January is half-way done! How are you with those New Year’s resolutions you made—if you made any at all? I know there are a great number of people who have simply given up on the concept of resolutions…I have to admit to being one of them. Instead of resolutions that I may or may not hold to, instead I write out my goals, hopes, and dreams for the coming year. But recently another author’s blog got me thinking about my goals. Specifically, what she said was:

( The other things in this list aren’t relevant to this post, so just ignore that pretty little “4” in the corner there.)

There’s actually two big things she’s saying there: 1) Change your goals to objectives; and 2) treat your objectives as a destination. I love them both!

A goal can be rather amorphous. I can be something far off in the distance that may or may not be attainable. An objective, however, is definitely something you can do. It’s something that is definite, it’s finite. To reach an objective you map out all the steps you need to take to reach your objective. You break it down in easy, manageable steps. And you’ve got a definite end point.

If your objective is to write a book, you know that you’ve got to create characters, you know that you need to establish what their goals, motivation, and conflict are. You know you’ve got to create the world they’re going to live in and that the path you chart for them to reach their goals is your plot. You break down the objective into pieces: each day you will set aside an hour or two hours, you’ll write 200 words or 2000, you’ll write a scene or a chapter. However, you break it down, you do so into chunks that you can handle, that are realistic, and no matter how long it takes you, you will attain your objective and write that book if you just hold to your schedule.

If  your objective is to market your books, it’s not a goal, necessarily that you will some time, somehow try different ways to market your books. No, instead you’ve got a solid objective. You’ll take a course, or read blogs, or attend a seminar on how to create Facebook ads, Amazon ads, Bookbub ads. You’ll set aside time to research the best newsletters where you can publicize your work. You’ll speak to other authors in your genre and learn what they’re doing, ask for advice, or hire a professional. You’ve got a definite objective. Once again, break it down into manageable parts, put items into your calendar, set aside the time and do them and your objective will be met.

And you’ll notice that with both of these objectives, what you need to do is map out how you are going to reach them. They are a destination. There is an end in sight—a dot on a map and all you need to do is write out the directions on how you’re going to get there and follow them.

Doesn’t that sound so much easier than saying that you have a resolution to write a book or the goal of marketing your books? I find an objective so much more tangible, so much more attainable.

So, what are your objectives that you’d like to reach in 2023?