Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to Create and Annihilate Your Goals

Photo credit: WithoutWax.tv
Today is an exercise in goal-setting and goal-achieving. This is hands on, rubber-meets-the-road stuff, where you do the work and you reap the benefits. This is also where... you become the writer.

Part One – Start the Article

Give thought to a topic about which you feel knowledgable. It can be a life experience, general advice, or anything. Now, follow these steps:

  1. Write a good 200 word article/essay about it (this will probably fill up a little less than half a page on a 12-point font, single-spaced word processor).
  2. Once you are done, write a catchy headline for it. DO NOT write the headline until you are done writing your article.

A confession from me to you: I love writing.  That aside for now, it can be a real pain to get my thoughts going in a single direction. If you just experienced that too, you just successfully completed Part One of this exercise.  Congratulations!

Part Two – Start with the Headline

Stay with the same topic and general article format, but this time:
  1. Start by creating a headline that promises great things. Really stretch the limits of what you believe  you can deliver!
  2. Now, based upon that promise you just made, start from scratch and write your new 200 word article/essay. If you ever feel stuck, go back to your headline and really work to fulfill your promise.

If I were a gambling man, I would bet that your second article was far superior to your first.  Am I right?

So, James, what was so different about writing the headline first?

When you start by writing the article, you are walking a path until you come to a nice stopping point. You then call it your goal and mark it with your headline.  Start with the headline, however, and you start by setting a goal and making a promise! You have a clear direction, a goal... in effect, you have a mission statement.

Embrace life's larger challenges the way you embraced this exercise. If you set goals and keep them in view, your path will become much more clear.

Did you complete this exercise? If so, please post your two essays and your thoughts about this below.


Post a Comment