How to set SMART Writing Goals (with Infographic and Free Work Sheet)

How to Set SMART WRITING GOALS blog

I am rather often asked how I managed to finish writing three books.

I would lie if I told you it was easy, but I’ll tell you what it was instead: Doable!

Why was it doable?

Because I set very clear, realistic, down-to-earth goals on when to finish exactly what.

Yes, that is my entire secret behind finishing three rather long stories.

Setting reachable goals. Then reaching them. Again and again.

Perhaps you are reading this because you have a story inside of you – how marvellous! – and now perhaps you have hit a road mark where you wonder how you could be more effective or how to make your dreams happen by working more clearly towards your goals.

If so, this post is for you!

I’m here to tell you that since you already have a wonderful idea for a story – or a specific life or a dream – you LITERALLY have what it takes to finish it – and achieve what you want!!!

The secret behind reaching high dreams is to break them down into doable goals, and then work your way towards the goal, step by step. One way of doing this, is by setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.

What does that mean?

And how do you set S.M.A.R.T. goals for your writing – or for any dream you might have?

Here it is!

Let me tell you with this little Infographic…

How to Set SMART WRITING GOALS

 

By setting S.M.A.R.T. goals our dreams come a little more within reach.

Ready to set your writing goals?

Here’s a free work sheet to help you get started:

My Smart Writing Goals Work Sheet

The work sheet has three pages and it looks like this…

My Smart Writing Goals Work Sheet-page-001My Smart Writing Goals Work Sheet-page-002My Smart Writing Goals Work Sheet-page-003

Have fun setting your S.M.A.R.T. goals!

I hope you set your own goals and give yourself the time to experience that goal setting really can do magic to your dreams and your ambitions!

Did you find this post helpful? I would love it if you would share it!

Do you think it is important to set goals – or perhaps rather to go with the flow? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

I wish you all a lovely day!

– A.J. Lundetræ

Your writing success is not a coincidence

The infographic was made with canva.com.

Advertisements

10 Ways to Shape Your Creative Mindset

New Mindset for New Results on Chalkboard.

New Mindset for New Results

What is a creative mindset?

Your mindset is the set of assumptions and methods that (also unconsciously) guide you through your weeks, influence your choices and your motivation, ultimately even if you reach your dreams or not. Your mindset is, so to speak, the ideas and attitudes with which you approach your life, your work, your dreams and your goals.

A creative mindset is a positive mindset, influencing not just our thoughts, but also our feelings and how we live life, that allows growth and creativity, joy, freedom, purpose and authenticity. To form a creative mindset means to understand that talents and abilities can be developed when we work at it and keep learning. Shaping your creative mindset means that you steer your thoughts – and even your unconsciounsness – into believing in your dreams and working towards achieving them.

Shaping your creative mindset is absolutely essential for setting yourself up for success!

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right!” – Henry Ford

Shaping your creative mindset towards reaching your goals and dreams  demands endurance of you – but it is really rather easy to start shaping your mindset!

Let’s shape those mindsets into thinking that WE CAN!

Creativity

New Mindset for New Results

Here are 10 easy steps you can take to start creating your own creative mindset

  • for success
  • for believing in yourself
  • for finishing that creative project you started
  • for living the life you know you want…

10 Ways to Shape Your Creative Mindset

1. Believe in Your Creativity!

Shape your thinking around your own creativity. Make notes, put them where you can see them, cultivate believing in your own creativity: Know that creativity is important to who you are, it only has meaning when expressed, and it needs to be expressed to honor who you really are.

Using your creativity is beautiful, fun – and, yes, important to your well-being!

Your place in this life is being YOU – and this also means expressing who you are – in creative ways!

Being creative is your birthright. Don’t ever believe less.

2. Find and Show Your True Passion!

Allow yourself to be who you really are.

Being authentic is one of the keys to finding happiness. When you accept yourself as you are, you are free to find out what your talents are – in their many varieties – and what you love to do. Your true strenghts are not found when hiding, they are found when allowing yourself to have talents, to search for them, to appreciate them, whatever they are, to pursue getting better at them.

An affirmation I love to tell myself in order to remember not to hide, but to shine is:

“Everything is gonna be okay and I’m gonna be the most true version of myself. I accept the unknown and let it excite me.”

Young woman muse with creative body art and hairdo

New Mindset for New Results

3. Embrace Your Curiosity!

The next time you feel that playful spark of curiosity, like you just want to know or find out something, with no reason except being curious – react on it!

Any kind of knowledge you accquire is not just fun to learn about – it may be useful later in astonishing, unforeseen ways. The more you know – the more ideas can flourish in your mind, the more “dots” your mind may connect to each other, the more you learn.

Start asking “why” questions to people you meet, try to understand new topics – and persons in situations different from your own.

A curious mind sparkles with ideas – about everything!

