New Year New Goals

We’re almost at the end of January, and I’m wondering did you set goals for the new year? I asked this question in my January newsletter and got some great answers. I also realized, maybe we all could use a bit of help with understanding what a SMART Goal is.

You see it’s not good enough to just say: I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to stop smoking. I’m going to make more time for myself. To make sure you reach your goal, you have to have a few other things.  SMART Stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

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Specific. Losing weight is specific. It is concrete. So is stopping smoking. What about making more time for myself? Well that could be.

Measurable. For me this is the key. Do I mean I want to lose 1 pound or 5 or 10 or more? Depending on the answer may affect the other things we do. Stopping smoking is measurable. All or nothing, but maybe you want to start with cutting back to one pack a week—or whatever is appropriate for you. Maybe, I’ll cut out smoking after I eat a meal. But you get the idea. Measurable. Even with making more time for myself. Maybe how I’m going to do that is schedule pedicure every three weeks. Or go shopping just for fun once a month.  There are numbers involved with the concept of measurable.

Achievable. Something you can really do. Can you stop smoking? Yes. Can you lose weight? Yes, everyone can. More difficult is keeping it off. LOL (I speak from personal experience.) And you certainly can make more time for yourself.

Relevant. Another word for relevant is realistic. It’s not realistic for me to say, I’m going to lose 50 pounds in 1 month. Definitely specific and measurable, but not possible to accomplish in that time frame. So you need to be realistic. I want to lose 20 pounds over 6 months. Doable, but I’ll have to work hard and have good plans and really stick with the plan.

Time-Bound. We’ve kind of seen that in the above example. If all you say is I’m going to lose weight, you don’t have a SMART goal.  To be a SMART Goal, I could say: I’m going to lose 10 pounds by April 1. That fits a SMART Goal. For stopping smoking, you might say: I’m going to cut back to 10 cigarettes a day for 4 weeks, then I will cut back to 5 for four weeks. And what about making time for myself: Every Wednesday from 2-3pm, I will schedule in time for myself to get a pedicure, read a book, go shopping, or just be.

You’ve probably heard all this before. I know I have, but it’s good to be reminded of how we can accomplish stuff. Accomplishing stuff is really important to my self-esteem. 😊

Periodically, when I’m writing a new book, I’ll set aside a week and say, I’m going to write 2000 words a day. At the end of that week, I’ve written 14,000 words. If I kept that up, it would take me 57 days to write an 80,000 word book. Obviously, I don’t do that every week, because it takes me a year from when I write the first words to publication. Since I didn’t start Book 11 until half-way through this month, I’m going to have to get my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keys more often than I usually do to have a 2023 publication date. That’s the goal. Publish Book 11 before the end of 2023. It’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic (even though I’m starting late), and its time bound. But gosh it comes with lots of little goals to make that happen.

So do you make goals in any part of your life? Love to hear from you.

My 10th book released this past December. VULNERABLE, is a Second Chance Romantic Suspense with a heroine and hero in their 50s. This book is set in Fort Worth.

Here’s the blurb. Interior designer and junior college professor Maddy Crawford Crain strives to stand on her own after the unexpected death of her husband two years ago in a car wreck. Being sexually harassed at work makes her feel vulnerable and forces her to seek help.
          Former LA Homicide Detective and now security expert David Bourland wants to protect his clients and protect his heart after seeing his wife gunned down. Maddy’s problems draw on all his protective instincts to keep her safe.
          Will the harasser’s obsession turn deadly?
 Will David’s fear of falling in love with someone who could die violently and Maddy’s determination to stand on her own keep them from finding each other?

Here’s the Universal Link:

Blurbs for each of my books with links can be found on my website Where you can also sign up for my blog and my  NEWSLETTER  MRW Press LLC (

Contact me at , and follow me on…

(20+) Marsha Riegert West | Facebook  @Marsharwest Marsha R. West: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

Marsha R. West (Author of Vermont Escape) | Goodreads

Marsha R. West Books – BookBub

9 Comments Add yours

    1. Thanks for the reblog. 🙂


  1. I have a few goals that I keep in mind as I go through the days, but I know that life happens. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t want the added stress and pressure of a made-up task master and arbitrary time limits. I do what I can do and just try to use my time wisely. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Darlene. We all have to do what works for us. I’m a list maker. That’s how I get things done. But you write fantastic books living your life your way, so keep it up. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw, thanks Marsha! I write lists, too!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Vicki Batman says:

    Not goals so much as to what I want to accomplish. Sometimes, I put these on a list especially when I am super busy. I did set a start date for my fourth romantic comedy mystery and told myself to write on it every day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, Vicki. Excited you’re starting a new romcom. Did you start on the date you set? I was supposed to start book 11 in December. It didn’t happen, but it has now. As Darlene said above, life happens. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.


  3. Reggi Allder says:

    My plan for this year is to complete my fifth romantic suspense novel and put my other books into box sets. I’m not a list maker, but every day I think about what I need to do to move forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Reggi. Good for you to plan to complete the next book. Let me know how the boxed set thing works. I have a series I’ve thought about doing that with, but it seems complicated and time consuming. I’d love to have step by step for it.–you know a list. LOL Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


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