5 Questions to Launch Your GFS

These final days of December are some of the best for setting goals—or, as I call it, getting your “Goal Fulfillment System” (GFS) up and running. Because, if you’re like me, you’re gearing up to make the coming year your absolute best yet.

If you’ve never heard of it, a Goal Fulfillment System is different from just setting goals. Though it’s great—and important—to come up with targets to aim for throughout the year, there’s that little issue of actually seeing them through.

That’s where a GFS is essential. It takes you one step beyond voicing your goals and gives you actionable steps for following through on them.

So this week, I want to take you through the basic steps of setting up your own GFS. That includes figuring out why you’re setting goals in the first place—meaning, what’s your core motivation? Then, I’ll share a simple way to keep your eyes on the “prize” (your goals) despite any hurdles that come your way (and it starts with one simple word).

On Wednesday, I’ll reveal the secret to true wealth—essential if you plan on boosting your writing income this year. Thursday, we’ll talk about the unlikely person you should reach out to for support. And Friday, I’ll tell you about the single most important emotion you have to embrace to make your writing dreams come true.

All of these steps go into creating an actionable GFS. Follow them, and you’ll be mountains closer to realizing your writing dreams.

So, right off the bat, there’s something you have to do. That is, if you’re serious about making 2014 THE YEAR you blast past the things that may have been holding you back.

It’s not something anyone can do for you. So I suggest you sit down and gift yourself a solid 15 minutes to think about this.

Better yet, make it an hour, or give yourself the full day—it’s that important.

What is it?

It’s figuring out what the writer’s life means to you.

You know, since I became editor of AWAI’s digital magazine, The Barefoot Writer, I’ve had the privilege of talking to hundreds of new writers.

And one thing I’ve come to realize is that having a truly fulfilling writer’s life is about more than the perks of being your own boss and landing lucrative projects. It’s about defining what you really want out of life and tailoring your writing career to get you there.

When I took my fledgling leap as a freelance writer, I just wanted the money and freedom. I didn’t know any better … and it sure sounded like the perfect combo for a happy life.

But I struggled a lot in those early months. It wasn’t till I dug deep to figure out why I wanted money and freedom—and what I’d do with it once I got it—that I started making headway in my writing career.

So, before New Year’s Day hits, ask yourself five questions:

  1. What is more valuable to you than a six-figure writing career?
  2. If money or social ties weren’t an issue, where would you want to live?
  3. Think about the people who mean the most to you. Given the time and resources, how would you show them your gratitude?
  4. If motivation, money, or time weren’t an issue, how would you take better care of your body?
  5. What secret goal have you always wanted to pursue?

Give yourself time to come up with sincere answers (and please share them here). Once you answer these questions, you’ll have a much better grasp on what the writer’s life can bring you.

In turn, that’ll fuel your momentum to really make progress toward your writing goals in the coming year.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


Click to Rate:
Average: 4.5
Published: December 30, 2013

9 Responses to “5 Questions to Launch Your GFS”

  1. Great exercise, Mindy - thanks! I was surprised to find question #4 easy & not totally related to exercise: it was in there, but so was massage, regular manicure/pedicure sessions, more Korean Food, drinking more water, & meditation. Ha! Who knew? Well, now I do! Thanks gal - looking forward to the rest of the week - xow

    Wendy SlonekerDecember 31, 2013 at 10:37 am

  2. As I read over these 5 questions, I quickly became aware that I did not need a lot of time to think about them. I am pretty grounded as to what I want and why, I just need the means. The first questions as to what is more valuable: Serving the Lord. 2nd Question about where I would want to live: Anywhere near an ocean. Third question regarding showing gratitude: Spending time with them and helping out financially when it's possible. Fourth question regarding taking care of myself: I would hire a trainer to motivate me. Fifth and final question regarding a secret goal: I want to write for a living. That began when I took 3 years of journalism in high school. I've taken 2 writing courses but not not complete them do to losing motivation. That is why I like AWAI. I'm new but I am continuously receiving encouraging emails and opportunities to grow. If I had the financial resources I would be going to every learning venue available.

    Guest (Rhonda Kimmons)December 31, 2013 at 2:48 pm

  3. Ooo...a deadline. Okay, here's my list (in before midnight, 12/31):

    1. I want more freedom to spend time with relatives.

    2. I'd love to live in Tennessee; it's a beautiful area and a one day drive to anywhere else I'd want to go in the eastern U.S.

    3. Too much to detail here in space allowed. But with time and resources I could do a lot.

    4. I'd spend more time looking for healthier food, better supplements and take more time-outs with my dog.

    5. If I told you, it wouldn't be a secret! :)

    Carl GitchelDecember 31, 2013 at 3:58 pm

  4. Love this idea, Mindy! Finding out my own core emotions about living the writer's life seems like such a simple thing, right? But, having to dig deeper takes time and reflection - and focus. I'm going to follow your GFS suggestion, and see where it takes me this week. Thanks!

    BJ JensenDecember 31, 2013 at 5:07 pm

  5. 1. A healthy life & the time to enjoy it with someone I love
    2. Central or South America; we love the Latin lifestyle & people
    3. I would provide the love of my life with the ability to travel & see the world like she wants to for standing with me in everything I do, & to my son who has made me proud of the man he has become, I would help him make his business venture a success
    4. Better food and more exercise
    5. It's not much of a secret anymore but I've always wanted to be a successful writer

    MadisonJamesDecember 31, 2013 at 5:11 pm

  6. I want more free time to travel and spend with my family. I would like to live in Texas or either Switzerland. I would take my best friend and daughter to resorts and spas. Exercising daily and eat organic foods is a must. I have always wanted to be an actress.

    Ms BiggsJanuary 1, 2014 at 11:57 pm

  7. Mindy ~ I love this! What is more valuable to me than a six-figure writing career? Relationships! As for where I'd live, definitely on location! Meaning wherever in the world I was presently working on assignment! I would love to shower the people who mean most to me with gratitude by spending more time with them, engaging in their interests and passions with them. I would love to take up endurance running. One of my "secret" goals is to tell (write for publication) people's stories.

    Sharon OlsonJanuary 2, 2014 at 6:46 pm

  8. I am brand new to AWAI, so am just seeing this...
    1. The relationships I have with family and friends.
    2.I would live exactly where I am now. We just moved here 2 years ago by choice and it is a beautiful location.
    3.By spending more time with them, and helping younger family members financially.
    4.I would strive to eat more organically, and get a personal trainer.
    5.To have my own business, which allowed me to not only express myself creatively, but also to earn a good income. .

    Mary JJanuary 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm


Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)


This name will appear next to your comment.


Your email is required but will not be displayed.


Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters


Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)