Jul 25, 2011

You've Been Such a Good Girl

By Tracy Astle

When I started in the BYU BGS program (an independent study course), the first class I was required to take was basically a how-to-be-successful-in-this-program-class. No big surprise there. This class had sections on study skills, goal setting, etc. No big surprise there either. What did surprise me a bit, and maybe it shouldn't have, was that as part of the goal setting section they encouraged us to build in a reward system for whenever we reach a goal.

Wow. Earth shattering concept, I know.

But really, I hadn't had a reward system in place for myself in, oooooh...I have no idea how long. After all, I am not three years old anymore. I am a grown up, thank you very much. I should be able to do things by sheer will and self-discipline, right? Accomplishing the task should be reward enough for an adult person like myself, shouldn't it? Of course it should.

But, you know what? (Of course you know what!) It works. It really, honest to goodness works.

Why? In part because it makes things fun. And fun is important, right Jolene?

So, I've decided I could benefit from using this ground-breaking system when it comes to writing. I'm new enough at this that I haven't needed a whole lot of discipline or goal setting to keep writing. I've just done it because while I worked on my first novel - I. Could. Not. Stop. Now, working on book two has been a different situation. For one thing I was an at home mom when I wrote the first draft of my first book. Now I'm not. And let me tell you, a job just gets in the way of a lot of things! ; )

Anyway, one of my favorite rewards for reaching a small or short term goal is to download a new song from iTunes. Love that!

How about you? Are you a goal setter when it comes to writing and do you give yourself rewards along the way? If so, what are some of your favs?


  1. YES!! That's EXACTLY RIGHT!!!
    And you thought I might not be listening...

    Also - a new song as a reward?? AWESOME IDEA!

    I'm putting that into effect RIGHT AWAY. The problem is that I'm going to start making tiny goals in order to gain more rewards...

  2. I need to think of something other than chocolate...still thinking.

  3. Oh my goodness. I took that class! I forgot all about the reward system. Only, like Terri, I'm not getting past the chocolate! Maybe some little rewards for the smaller goals (like writing a certain number of words so many days in a row) and a really big one for finishing the manuscript? I've never had a pedicure...maybe that will be a fun one!
    Thanks for the reminder!


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