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Got Goals?

I hope 2008 is off to a great start for you. Have you had enough time yet to break that New Year’s resolution? :) I’ve never really gotten into that whole resolution thing, but I do think setting goals helps bring about positive changes and accomplishments. Resolutions seem so “all or nothing” and more or less set you up for a certain fall whereas goals are simply something you are working towards.

Last summer a speaker at one of our Fellowship of Christian Writers meetings challenged us to make goals, get them down on paper, and review them regularly. I took her up on the challenge, and it has been so beneficial for me. This blog, in fact, is the fulfillment of one of my goals. There’s just something about making a desire “official” by calling it a goal and actually writing it down that has a way of spurring you on to work towards its accomplishment.

Let me challenge you, while the year is still fresh, to formulate some goals of your own. Be sure to write them down and review them often. Your goals may be work related or purely personal or even a combination of both.

Author Mary DeMuth ( http://www.marydemuth.com/ ) shared some helpful insight on setting goals with those of us in The Christian Writers View2 online community recently. With her permission, I would like to share her post with you. I hope you find it helpful as you work on setting your own goals for this year. You can make them SMART ones with a little thought. Mary’s post is written with writers in mind, but the principles can be applied by anyone. Her post is as follows:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

When setting writing goals for 2008, here’s a nifty acronym to help you. (I’m sure many of you have heard of this. For more specific information you can click here: http://www.topachievement.com/smart.html )

1. Be sure the goal is specific. “Write a book” is unspecific. “Finish my nonfiction book about office politics” is specific.
2. Be sure it can be measured. “Write queries that sell” cannot be measured. “Write five queries a week” can be measured. You can cross that off a list.
3. Be sure it can be attainable. “Write the Great American novel” is probably not attainable if you’ve just started this journey. “Write a spotlight piece for my local newspaper” is more attainable.
4. Be sure your goal is realistic. “Write an article a week that sells for big bucks” is not realistic. Consider what you sold last year, then up the ante a little.
5. Be sure your goal is timely. Be sure you put a time frame on your goal. “Write my novel by June 2008” is timely. “Write a novel” is not. — Mary DeMuth

Back to me now — helpful thoughts, huh? Another helpful thought can be found in God’s Word. “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal…” (Philippians 3:14b). Yes, reaching a goal usually involves some straining and pressing on, but the victory is surely sweet. I would love to hear about some of your goals so feel free to comment away!

*Flickr photo by Eleaf, Creative Commons License

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