Goal Setting for Groups and Individuals

It’s my turn to host this month’s meeting with my Lazy River Writers’ group. The January meeting is an exciting one as it’s when we focus on our individual writing goals for the year.

The group is good at setting goals, though we might not think of them as goals.

At our December meetings

* We set out our meeting dates for the following year and work out who will be hosting each. (Goal: meet monthly and let every member have a turn at hosting.)

* The publishing reigns for our group newsletter are handed over. (Goal: continue to have a monthly newsletter.)

* We plan to host a writing workshop supported with funding and the offer of promotion by Writers’ Victoria. Last year the grant was made possible also thanks to the Grace Marion Wilson Trust. (Goal : host a writing workshop with an outstanding writer or a key person in the writing/publishing industry.)

* and we plan the date for our annual writing retreat in a country or bayside rambling cottage. (Goal: indulge in writing discussions and activities while refreshing in a relaxing setting.)

We have been together for just over fourteen years and we have always achieved our goals. There has been some flexibility built into our approach to the group’s goals. I think this has helped with our success.

In the past we have tailored our goals to take advantage of opportunities (such as reading our anthology, Scotts’ Harbour, at the Queen of Tarts Cafe as part of the Overload Festival in the year our book was short listed in the Fellowship of Australian Writers’ Awards); and to allow for unexpected personal situations that prevented someone hosting their allocated meeting.

We have had to be flexible with our venue, too. Occasionally the meeting room at the Belgrave Library was booked for another group or event when we needed it, so we held our meeting in the home of one of our members, instead.

We also have a backup plan to meet off the mountain if our meeting day is declared a total fire ban.

So does our approach to setting group goals relate to our individual goal setting?

To answer this, I shall break down the elements of success (as I see it).

Our group’s goals are

*Specific
*Achievable and
*Measurable ( – the SAMs that we set each month and report upon in the BRAGS segment of our meetings.)

*And they have dates by which to be accomplished. The dates are staggered throughout the year.

*They are realistic, perhaps a little challenging, and always exciting to us.

*They are not too easy, but we all believe we can achieve them.

*We support each other and work as a group to bring our goals to fruition.

*We are each accountable and we know we can ask for help if needed.

*We know why we are striving for each goal.

*They meet our purpose and policies: to continue enjoying and valuing our group, strengthening our writing skills and building our public profile to enhance our careers.

I think we shall do well if we apply the same principles to our individual goals, too.

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