Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-framed.
So, instead of saying, I want to write a novel, you say: I want to write 2000 words a day of my novel so I have a first draft by Christmas.
(BTW If you started this particular SMART target today, you'd actually end up with 140,000 words in your Christmas stocking. Now, that is an encouraging/scary thought.)
However, it's important to remember that some goals are not under your control. I will never be a super-model, how ever hard I might want to be, because I'm simply too short and the wrong build, and no amount of wishing or hard work will make me taller or a slimmer-build.
So when you set your goals, as well as making them SMART, make them under your control:
- Getting a publishing deal or agent isn't under your control, but sending out 6 submission packages every month is.
- Writing 2000 words while your toddler is having a day time nap is, sadly, not under your control, but organising a baby sitter is.
- Getting 1000 followers on your blog isn't under your control, writing good blog posts and commenting on other people's blogs is.
Having goals that are out of your control is depressing. Make sure achieving your goals is essentially up to you.