I’m always in rather two minds about goal setting. Is not setting a goal a way of wimping out and ensuring you will never strive to great achievement? Or is having a large goal too terrifying and likely to lead to paralysis? I don’t know. So I do like the approach in the book I mentioned in the last post which is to look at your highest goal and what is realistic, then set an intention somewhere inbetween.
I ought to admit before we get into the goal setting for this book that my intention for the first book was to sell a million copies. I still want to do that, but am not sure in which decade I might ever make it, if at all. So having got absolutely nowhere near that at this time that made it very hard to set my highest goal for this book.
Ah but before we get to that, I forgot a stage. The first step was to say why you are writing this book. My answer was ‘I am writing this book in order to be true, honest and open about how I really think and feel on spiritual matters with the hope that it might encourage others to do the same.’ There is nothing about sales or money in there and that seems important to me at this time.
Now back to the highest goal. I did chicken out a little and I wrote ‘My highest dreams for this book are for it to become widely known, selling a thousand copies in the first year, and going on to sell 500,000 copies within 10 years.’ On reflection, I am not sure that was really being honest. You see there is something in me somewhere that believes that any one book I write might just connect with people and take off. There’s something magic in that number of a million which says to me that if you hit it your book has really made a mark on the world. And that would be great! So forgive me my dreams, no-one said this one had to be down to earth.
The realistic part comes next and I put ‘A realistic expectation for this book is to sell 200 copies in the first year with sales of 20 copies per month ongoing after that time.’ This is more than I currently sell per month of Their Cancer – Your Journey but I have achieved that in my best month, so it sounded realistic to me.
The challenge then is go set a goal and mine is ‘To write openly, honestly and truthfully about spiritual exploration. To sell 500 copies of the book in the year after publication.’ The first part is the real intention, the second part is my challenge to myself – I think I might need some bite-size interim goals to help me along the way!
I would love to hear about how others approach goal setting either for a book or other things you are trying to achieve in life. And if you want to share the current goal you are working towards then that would be just loverly, too.