Goal Setting: Begin with the End in Mind

Updated: Aug 30


Last year we ran a Pacemaker NaNoWriMo Tournament: Plotters vs Pantsers. The Plotters won, but it didn’t always look like they were going to! Even so, the big surprise was not that they won, it was how they won!

Plotters and Pantsers have been entangled in the fiery dance called writing from time immemorial. The Plotters, tapping out a choreographed number, step by step; the Pantsers, feeling the beat, jump along for the ride, no choreography, just… instinct?

In other words, Plotters are planners and start their projects with an outline in hand. They have carefully considered not only the content of their piece, but their method of getting there. Pantsers usually start their projects with no more than a wing and a prayer, planning only to fly through their work by the proverbial seat of their pants.

But here’s the twist! While Pantsers tend to start out ahead of the game, more often than not, at some point they lose steam and slow down, if not burn out completely. Plotters, on the other hand, have a much more steady approach throughout, and are more likely to finish.

This pattern played out in textbook fashion in our NaNoWriMo challenge!

We all know that having a plan is important. But did you know that it is even said that the act of planning is more valuable than the plan itself? There’s something about getting that long view, something about being a little methodical, and deliberate before you start out which tips the scales in favor of your success. We love the SMART method for setting goals, and highly recommend it to our users.

Set goals which are: