Are You Sabotaging Your Goals?

Sometimes we can sabotage our freelance writing career goals without even realising it. For instance, if you are constantly worried about the time it will take you to do something, you can spend more time worrying than doing, with the predictable result. You may have set yourself the goal of earning more money this year, but how many of the things you do with your time actually help you achieve those goals? You may feel that time is eluding you and that you are not in control.

It is sometimes easy to state what you want to achieve in your freelance writing career, but less easy to actually achieve them. In fact, what happens is you get bogged down with the short term goal of earning a living, forgetting the long term goal of achieving balance in your life.

Balance is different for everyone, but for many writers it might consist of having time for themselves, their children and their family, having well paid writing work and having enough spare time to work on pet writing projects that don’t pay the bills.

So, how do you achieve what you want and stop sabotaging yourself? The first thing you need to do is to be clear about where you are headed down the road. What does your form of a balanced life look like? Dare to dream when you think about this.

Then consider what you need to do to make your goals a reality. It might be something as simple as knocking off early one day a week to have some time for yourself. It might consist of chasing higher paying work. Only you will know what you can do.

Next, break each of these into little steps that you can achieve and set aside some time to do them. For example, you might commit to sending an extra query every day for a job that pays double your standard rate. You don’t have to go for all the goals at once. It’s probably less stressful to try to achieve balance gradually.

Finally, be positive about what you can achieve. Think back to when you started your writing career. Haven’t you come a long way since then? I’m sure you have, which means that in a year’s time you’ll be thinking the same thoughts about the period you’re living through now.

I’ve decided to remember that I am always in control of how I spend my time, so I’ve decided to spend it on working towards my goals rather than worrying about not meeting them. How about you?

About Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall has been mentoring writers here at Get Paid To Write Online since 2005 to help them improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. Check me out on Feel free to connect with me online on Google+.


  1. This was an excellent article and something which I have been struggling with for a while. The tips are great and I can’t wait to begin to organize my time so that I’m not sabotaging my own writing goals.
    I really enjoyed your blog


  2. When I look at where I was a year ago, I do feel like I’ve come a long way. I also see ways that I sabotage myself. When I work with a positive attitude and plan to organize my time I get so much more accomplished. Balance is huge as well. While I some days work too much and play too little, I now make sure I play sometimes to make it worth the extra effort. Great post!

  3. I have the hardest time with balance. Most people need me to do things – now. It often leads me to become emotionally stressed and working far too long.

    I have recently learned to shut my MSN off, and focus on work.It was a good choice.

  4. Very nice website here -:)

  5. I’ve felt that self-sabotaging aspect frequently over the past nine years. I regret those fallbacks too because I imagine where I might be now if I’d started to truly focus back then, instead of tinkering along. But you’re right, we have come a long way.

    I’ve found when it comes to time, having a firm goal and focus makes use of every moment more productively. I’ve even found myself feeling like I have more time because when I have my to-do list in front of me with each item ordered by priority things move along quickly with far less procrastination.

    Of course, I couldn’t live without my Instant Messenger. I don’t get to chat too often because my friends understand that I’m a busy person but sometimes it is handy to have someone to turn to if I need them. It makes me wish more freelance writers made themselves available like that, but as you said, there is always email.

  6. I love IM, too, Rebecca, but it ended up taking time away from writing. I still use it, but I limit the time so that I can focus on my work. I have plenty of other distractions, like reading blogs and checking my stats. 😉