Sunday, January 22, 2006

Vegas and Goal Setting

Over the weekend I was in Las Vegas, Nevada. My first time. You could say I was a Vegas Virgin. I was there to present a workshop on Goal Setting to the local RWA chapter. I don't know what I was more excited about, actually being in Vegas or speaking for the first time to a group that I didn't have an affilation with. First off let me tell you I have a thing for slot machines. So needless to say all thoughts of goal setting pretty much left my brain the minute I hit the Las Vegas airport.
Vegas is a great city. It's full of excitement and has an immense energy that seems to flow all around it. It soon became clear to me that my goal was fast becoming not losing all of my money in the first day. I figured it would be best to spread my losses out over the next two days, just to be on the safe side. Thankfully my gambling blitz was interrupted by the real reason for my being in Vegas and that was to present the workshop.
Goal setting is something we all do in every aspect of our lives whether or not we're writers. In my presentation I concentrated on short term and long term goals using a formula that lays it all out there. You should start by listing all of your goals and then breaking them out. Let's take my Vegas stay as an example. My focal goal or main purpose goal was not to lose all my money. In order to acheive this goal I had to have smaller goals in place. These would be lumped into two categories, general and action goals, keeping in mind that both of these must lead to the focal or main goal.
General goals were things like don't put more than five dollars into a machine at one time. An action goal would be setting a limit on time played at any particular slot machine, say no more than ten minutes. I think you can get my drift. Right about now you must be wondering if I met my goal. Well let's just say that after I acheived the slot machine goal I set another one and that was winning money at the roulette table. I did okay there, here again using the simple formula of setting limits.
The point here being that setting goals for yourself can be a great motivational tool to acheive a higher success. Just remember set your goals above the bar, but so high that you can never achieve them. Push yourself to get the job done and I think in the end you'll be happy with the results.

Tracey J. Lyons

7 comments:

gailbarrett said...

I, too, have always been a goal setter but as I was reading your post I realized that I haven't achieved too many of my goals lately. I think it's for two reasons. One, I haven't broken my goals down into specific enough steps. I've been too vague. Two, because I've forgotten to add the reward. Having a concrete reward in mind might just keep me on track. So now I am going to rethink my goals -- not change them, just decide how to go about them in more detail and what I will do to celebrate once I've attained them. Thanks for the reminder!
gail

Tracey said...

Gail,
I did a really simple system for goal setting. I'm going to try to get it up on my website so people can take a look!
Tracey

Gail Dayton said...

I like the idea that goals are different from Resolutions. (Since it's still January, though long enough since the 1st that most resolutions are probably already broken.)

Resolution is related to resolute. It involves willpower. And face it, most of us have willpower like tissue paper. A goal is a little more flexible. If you don't hit it today, you can do better tomorrow. Maybe even make up for what you didn't do today.

Of course that attitude works better with writing than it does with gambling--it's hard to do better tomorrow when all your money's already inside those slot machines... ;)

The other Gail (who finally finished The Book That Wouldn't End today!)

LaraRios said...

Tracey,
Your post made me laugh. Setting a goal not to lose all your money is a good one. I've been to Vegas more times than I'd like to, and my goal is walk past those machines without dropping in a coin. LOL. It's hard.
But I agree with you. In order to achieve any success, you have to set goals and have a plan on how to achieve them. If you don't set goals you're sort of stumbling through life waiting for things to happen to you.
Thanks for the smile. You sounded very cute trying to tackle Vegas.

Ann Roth said...

Great topic, Tracey! (I posted once, but I don't see my reply, so I'm posting again.)
I, too, set goals. I'm self-motivated, but that doesn't mean I'm perfect. Sometimes I need help. For that, I'm lucky in that I have a group of friends I named the Goal Girls.

We meet every other month to review our goals and set new ones. We also set one- and five-year goals, and the smaller goals are set with the bigger goals in mind.

Best of all, we hold ourselves and each other accountable. I'd rather give up chocolate than let down my Goal Girls. LOL.

I hightly recommend like-minded friends to help you set and achieve your goals.

Ann Roth said...

Great topic, Tracey! (I posted once, but I don't see my reply, so I'm posting again.)
I, too, set goals. I'm self-motivated, but that doesn't mean I'm perfect. Sometimes I need help. For that, I'm lucky in that I have a group of friends I named the Goal Girls.

We meet every other month to review our goals and set new ones. We also set one- and five-year goals, and the smaller goals are set with the bigger goals in mind.

Best of all, we hold ourselves and each other accountable. I'd rather give up chocolate than let down my Goal Girls. LOL.

I hightly recommend like-minded friends to help you set and achieve your goals.

Sharon Schulze said...

Great topic, Tracey!

And I admire your goals for Vegas (says the woman who roamed the casino floor with Tracey in Reno . . . :-))

I'm all for goal-setting (must be my engineering background); it's good to have a plan (or plans). As Ann said, we need to be very self-motivated in this business. I think lack of that personality trait is what keeps some talented writers from ever achieving their goals.

Ann, I really like your "Goal Girls" idea! I have something loosely similar with my critique group, but it's pretty casual.

A while back Tracey and I, along with a couple of other writers, set up an email group called the Deadline Club, where we set some short-term goals, then reported and supported via email. I found it very helpful for getting through a tough and stressful deadline.

Tracey, thanks for reminding me that I need to review my goals; it's been a while!

Sharon