Thursday, November 7, 2019

You Need A Goal by Sally Shupe

How is it November already? It seems like just yesterday I was sitting down, planning out my goals for this year, and very excited for the year ahead. And now I find the year is almost winding down. How did your year go? Did you meet the goals you set forth in January? Did you find goals that didn’t work and then set new goals?

I had a planner that I started using in January. I set goals regarding how many words to write in a week, brainstorm blog post ideas, find places to blog, come up with new story ideas, research agents, read a writing book a month, enter contests, participate in NaNoWriMo. Sounds very productive! After thumbing through the planner, I now realize I’d only written out how to meet these goals through February. My new goal is to be consistent!

Since this is the month of thanksgiving, I wanted to be intentional and thankful for what I’ve accomplished this year. One of my goals was met when I started blogging here monthly. Thank you for allowing me to do so! I also entered a contest and got feedback. Another goal I’d set, not related to writing, I’ve met each month as well. Then, my flashdrive broke and I had to set a new, fast goal. Recover my stories that were on there! I had sent some of the stories out to friends to read and so found several of them. The story I was working on I was able to get an earlier version of it, so another new goal is to work on it and bring it back to where it was. But at least I found a copy of it! If your story is only in one place, go right now and save it somewhere else as backup.

But the work doesn’t stop at writing out your goals. You can’t start a project and never finish it. Well, you can. But then you’ll have a hole in the floor, or the wiring showing in the walls, or a sink that overflows. By a dog named George. No, not really, but you get my point. (I wrote about the house-flooding dog in my previous post.) Anyway, you get the picture. Setting goals is for the purpose of completing them. If a goal ends up not working, you can change the goal as situations and circumstances change, but you have to have goals. Goals keep what you want to accomplish right front and center. Zig Ziglar said if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. That is so true with writing. Goals keep us writing when everything else comes at us and wants us to quit.

If you’ve met your goals so far, great job! You’ve made it this far, only two more months to go. You can do it! If you haven’t, you’ve got two months to uncover those goals, dust them off, and work on them. Consider what’s kept you from meeting those goals. Something beyond your control? Don’t fret about those. The ones you have control over, go after them! If you find a goal that won’t work, change it to something that will. But have a goal. This year still has two months left to make your goals a reality. You can do it!

If you need a critique partner, someone to share your writing accomplishments or struggles with, a writing partner, an encourager, a NaNoWriMo buddy, contact me. Send me an email or contact me on social media. I’m on NaNoWriMo as sallyshupe. Writing can be lonely, as it’s just you and a piece of paper, or a screen, or talking into Dragon Naturally Speaking software, but it doesn’t have to be. Reach out to others. We’ve all got different gifts and abilities, and we’re all on this road together.

Now go forth and write. You’ve got two months. Unless you’re doing NaNoWriMo. That gives you like four months in one, right?

Sally Shupe lives in southwest Virginia with her husband, two grown kids, and a whole bunch of pets: five dogs, three cats, a rabbit, and birds at the birdfeeder (and the mandatory snowman when the snow cooperates). She writes contemporary Christian romance, with two completed manuscripts and others in progress. They are part of a series located in small town Virginia.

When Sally’s not writing or working full-time, she is a freelance editor for several authors who write fiction and nonfiction; students working on dissertation papers; a copy editor for Desert Breeze (now closed); a content editor for Prism (became part of Pelican); performs beta reading for various authors; publishes book reviews on her blog and with Valley Business FRONT’s monthly magazine; is a member of ACFW and ACFW Virginia; and loves genealogy, running, and crocheting.

Sally uses her love of words to write about God’s amazing love.

23 comments:

  1. Hello Sally! I like to have writing goals. Also, I work better with goals for everyday activities like house cleaning, meal planning, letter writing, etc. Asking God to help me with my goals gives comfort. :-)

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  2. Hi Melissa! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Goals for letter writing-the goal I talked about above that wasn't related to my writing that I've met every month so far, is to send birthday, thinking of you, and get well cards to my brothers and sisters family at church. It took a lot of work up front, getting addresses, birth dates, anniversary dates if I had them, etc, and then writing that all down on a calendar. And then getting cards, stamps, etc. But I've done it all year so far and I am so thankful God has helped me do it! It was a huge project, but I've gotten such joy out of it.
    As for cleaning house, I'll make out a list, and put stuff on it I've already done, so I can mark something off to help give me a jump start on getting other things done lol.
    You've hit a key point, as we write out our daily, weekly, monthly goals, we should pray for God to help. Thank you for that piece of encouragement!

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  3. Sally is one of my favorite critiquing partners. Thank you for the inspiration and your belief in me and my work.

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    1. Maddie, thanks for stopping by and commenting! Love reading your work.

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  4. Hi Sally! I LOVE this post! It's going into my Keeper File because I felt motivated just reading this (and we writers DO need that motivation at times, don't we?!).