4. Treat Yourself More Kindly – Cultivate Positive Self-Talk!

The people who really matter, accept you for who you are. And so should you – with every flaw and every talent, every weirdness and every normalness!

You are the only one thinking in your mind. You can rehearse thinking more and more positively about yourself!

Start noticing how you talk to yourself. Are there any negative patterns that you keep repeating? What optimistic, focused, accepting, loving thoughts could you think instead?

Cultivating positive self-talk is a huge step towards shaping a creative mindset! Confront your present reality step by step – and start exchange those negative patterns one by one with solution-focused, positive ones. Every single positive thought matters! Every positive thought leads you in the right direction.

5. Form Deeper, More Connected Relationships!

It is not just time to learn who you truly are – it is also time to show people who you truly are.

You may become astonished, as I were, at the positive response and support people may give you when starting to show them more and more of who you truly are!

These deeper relationships, to perhaps family, friends, partners, will be a boost for your mindset, towards a life of authenticity, expressing your creativity and who you really are.

 

6. Feed Your Imagination – Be Spontaneous!

Cultivate, grow and expand your imagination every single day!

To successfully overcome challenges and obstacles, creative persons need to be able to think in unique ways.

Feeding your imagination can mean everything from painting, drawing, writing, to cooking something new, go to a new art gallery, visit a part of your city you’ve never been to before, read poems, read something new, look at photographs, listening to music, figuring out the stories in the songs, knit something, play with children, go to the theater.

It can also mean to just look out the window at the clouds –  what shapes are they? What story are the clouds telling?

It can even mean to brain-storm and keep a journal. Or sit at a bench in a park, looking at people, trying to imagine their stories. Or daydream every day wildly for five minutes or more!

Through these exercises you will literally learn to think new and outside of the box.

PS! Aren’t these lovely stock photos a great food for the imagination?

Young woman muse with creative body art and hairdo

New Mindset for New Results

7. Set Clear Goals and Objectives for Yourself!

What does your life vision look like? If anything was possible, what is the most awesome things you would like to happen?

Write down the most awesome dreams, as crazy as possible. And then break it down into actual steps that need to happen to get there. Then break it down into baby-steps for your everyday life. What do you need to do right now to achieve that desired outcome somewhen in the future?

Write down your visions, and remind yourself of them often.

When starting each day with focus, you will better be able to direct your mind and efforts on what will help you attain your objectives.

Remember – a creative mindset is curious, positive and believes in possibilities. Those baby steps ARE POSSIBLE, realistic even. Don’t forget your dreams and goals. With small steps, anything is possible.

8. Rehearse the Art of Just Creating – (With a Silent Inner Critic)!

Critic and editing is for later – it is so important for a creative process to be able to just create, freely, with joy, just letting it happen.

It is okay for the creative project to go through editing later – just not too soon! The inner judge can really kill great ideas in an early stage.

When you get new ideas, write all of them down, to remember them for later – no matter how they may seem at first. There will be enough time for criticism later. The stages without criticism, in which creativity flows freely, are necessay!

Rehearse the art of just creating – and enjoying it. Any outcome is okay!

9. Do Something You’re (a little) Scared of!

A creative life is a life outside the comfort zone. Rehearse living there!

Don’t let fears hold you back. Being your true self is a corageous thing – be proud of yourself for doing so!

How can we beat our fears? In addition to acknowledging them, learning to relax and imagining desirable outcomes, I believe the main way to truly overcome fears is to feel the fear and then to do it anyway.

It is such a relief to stop doing something just to please other people – and do what is the most important to ourselves instead.

Doing something you’re scared of, no matter how little, no matter how small the baby steps are, means to grow as a person. A creative mindset embraces growth. Start embracing your fears, one at a time, and you may experience wonderful growth!

10. Know that Problems lead to Solutions, and Failure leads to Learning how to Succeed

Rehearse seeing the good in the bad!

Problems are not necessarily bad, as they often permit solutions, leading to improvements that were not possible, or would’ve only happened very slowly, without the problems.

There are no problems without solutions. Become a solution seeker!

Problems often give us insights into what we need to learn to be able to move on. They may seem like failures, but really, they are just one stepping stone further on the road to success.

Make a habit out of searching for solutions and learning from failure, and failure – and criticism! – won’t be so scary anymore. They’ll be important step stones for your growth. They will, in the end, make you better – and able to succeed.

Problems can be blessings. If you make them into ones.

Creativity

New Mindset for New Results

What methods do you use to shape a creative mindset? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Do you know anyone else who could profit from reading this post? I would love it if you would share it!

Have a great week,

A.J. Lundetræ

 

All images in this post are sourced from photodune.net :  The artists are @tashatuvango @Nejron @kentoh @focalsource

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Create A Life-Changing Morning Routine

create your own life changing morning routine

In January I tested out different variations of the so-called “life-changing morning routine“.

