Set Goals


It’s nice to set goals for yourself. It keeps you on focus and organized.

It doesn’t matter if they are career goals or regular “getting things done” goals. They will help you and, sooner than later, they’ll turn into habits that you won’t have to worry about.

The trick is to set realistic, specific goals.

Saying you are going to work at The New York Times right out of college isn’t going to help you. Instead, saying you’re going to work your way up, through several papers, to give yourself a chance, is a much more realistic, workable goal. It makes it easier to stick with and it’s actually something attainable.

Another trick is to have patience.

It may take several weeks, or even a few months, to see any realistic changes to your writing or habits. We have to realize that it takes our brains time to get used to the idea about what we are doing. We get into routines that we expect on a daily basis.

For example, I started working out and running three times a week. It took me a month to get used to it, but, now, it’s a part of my week and my life. I do it without thinking now.

Setting goals doesn’t come without some disappointment.

We have to expect that. But we have to make sure we are setting goals for ourselves and not anyone else. You have to do it for you. It’s much harder to stay on track with goals, never mind being motivated, when you are doing something under the burden of someone else. We’ve all done that.

While you are doing all of this, don’t beat yourself up. Mistakes and slip-ups happen. This doesn’t even have to be about journalism because it relates back to you and everything in your life. Keep your head up.



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