    I'm sorry, but I giggled at your dog named George comment (although I know that entire ordeal was NO laughing matter!).

    Overall, I have done pretty well with my goals this year, but still have more work to do. But your post today has motivated and inspired me, so thank you, sweet friend!

    I'm SO glad you're a regular contributor on this site!! :)

    Hugs, Patti Jo

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    1. Patti Jo, thank you so much for the feedback! Motivation is always good. George-he's just lucky he's cute lol. Congratulations on keeping up with your goals! That is huge. There's two months to go to finalize the ones that aren't quite finished, or to add new ones! Thank you so much, Patti jo. I love being here!

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  5. Great advice, Sally. I keep a calendar and a weekly To-Do List notebook page to check off items each day as I accomplish a goal. Yesterday I misplaced that notebook. Whew, you should've seen my hubby and me searching the house. He knows how much I depend on that list to keep me on target. In fact I have filled notebooks that go back years when I need to recheck if and when I did whatever. This notebook goes into my prayer closet with me each day, too. Only the Lord can help me discern the real priorities and accomplish them timely. And, Sally, thanks for being on my November 12 Book Launch Team for my new novel, Marisol! I really appreciate you.
    Blessings,
    Elva Cobb Martin
    VP ACFW-SC

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    1. Hi Elva! I can see the searching for that notebook. I make lists for daily tasks, and when I misplace that list, I am at a loss as to what to do. I like that you can refer back to that notebook to find when something was done and that it goes into the prayer closet with you. "Only the Lord can help me discern the real priorities and accomplish them timely."-so true! Elva, I'm so excited about your new book!

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  7. Hi Sally - Making goals is easy compared to achieving them -right? I've learned to make smaller goals that are attainable and concentrate on those on the way to the bigger stuff. Your planner sounds so much like mine, I had to LOL. That goal to keep a planner sort of failed for me. And George - think how much writing fodder he gave you:) This is a keeper post for sure. Thanks a bunch.

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    1. Hi Cindy! So true. You can set any goal you want, but the key is making them achievable. And then working to achieve them. A new goal for next year will be to complete the planner lol. George gave me so much fodder! The really cool thing through all of that was how God showed me things. I might have to put all that in a book, with George on the cover!

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  8. Great post, Sally. I did not do a good job keeping up with goals this years, but I'm already looking for a planner for the new year. Also giving thought on what to include, and prioritize. Thanks for the encouragement.

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    1. Laura, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! I so appreciate you. It's so hard to determine what to include, what to prioritize, what to work on. My decisions seem to change daily, but with a planner, you can change things around if you need to. Just because it's written down doesn't mean you can't work it to fit what you're going through at the time. Don't let it get it down if things don't get accomplished. Start from where you are. Each step forward, is a step beyond where you were, and a step closer to your goals.

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  9. Excellent advice Sally! You're right, goals keep us moving. I looked ones I'd set at the very beginning of the year and some never got touched. I used Susan May Warren's Brilliant Writing Planner and it was super cool for setting goals. :) Now I need to follow through on them!

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    1. Sharee! Thanks! You've accomplished a lot. You've got two months to dust those other goals off and get them done. You can do it!

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  10. Thank you, Sally! I need the reminder that the year isn't over yet! I've met a few of my 2019 writing goals, but others are languishing. I especially appreciate this advice: "Don’t fret about" the ones I can't control. And I need to apply this: "If you find a goal that won’t work, change it to something that will." Cutting my goals into smaller pieces may help me. I won't give up! Thank you for being one of my encouragers! I'll send you some snow one of these days. ;) Blessings!

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    1. Hi Sherida! Yes, breaking goals into smaller pieces gives us incentive and before we know it, that goal is accomplished! You've got two months. You can do it! Especially the one about the snow. It's got to start soon, right? Send it right on my way. I'll take all of it! One thing I've learned today is to be intentional about praying over my goals. I'll be praying for yours as well.

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  11. Hi Sally, I'm thankful for you! What a great post.
    I like breaking goals into smaller chunks. It makes it easier to juggle all the things a writer needs to do. Thanks for sharing and encouraging us to keep pushing forward.

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    1. Jackie! I'm thankful for you as well. You are an inspiration to me. Breaking goals down-the key to seeing progress. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  12. Sally! Did you see all my missed goals in my calendar? You've got some great ideas here. I'm hoping to finish the year better and make more realistic goals for next year. Plus be more consistent.

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    1. Hi Terri! You've got two months. You can do it! Have a great day!

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  13. I missed your post yesterday, Sally.

    I always love the Zig Ziglar quote because it's so true.

    "Consider what’s kept you from meeting those goals. Something beyond your control? Don’t fret about those. The ones you have control over, go after them!" Me and you think alike!
    I signed up for NANO and will get as many words written as possible.
    Thanks for the post!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Connie! Go after those words!

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