Christmas is over and the New Year is here—a time when many of us make new writing goals. I don’t know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with this process. Too often, I make a list only to discover halfway through the year that I have accomplished very little of it. If this is you, perhaps you will benefit from my new approach to New Year goal setting.
Examine last year’s goals. Which ones did you accomplish? What helped you follow through and achieve success? What went unfinished? Why? Did you get overwhelmed by circumstances, try to pack your days with too much activity, or were you just plain undisciplined with your time? Maybe you simply need to roll last year’s unfinished writing pursuits to this year and lay out a plan for better time management.
Be realistic. How many writing hours do you really have? Do you homeschool, have small children to care for, or work outside the home? Is there something going on in your life that requires a lot of time and energy? Have you experienced an emotional event that has left you drained? Instead of sabotaging your efforts by overcommitting during an already busy or difficult season, start with small, achievable goals. There is no rule that says you can’t add more, later.
Include what you will NOT do. Sometimes the key to accomplishing our writing goals is cutting other things out so we will have more day to work with. What difference would it make if you stuck to one Bible study instead of trying to juggle two, took a break from a ministry or activity, or disconnected from social networking on weekdays?
Do one thing at a time. Face it; we can’t do everything we want to do, at least not all at once. Choose the project that is closest to your heart and commit to focusing on that. Once it is finished, move on to the next one.
Work people in. When we set new goals, we tend to get annoyed with anything or anyone that gets in our way, including our families, friends, and employers. Understand that your writing time will be interrupted occasionally by sick children, family emergencies, unexpected issues at work, and friends who truly need you. Make a plan for staying on task when things are going well so you won’t get too behind when the unexpected happens. Ask God to help you respond to needs with kindness, recognize when you should put people ahead of plans, and redeem the time later.
Invite God to the planning session. Before listing your writing goals for the year, take time to pray and seek God’s direction. What does He want you to do?
May you accomplish God’s purpose for you this year!
Submitted by a Christian Editor Network member.