcome them and achieve your writing goals.

identifying obstacles

Avoiding Mistakes and Adjusting Goals in the Writing Process

Mistakes are a natural part of the goal-setting journey, and it’s important to recognize them and make necessary adjustments. As a writer, you may find that your initial goal of achieving a specific word count is unrealistic. Instead of becoming discouraged, use this opportunity to reassess and tailor your goals to better suit your writing process.

One way to adjust your goals is by tracking your progress and setting a more achievable daily word count. By breaking down your larger goal into smaller, manageable chunks, you can maintain a sense of accomplishment and motivation along the way.

Furthermore, if your goal seems too distant or overwhelming, consider breaking it down into milestones. This allows you to celebrate smaller achievements and stay motivated as you work towards your ultimate objective. Remember, goal setting is not set in stone, and it’s essential to adapt and refine your goals as you grow as a writer.

The writing process is an ongoing learning experience, and adjusting your goals is an integral part of that journey. Embrace the opportunity to learn from your mistakes, fine-tune your approach, and pave your path to success.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

By avoiding mistakes and adjusting your goals in the writing process, you can optimize your chances of success and stay on track towards achieving your writing aspirations.

Common Mistakes in Goal Setting Adjustments
Setting unrealistic word count targets Track progress and set achievable daily word count goals
Feeling overwhelmed by distant goals Break down goals into smaller milestones
Ignoring feedback and failing to adapt Continuously learn from mistakes and refine goals

The Importance of Taking Small Steps in Writing Goals

When it comes to achieving success in writing, small steps can make a big difference. Just like children learn to walk by first standing up, writers should embrace the power of small, achievable steps to reach their ultimate writing goals. In fact, taking small steps is an essential component of smart goal setting, which acts as a guide in creating a clear path to success.

Small steps lay the foundation for writing success

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier

Setting small, manageable goals helps break down the overwhelming task of writing into more manageable pieces. Instead of focusing on the enormity of writing an entire novel, break it down into writing a certain number of pages or chapters each day or week. By consistently accomplishing these smaller tasks, you build momentum and gain confidence in your abilities.

The power of consistency

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer

Consistency is key in any endeavor, and writing is no exception. Taking small steps every day or every week allows you to maintain a consistent writing practice. This regularity trains your brain to be in a creative state, making it easier to generate new ideas and stay engaged with your writing project. Consistency also helps you overcome writer’s block and prevents your writing goals from becoming overwhelming.

The cumulative effect of small steps

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent van Gogh

While each small step may seem insignificant on its own, the cumulative effect of these steps is what leads to significant progress and eventual success. Just as a marathon is completed one step at a time, reaching your writing goals requires persistence and dedication to consistently take small steps forward. Celebrate each milestone along the way, as they represent the progress you’ve made towards achieving your ultimate writing success.

By embracing the importance of taking small steps in writing goals, you establish a solid foundation for success. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your masterpiece. Take it one small step at a time, and soon enough, you’ll find yourself closer to your writing dreams than you ever imagined.

Benefits of Taking Small Steps in Writing Goals
1) Increased focus and direction By breaking down your writing goals into small steps, you create a clear path and stay focused on the next actionable task.
2) Improved consistency and productivity Consistently taking small steps fosters a regular writing habit, boosting productivity and preventing procrastination.
3) Enhanced motivation and confidence Each small accomplishment builds confidence and fuels your motivation to continue progressing towards your writing goals.
4) Better time management Breaking your writing goals into small steps helps you manage your time efficiently, making it easier to allocate dedicated writing periods.
5) Reduced overwhelm Tackling smaller tasks reduces the feeling of overwhelm, making it easier to navigate the writing process and stay motivated.


Goal setting is the key to achieving success in your writing journey. By implementing the SMART goals framework – setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals – you can make steady progress, overcome obstacles, and ultimately reach your writing dreams.

Setting specific goals provides clarity and direction, ensuring that you stay focused on what you want to achieve. Measurable goals allow you to track your progress, providing motivation and a sense of accomplishment along the way. By setting achievable goals, you set yourself up for success and avoid unnecessary frustration.

Relevance and goal alignment are crucial, as your goals should support your ultimate writing aspirations. By ensuring that your goals are relevant to your larger writing dream, you can stay on the right path and make meaningful progress. Finally, time-bound goals create urgency and hold you accountable, helping you stay disciplined and meet deadlines.

Remember, goal setting is a continuous process that requires regular adjustments and reassessments. It’s important to identify and overcome obstacles, adjust your goals when needed, and take small steps towards success. By implementing effective goal setting strategies, you can navigate the writing process with confidence and achieve your desired level of writing success.


What are SMART goals?

SMART goals are a specific type of goal-setting method that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. These goals help individuals create parameters around their goals to increase their chances of success.

How can SMART goals help writers?

SMART goals help writers by providing a clear direction, measuring progress, alleviating creative pressure, and keeping them on track toward achieving their writing goals.

What are the benefits of setting specific goals for writers?

Specific goals in writing help writers overcome subjectivity, provide a clear direction, and help measure progress more effectively.

Why are measurable goals important in writing?

Measurable goals allow writers to track their progress, determine how close they are to meeting their goals, and stay motivated.

How can writers set achievable goals and avoid failure?

Writers can set achievable goals by assessing their capabilities and workload, adjusting goals to make them more manageable, and avoiding setting unrealistic expectations.

Why is relevance important in goal setting for writers?

Relevance ensures that the goals set align with the ultimate writing dream, making them effective in progressing towards success.

How do time-bound goals contribute to writing success?

Time-bound goals add urgency and accountability, helping writers create actionable steps and work consistently towards their goals.

How can writers assess their strengths and weaknesses in goal setting?

Writers should consider their current commitments, available time, passion, support system, and workload to set realistic goals that maximize their chances of success.

How can writers identify obstacles and create an action plan for their writing goals?

Writers can identify obstacles by assessing their current circumstances and create an action plan by making changes such as applying for writing jobs, investing in mentorship programs or writing books, and joining writing communities for inspiration.

What should writers do if they make mistakes or need to adjust their goals?

It is common to make mistakes in goal setting, and writers should reassess and adjust their goals when needed. This can involve tracking progress and setting more achievable targets or breaking down larger goals into smaller ones.

Why is taking small steps important in writing goals?

Taking small, achievable steps in writing goals helps writers make progress and move closer to achieving their ultimate writing success.

How can writers achieve success through goal setting?

Goal setting is a powerful tool for success, and by setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals, writers can make progress, overcome obstacles, and ultimately achieve success in their writing endeavors.

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