I'm a writer. I'm a writing and creativity coach. I see patterns. I'm good at the big picture and those itsy bitsy details that make up the big picture.

And I'm not perfect.

As much as I'm a good writer and good business woman, I don't do it all effortlessly. Like any good thing, it (whatever "it" might be) takes work, or, more accurately, consciousness and intention.

For me, and for most of my clients and other writers and business owners I come in contact with, IT doesn't "just happen." I have to be clear about what I want and where I'm going. I don't have to know exactly how I'll get there (I've learned that much, at least), but I do need to have a general idea of a direction.

That means I have to be conscious about my goals and the actions it takes to get there. And I have to coach myself. (Along with getting help from my support system, including my own business coach.)

Here's what I do when I coach my clients - and myself. See if these help you.

1. Baby steps are the key to reaching your goals. You don't have to finish your novel by the end of the month. Just write one page today. But... YOU. HAVE. TO. WRITE. THAT. ONE. PAGE. TODAY.

2. Create goals, plans, and schedules to actually reach your goals. I will make a huge confession. This is the year I finally feel that I'm running my business like an adult. Sure, I've always been profitable (and I'm proud of that), but I've always just run with the mantra, "Get work; do the work." And not much more of a plan than that. This year, though, it's different. I've set real goals for my business and writing as well as the actions to get me there. Here's a sneak peek into what my specific and time-based goals are:

Increase my database list by 1000 by the end of 2014.
Post on Facebook and Pinterest consistently - 4x a week for Facebook and 2x a week on Pinterest.
Finalize my Find Your Moments book
Submit a manuscript or book proposal by 12/31/14
1 in-person writing retreat by 6/1/14

3. Create ways to hold yourself accountable. Another confession: it's much easier for me to hold my clients accountable than it is for me to hold myself accountable. For example, if a client is supposed to send me writing product on a certain day, I contact her if I don't receive it. Nicely, of course. Come up with ways - those external motivators - to hold yourself accountable.

4. "Can you say more about that?" or "What does that really mean?" I ask my clients these questions, and I find when I'm stuck in a negative place or stuck creatively, asking myself these questions has interesting results.

5. Inner critic, aka negative self-talk, ruins creativity. Understand that the inner critic doesn't like creativity because it feels unsafe, and your inner critic wants to keep you where you are - because where you are is safe (in its mind). You need to find a way to turn off, or at least turn down, your inner critic.

6. One way to turn down that inner critic is to notice your self-talk. What does it signify? Dispute those negative statements with logic (because the negative self-talk is rarely logical). For example, "No one will buy your book" can be refuted with all the people who, once you told them what your book is about, have said, "Wow!!! I'd buy that book." Write those positive statements down to refer to and show your inner critic.

7. Create affirmations to help refute negative self-talk with new, positive thoughts. My favorite: "I am a strong, powerful, healthy woman."

Our dreams and goals rarely manifest without some help from us. What do you need to do to coach yourself to your dreams?

Author's Bio: 

Dawn Shuler, Content Creator Extraordinaire, helps entrepreneurs and authors convey their deep message into compelling words, whether it's marketing material or a book, as well as to create powerful content to increase their credibility, visibility, and profitability. Her soul purpose is to help entrepreneurs unleash their authentic selves into their businesses through their content. She created the Writing From Your Soul system to help business owners connect more powerfully, reach more people, and make a difference. Download the free, 13-step system at www.WritingFromYourSoul.com.