Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Goal Setting for Dream Getting

by Mary Allen

Hoosier Inksters have one thing in common: we’re involved with writing because God compels us in that direction. God has placed a dream inside each of us. He’s created unique gifts and talents and has a special plan for how, where, and when they are to be used in the tapestry of life.

That dream may be to have one book published, become a literary agent, write a movie script for Hallmark, or be a bestselling inspirational author. Whatever it is, it seems too big to be true, yet you can’t shake the feeling you should do it.

Dreams can come true. God says he’ll place within our hearts the desires that will best accomplish his purpose for our lives. That means you don’t have to fight that dream. You can acknowledge it.

The dream may be years from fruition, but everything you experience, especially what seems detrimental to its accomplishment, will only create a better harvest, if you don’t grow bitter. This is where goals enter the picture.

A goal is a step that moves you closer to your dream, big enough to be an interesting challenge yet small enough to be attainable. A goal could be to work at a horse ranch doing research for your next wip, hold a book signing, develop a blog, complete a course, or attend ACFW conference.

An unmet or frustrating goal is too large. Maybe your goal is to write a novel in a year. It’s the same goal you’ve had for five years but so far you’ve completed two chapters and that was because you were recovering from surgery and couldn’t work and run three kids between events. A goal to create one fresh page every week day— even if terribly flawed—is much more doable. One page can even be done while waiting for the kids to come to the car after practice. Those pages add up and a habit will be bred that can be built on and from that a book will be born.

Goals are meant to free, not shackle, us. Some people may spreadsheet their goals while others will work from a free-form list of three points. That’s okay, but setting appropriate written goals carries benefits of simpler lives, happier dispositions, and greater satisfaction.

Why am I talking about this in December? It may take a whole month for this topic to simmer in your subconscious before you can face your deepest dream. In thirty-one days you might wildly imagine many goals you want to accomplish next year to further that dream. In 774 hours you can purpose one hour to quiet yourself before your Maker and ask him which of those goals he wants you to do.

The bottom line is readiness to be used by God.
Remember, you’re not in this alone, he bears it with you. He said, “Be yoked together with me, go my direction, and my burden will be bearably light.” Matthew 11:30 MAPV

What goals did you set this year and how have you taken steps to accomplish them? What about next year? What dreams do you have? Do you have a record of progress, that is goals met? Have fun with this.


  1. Beautiful, Mary! Great advice. I don't know that I purposely set out specific goals this year, but the Lord has brought about so many wonderful blessings in my life - often in the most roundabout way - and that's what makes this journey so exciting. Blessings to you during this joyous holiday season, my friend!

  2. So nicely written.

    I find what works for me is a goal setting app called GoalsOnTrack and it has worked very well. It saves me a lot of time in keeping track of my goals and most importantly it helps me better organize my daily todos towards achieving my goals. You may want to check it out.

  3. JoAnn, thank you. It seems to me you had a very specific goal in mind - to get Awakening published- and you did that. It couldn't have been easy with working full time, etc. Blessings to you my inspiring friend.

    Harry, I'll have to check out GoalsOnTrack. In the past I've set up my own sheet in the computer and track it weekly,monthly and do a full review at six months and a year. It sounds like a lot, but it is such a part of me now that I have a lot more free-think time because I can reference this and not have to carry it around in my head. Also, when it's written it seems more real to me. I use a separate daily planner on a table I insert daily in my journal. Some days it's too much for me and I simply list the things for that day.I'd like to start an encouragement blog for goalsetters in 2011. Thanks for commenting.