Goals for the Year: Six Month Check-Up

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Six months of the year have nearly slipped by, and that means it’s time for a check-up on my goals. Some I have already achieved (submit 2-4 stories to romance magazines), some I have failed at miserably (write every day for an hour), and some are in the works (complete an outline for a novel.)

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Even though I’ve had mixed results in achieving my goals, it has still been the most successful year I’ve had as a writer. My third story of the year is on track to be published, where previously, I’ve averaged only one story per year, at best.

 

What has made the difference? I think partly it’s the snowball effect of having been committed to the writing journey for almost four years now. Eventually the snowball has to get bigger. Though, of course, I’m still just a toddler’s snowball compared to the enormous snow-scapes created by my author heroes.

 

Another part is the Lord’s blessing and timing. My three little stories are small peanuts, I know! But I am thankful for them. I remind myself that David was anointed to be king twenty years before he actually became king. I haven’t given this journey twenty years yet, so I won’t give up if “my time” hasn’t come. I’ll just be thankful for the successes I’ve had and keep going toward the dream.

 

Besides, there is no such thing as “making it happen.” Sure, I could write hours a day, but that doesn’t guarantee success. Even if it did, at what cost would it come? God and my family must always come first. If not, even the ultimate success would be worthless. Just a pile of you-know-what.

 

I’ve tried to keep God first and just-keep-going from the beginning. But there is one thing I did differently at the beginning of this year, and it has made a huge difference!

 

At my writing coach’s suggestion, I wrote out some goals on paper. Each one had to be SMART.

 

SPECIFIC: No more, “I’m going to write more this year.” More like, “I will submit 2-4 stories to romance magazines.”

MEASURABLE: “Write more” is too subjective. “Write an hour every day” is measurable. I either meet or fail at this goal every day.

ACTIONABLE: Not something I will be (be a better writer), but something I will do (read a book on the craft of writing).

REALISTIC: “Write a novel” is not realistic for me right now. “Complete an outline for a novel” is a stretch, but it can be done.

TIME SENSITIVE: Each goal needs a deadline. My original goal was to complete the novel outline by September. I can see that I’m not going to meet that, so I’ve revised the deadline to December.

 

What about you? Do you have goals for your career? Your marriage? Your family? Your health? Your life?

 

Without goals, we often take the path of least resistance. Or we might not even be aware of what is important to us. But when we take time to “give thought to your ways” as the Bible says in Haggai, we can find out where we are and where we want to be. In order to bridge the gap, it helps to set SMART goals and check them regularly—plus a lot of prayer for God’s help and mercy.

 

What do you want out of the rest of this year? I pray for you, that God will speak to you, grant you wisdom, and accomplish great things through you.

 

Blessings to you, my friend.

 

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