Squawk Radio

Friday, June 24, 2005

Dear Squawkers,

Christina, I was so moved by your post! You are an amazing woman and I'm honored to be your friend.

You asked about goal setting. I didn't come up with this idea all on my own. I read mountains of books every year, but I also make sure to read several on business and marketing. Early on one of the first to have a profound influence on me was "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale. I've also listened to countless tapes by inspirational people, among them Zig Ziglar. One of the strategies I learned was about goal setting. Thinking about goals, and then taking it to the next step and writing them down, has had a profound influence in my life.

In 1992 I was published in category romance, but I had lofty dreams and ambitions. I wanted to be published in, and known for, my single title books. I wanted my books to have consistent New York Times list placement, with each successive book showing improvement in my writing and in my personal growth. I wanted author tours and movie deals; I wanted to tour book distribution centers, and appear at major book association events. And while I was at it, why not audio editions? Isn’t it fun to day dream? Just for good measure, I jotted down all these dreams and at the top I wrote down “Five-Year Goals.” After that, I tossed the list in a drawer and forgot about it.

I came upon that same list again some years ago. Chills ran up and down my spine as I reread my dreams/goals. Those unimaginable and unattainable goals that I wrote down in 1992—you guessed it—all came true. Let me tell you there is something very powerful about goals that are written down. Your mind (even though you don’t have the list in front of you) helps you focus your energies into making them come true.

This year I had a book on the New York Times bestseller hardcover fiction list and mass market paperback fiction list--at the same time! I’ve been on author tours (and boy have I learned from those!). THIS MATTER OF MARRIAGE was produced as a made-for-TV movie, and I have movie goals for other titles. I’ve been to Book Expo America several times and have enjoyed it tremendously. I always come away with new insights when I talk to booksellers. Audio tape editions of my books are now available. Wow.

I continue to write down my goals each year. In fact, I’ve expanded them to include not only career goals, but also personal, financial, recreational, family, physical and spiritual goals. My family gets together every year at Christmas time and we write down our goals for the new year, after rereading the goals we wrote down the previous year. It's become a tradition.

I think you should make up your own list and see where it takes you!
Debbie M, 11:27 AM