Goal-Setting For Authors

Goal-Setting For Authors



If you go on a holiday do you do any goal-setting? Just imagine for a moment that you want to go on a holiday. All you know is that you just want to go somewhere/ anywhere.

You love the idea of getting away but you’ve no idea of the destination.  So you can’t plan your holiday because you don’t know where to go.

Unless you take action to decide where you want to go, there will be no planning, no idea how to get there, and no idea where to stay. There is every chance that the holiday will ever happen.

Once you make the decision that you really do want to go on a holiday you can start to plan.  You know then exactly where you want to go and you are determined to get there. 

Even if your travel plans have to be modified you are still determined to reach your holiday destination. This is your goal – goal-setting in its simplest form.

What is goal-setting?



Goal-setting is about being very clear on what it is you really want to accomplish. You then establish a time frame for achieving that goal.

On the journey to reach your goal you take measurable steps to help you achieve that goal.

To be an author and self-publisher you need to set goals. Otherwise, you have no focus and no direction.

Effective goal-setting provides you with a framework for actually measuring your progress. By analysing the steps you take to reach your goal you not only measure your progress but you can actually see yourself on the road to success.

As an author, if you are vague about what it is you want to achieve you cannot plan where you want to go. You will drift and procrastinate. 

You may dream about being an author and see yourself living the lifestyle of a writer. Your vision may be writing your book in a romantic getaway or in your fanciful studio but really you are just in love with the concept of being a writer.

It’s the image of yourself as a writer that you dream about not the actual creation of your book.

Unless you have a defined and measurable goal, writing and publishing that first book will only ever be a dream. It will remain a dream and will never happen.

Setting goals helps you to gain clarity on what is really important to you. 

If you don’t have that clarity you cannot create a plan to actually bring your dreams to reality.


Dream it


The first step in goal setting is to dream a bit.

Find a quiet area and just be with yourself. Let your imagination wander. 

Start to imagine what you’d like to do. Remove all self-limiting beliefs and dream the life you want.

Don’t be frightened of dreaming big. Visualise your dreams. See your dream and think about what it would be like to actually achieve your dreams.

What would it feel like? Brainstorm. Incorporate your dreams into a mind map. Record your dreams into a digital recorder.

Get a pen and paper and brainstorm your dreams. These dreams can include your

  • Family
  • Finances
  • Career
  • Education/Personal Development
  • Spirituality
  • Rest and recreation

Underneath each heading write out your dream.


Dates for achieving the dream

goal-setting for authors

Write down a date for achieving your dream because remember a goal is a dream with a date. You are now putting your dreams into a timeframe.

Your dreams are now becoming goals.

Goals need to be broken up into long term goals and short term goals. You may have big goals you want to achieve in a year, three years time, five years or even as far ahead as in ten years time.

But to achieve long term goals you must set short term goals. Set short term goals.

An example of a short term goal is what you are planning to achieve in the next 90 days and then in the next 30 days. These will be smaller, progressive goals.

Achieving smaller, bite-sized goals allows you to have small wins and these help you, and give you the confidence to move towards your bigger goals.


How big is your why?


When you set a goal to write a book be clear on your reason you want to create it. When you are clear on what it is that motivates you to write, the challenge of getting organised and managing your time to achieve it will resolve.


Exercises to help with goal setting


We can all work through the exercise of creating and defining our goals but actually achieving them can be a different story. Goal-setting exercises may be helpful to take the steps you need to get there.


The pleasure of achieving your goal


Try this exercise. Come up with 20 good reasons as to why you must achieve your goal. 

List all the positive outcomes and the benefits you will get from achieving your goal. What pleasures will it give you?

The pain of not achieving


Once you’ve done the above exercise list 20 pain points of not achieving your goal. What will it mean to you if you don’t achieve your goal?

Once you know why you must achieve your goal you will then adapt or modify your daily behaviour. Your mindset and your habits will shift gear as a result of your new way of thinking, the thinking that you must do to ultimately achieve your goal.

It’s those small, consistent changes you make on a daily basis that will lead to bigger results over time. 

Goal-setting tips:


  • Goals must be specific 
  • Goals must be achievable 
  • Goals must have a timeframe 
  • Goals must have an action plan 
  • Goals must be recorded and written down
  • Goals must be reviewed several times a day

In conclusion, become very passionate about achieving what it is you want in life. Visualise your goals, affirm them by writing them out and speaking them aloud and, and feel what’s it is like to achieve them.

If you want to learn more about how mindset and goal setting are keys to your success ACCESS HERE the How To Become A Self-Published Author program. You are able to get weekly online lessons that educate you about all the aspects of the self-publishing process.


Marji Hill

Author and coach




Fast Self-Publishing Online

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