The SMART choice
How many times have you made a New Year’s resolution? At the end of the year we get excited about all the great things we want to see accomplished in the next year, so we make our plans. The problem is many times those resolutions are long forgotten before we even finish the first quarter of the year. When we do remember them again, we beat ourselves up for not carrying through with the plan.
The good thing is, we are entering the eighth month August, which represents new beginnings. Instead of beating yourself up for not fulfilling your plans, start a new plan, begin anew. This is key, you must make some SMART steps to beginning walking in your plan, otherwise, if you don’t plan, you really are planning to fail. I have my own twist to the SMART steps. So, what are some SMART steps?
S – Specific and Simple. Don’t say, I am going to write my book in three months. While that may be the outcome, you want to take some small steps. In fact, you want to be as specific as possible to make sure you are accomplishing your goal. Ask the right questions, what do I want to write, when do I want to accomplish this, and why do I want to accomplish this goal? As someone stated, how do you eat an elephant, one bite at a time. Take the small and simple steps to help you accomplish the bigger outcome. Make your first goal to write your idea for your story, a brief synopsis. Then move to write an outline. Depending on the type of story, create a brief idea about your characters and begin to see them as people so you can ensure they are not flat in your story.
M – Measurable and meaningful. You must create steps that can be measured when they are completed. One goal I set it to write a certain number of pages each day. I don’t stop until I have written those pages. Additionally, you want to make sure what you write is meaningful. For example, you could make a goal to write ten pages for your story and accomplish it. While that is measurable because you could accomplish it, does the writing add meaning to your project? When I use meaningful, I am speaking about what value does the action add to your work or your process. Do the pages you write lead you closer to the book you want to complete?
A – Attainable and accurate. As you set your goals, have the bigger picture in mind as you break that goal into the bite-size pieces. You want to make sure you are giving yourself realistic time frames based on your life and work outside of writing. In addition to making sure your time frames are reasonable, you also want to make sure your information is accurate. You need to allow for time within your schedule to make sure you are confirming the accuracy of your information or research. In a previous post, I wrote about this believe that you don’t need to do any research. I believe every writer should do some research around what they are writing. A substantial amount of time needs to be spent reading and researching. Make sure you include that in your goals.
R – Relevant and realistic. If writing your book is important to you, you must make sure you have some realistic goal to help you accomplish it. Do you have the expertise needed for your topic? If not, how will you get it? Research? Interviews, what? Being a writer is more than wanting it, it is doing the work to make it happen. Make sure your goals are something you can do.
T – Timely and transformative. While you may not get your book written and ready for publication in one week, you also don’t want to drag it on forever. Give yourself a realistic time frame and then work towards accomplishing that goal. Your question should be how is my work going to help transform my readers? If I believe God has said write this book, I have to also believe He wants it to be something that changes the life of the reader and brings about healing, deliverance, or hope. Those things have a time requirement for them. I believe if we wait too long to write the message God has placed on our hearts, those that needed it miss their blessing because we haven’t written it. Get to it!
Prayer: God, you tell us if we lack wisdom you will give it to us. We need your help understanding the full plan you have for our writing. What do you want us to write? Who do you want us to touch? How do we go about getting the job completed? It can be overwhelming at times, but we trust you to help us through the process. Thank you for helping us to complete the task well. Amen.
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Hi! I'm Dr. Jewel D. Williams. I am a wife, mother of 3 beautiful girls, lead pastor of Vision & Education at Abundant Life Worship Center. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses at a Christian college. Additionally, I am an author and CEO of Tri-Production Publishing, Inc. What is important about it all is I love to serve. I was "Saved to Serve."