What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. —Zig Ziglar

In a previous blog, I mentioned that Bookflow is sponsoring Camp NaNoWriMo. Camp NaNoWriMo challenges writers working in any genre to set their own personal goal and work toward it during July. For many of us, the longer summer days offer increased energy and memories of school vacations that make us feel as if we have the opportunity to accomplish great things. 

Every summer, I tend to get carried away by my goals. For example, right now, I’m hoping to finish a short story, a draft of my latest novel, and an outline for the next one by August 31. These are “SMART” goals, in that they are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-bound. 

But I also need to make sure that I craft some SPIRIT goals.

Any achievement is a only a single point in time. What many goal-setting and productivity frameworks ignore is the person who exists both before and beyond the achievement.

Many people begin running with the goal of running a 5K race on a certain date. That’s a SMART goal. Once this race is finished, the person has a choice—hang up their shoes, or truly become a runner. That’s what a SPIRIT goal looks like.

SPIRIT goals are:

  • Sustainable: SPIRIT goals are not a single point, but a way of being. Are you building habits that you can commit to?
  • Positive: State your goal as if you have accomplished your desire.
  • Important: Make sure that your goals are coming from what you really want, not what others expect of you.
  • Risky: Your goal should be a bit of a stretch.
  • Inviting: A SPIRIT goal should make you smile, not leave you feeling stressed.
  • Timely: These goals must fit into your life, not the other way around.

Some examples of SPIRIT Goals:

  • I write beautiful stories that move people.
  • I craft memoir that helps others understand their own experiences.
  • I regularly challenge myself creatively and commit time to my artistic practice.

Once you have this SPIRIT goal in mind, you can break it down into smaller SMART goals. A SPIRIT goal is a guiding light to make sure that you are taking the right steps along the path you intend to travel.

We all have multiple goals, of course—goals around family, friendships, career, romantic relationships, spirituality, physical health, and more. These goals can fluctuate in urgency and can sometimes be in conflict. That’s normal, and we won’t necessarily be able to make perfect progress toward every single goal every single day. However, it’s important to investigate your true desires and start making an honest plan to do the things that will bring you closer to achieving them. If you want to be a writer, then you must write. That’s the only way. 

One of the most important secrets to Bookflow is the way in which it supports a regular writing habit. With goal setting, rewards, and streaks, it’s easier to start reinforcing your positive habit. And that single habit is your most powerful weapon in reaching your writing goals—no matter what they are. 

Click here to download the free SPIRIT Goals Workbook!