The main result was that, yes, it does make a difference if you crash into the day or if your start it with mindfulness and purpose.

But no, there is no “one fits all” morning routine. There is probably one best routine for every soul out there and if we want a life-changing routine, we need to find our own.

That being said, there seem to be certain content categories to a life-changing morning routine which – with individual content – make up great morning rituals.

It DOES make a difference if we sleep enough – whatever that may mean. It DOES make a difference if we start the days eating healthy (whatever that may mean to your body!) – or eating junk, pondering our dreams – or worrying about the day, having time enough – or running around feeling stressed, being chaotic – or with a plan.

It literally changes the outcome of the day.

The “life-changing morning routine” is NOT to be seen as strict rules, they are rather kind of guidelines. Every new habit that is incorporated is a success. Trial and error is to be expected when building up a good routine that works for you.

Do YOU want to change your morning routine a little?

How can YOU start each day with purpose?

How can YOU change your life a little bit every morning?

Built on my main findings I made you guys a cheat sheet infographic you may use as guidelines to create your own life-changing morning routines!

You may use it to start building up your own great routines, and if you do, I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Anything in particular that works really well for you? I’d love to hear about that, too!

Here it is, the Cheat Sheet:

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet Life Changing Morning Routine

 

Liked this infographic? I would love it if you would share it!

I wish you all an uplifting week!

Best,

Agnete

How to be a crazy perfectionst (Hint: It is NOT the secret ingredient to a happy writing career)

overachieve

Continue reading

A Heart of Fire COVER REVEAL!!!

coverreveal

I’m actually VERY nervous, now that I’m actually going to reveal The Cover. There are actual butterflies in my tummy.

Luckily we achieve our dreams one step at a time – and not all of them at once. My heart would stop if it would all happen at once. It’s almost stopping right now.

Continue reading

8 Tips: How to Keep Writing and Stay Motivated

NaNoWriMo2015The National Novel Writing Month is coming up!

Here’s a short pep-talk from me to you, to make sure you are well equipped with great motivational strategies! ❤

NaNoWriMo participants (and every other writer visiting my blog); I wish you awesome results and lots of fun!!!

Continue reading

How to Organize Your Own Writer’s Retreat in 6 Easy Steps

retreat (spiritual)
[ri-treet]
noun
1. the act of withdrawing, as into safety or privacy; retirement; seclusion.
2. a place of refuge, seclusion, or privacy: The library was his retreat.
3. a retirement or a period of retirement for religious exercises and meditation.
4. recreational holiday. In this context retreat means to leave everyday business for a few days (weekend-retreat) up to weeks.

Make room in your life for a retreat. Think it as a gift to yourself – a way to connect with your life vision – or perhaps even a way to finish your book…

Continue reading

Crowdfunding Campaign Coming Up!!!

I know it seems like I’m doing nothing, but let me tell you this: Things are swarming behind the curtains. Truly.

My tiny fairies with golden wings are coordinating plots and ideas, tasks and adventures.

My main elf (read: coach), with her cloak of wisdom and white dress sparkling with creativity, is showing the way with her compass, map, wild ideas and wind in her hair.

Continue reading

For Aspiring Authors: PROs and CONs of having a professional COACH

Happy Monday, dear readers!

This week I want to talk to you about a topic that has been and still is really important to me and has led to immensely positive life changes for me. If you are considering hiring a professional coach to guide you on your way, I expect you to ask yourself if it is a good enough investment to be putting a significant amount of money into it over a set period of time. Let me tell you a little bit about what my experience with having a coach has done for me and my writing career. Here are my personal pros and cons. Continue reading

June’s Writing Updates!

I started this journey with my coach in December, now it’s June. I already wrote about five important insights six months in. Now a couple of monthly updates – what I’ve been up to lately!

Continue reading

How to embrace the creative process – and the fact that it takes TIME

The creative process takes time. Accept and embrace it!

I used to struggle accepting that the process of becoming a full-time writer is a slow one. I desperately wanted to rush towards my goal and be there NOW. I’ve slowly learned to appreciate the fact that the creative process takes time – and that’s okay!

Let’s take a closer look at the creative process. Continue reading

How to Get Started Writing a Book

To Vanessa, who asked me about this, and to every dreamer out there wanting to write a book.

1. Firstly, make sure you really want to write a book…

It sounds odd at first, but think about it for a second. Continue reading

Yes, I’m Gonna be a Full-time Writer! 5 Important Insights Six Months In

I’m now six months into the coaching program GAL (Get a Life) with my wonderful coach Jodi Nelson. We decided to work together at a point in my life (six months ago) when I finally found myself ready to say YES to doing everything in my power to make my biggest dream come true: Becoming a published writer. Continue reading