September 30, 2016

Good Intentions, Better Outcomes by Susan Barclay

This was the year I was supposed to be more intentional. I started off by reading The Twelve Week Year and was inspired to follow its principles and practices. Indeed this would have meant reviewing my goals at various points along the way and hopefully resulted in greater productivity.

What happened?

It’s not that I got lazy. At least I don’t think so. I think what  happened was that I discovered intentionality was too broad a term to cover my 2016, what I actually needed was to be more intentional in prayer. And while I didn’t create a new game plan around this action, I did increase the regularity and frequency of my prayers, as well as their quality. I also read a few books on prayer, most notably those by Jim Cymbala, long-time pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, and I've come to realize the absolute priority and importance of this Christian ‘discipline.’ My eyes have opened to the neglect of prayer in the church and in individual lives, including mine, and to the absolute power of prayer when one engages in it. I’ve seen prayers answered, which inspires me to pray even more.

But back to goals. They're good to have. If we don’t shoot for a target, we’re not apt to hit one. As far as my writing goals go, I’m still hoping to finish my novel this year. Now that my ‘children’ are both young adults, one living in residence, the other moving in with a friend next month, I should have a lot more time to write and to stay on top of other areas of my life like laundry, dishes and regular housekeeping. Things may stay cleaner and tidier for longer periods of time – hallelujah! It may be easier to reach personal attainable goals and to track and tweak them. I plan to read The Twelve Week Year again, or books similarly themed, and to aim for the most productive life I can have, prayer- and other-wise.

Is there a book on productivity you would recommend, one that has really set you on a good path? If so, please name it in the comments below!


  1. Thanks for sharing Susan. I am going to look that book up. I think this month was a difficult one for many of our authors and you did a good job in pointing us back to prayer.

    1. I appreciate your affirmation, Tracy - thank you!

  2. I agree with you, Susan, that sometimes what we need to do is to be more intentional in prayer. Such a good point! Rather than a book, I am going to mention the Pomodoro Technique, which talks about working in 25-minute stretches and then taking a 5-minute break. You'll find several websites on this time-management philosophy. I have used this successfully, but I've slacked off on this, so thanks for the reminder. Also, you might be interested in Jeff Goins 500 words a day, which you can also google. I did this for 30 day, which is the original challenge, but others stay on this for a long time. All the best with writing after the kids leave home.


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