I am giving a speech tomorrow on the importance of goals, so I thought I would kill two birds with one stone and give you my thoughts on the subject.
Goals. That's a scary word sometimes. But setting goals can really change your life. I've talked enough about my personal challenge goals, but I think something similar is a great things for anyone to do. If you are on the writing side of the table, your goal can be something similar to those I've talked about:
1) submit X pieces in the coming year.
2) get X acceptances (or rejections) in 2017.
3) write X number of pieces next year.
or some other goal focused on whatever aspect of your career you want to improve in the New Year. My goal next year is to increase my income to $5000 from writing/selling books. It's a big goal, but go big or go home, they say.
If you are on the reading side of the table, you can do a goal based on that activity. For example:
1) read X number of books next year.
2) read X number of authors you've never discovered before.
3) read every book in your favorite series (if you haven't already done so -- or find s new series of you have.)
Having a goal gives you something to shoot for. It's like making a sandwich. You decide you are hungry so you want to make a sandwich. That is your goal. Actually making the sandwich is the steps to accomplishing that goal. BUT HERE IS A REALLY IMPORTANT PART. When you finish your goal, reward yourself. If you make a sandwich and set it on a shelf somewhere, the goal may have been completed, but it really isn't finished. Finishing the goal is eating the sandwich.
If you go to all the work to accomplish and complete a goal -- not a little one, like get out of bed in the morning...unless that is something you don't normally do, in which case, it deserves a reward -- you owe yourself some recognition of that accomplishment. You better believe I will somehow celebrate if I make it to the 31st without missing a submission. :)