September 01, 2016

How Do You Review your Writing Goals? By Sandi Somers

Do you review your yearly goals throughout the year? If so, how often? What is your process like? If you don’t review your goals, what would be the challenges and benefits you could derive from doing so? Tell us about your process.

“A View from the Balcony”

This morning I’m basking in the sunlight on the porch of my next-door neighbours’ house, notebook and coffee with me. My neighbours have asked me to house-watch while they’re on vacation, and this morning I’m finishing my goals review and writing this blog.

 View From The Front Porch Next Door

I often review my writing goals every six weeks or so while outside the city. In the wide view of the parkland and mountains beyond, I’m enveloped in God’s creation. My head clears as I gain a new perspective on life and writing.

Last summer I discovered a wonderful set of questions to guide my review process. Rochelle Melander advocated getting away from your usual space—to a balcony, as it were—to rethink your goals. (Check the link.) Her questions were as revealing as they were thorough.

As a result, I’ve developed better action plans. Part of the plan was to break down goals into three-month or even one-month segments.  It worked! I couldn’t believe how much doing so focused me on the immediate and realistic priorities and tasks.

I’ve also begun to interweave a spiritual component with goal setting. This summer as I reset my goals, I prayed for God’s grace, insight and wisdom.

Insight came from our pastor’s sermon on Ruth and Orpah, the two young widows faced with a choice: they could walk into an unknown future in Israel with their mother-in-law Naomi, or they could return to their native Moab (Ruth 1:1-18).

Orpah chose to return to Moab and to her gods—she played it safe and lost so much of God’s potential for her.

But Ruth, drawn to Naomi and Naomi’s God, dared to believe that He could do great things.


And without knowing her place in history, Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David, and Jesus’ ancestress.
 In reviewing my notes from that sermon, I came across these profound quotes:

“It takes faith to walk in a new direction. A bold choice." 
"When you honour God with your decisions, He honours you.”
“Pay attention to His tugs—His promptings.”
“Bold decisions impact our faith. God wants you to risk boldly.”
“Believe God can do great things!”
“Step out from the familiar and attempt something daring.”

 God is challenging me to be a Ruth and step into God’s greater plans. As a result, I've asked Him to:

·        Do something to bring the greatest glory to Himself.
·        Confirm me in the next stage of His greater plans.
·        Bring people into my life at the right time to implement components of those plans.
·        Fill me with His words: to exalt Jesus and to impact people in my generation and in the next.

 “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13, NLT).

“Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” 
William Carey

“It always seems impossible until it's done.” Nelson Mandela


  1. I'm a huge goal setting nerd, so I am really looking forward to this month and hearing about everyone else's great ideas. I'm heading over to Rochelle's site now. Thanks for starting us off right, Sandi - as usual!

    1. I agree, Tracy, that this month's topic will be inspiring. I will add that finding Rochelle Melander's "View from the Balcony" was a small step--big leap for me.

  2. I love those sermon notes! "Pay attention to those tugs," and "risk boldly." What I've been discovering is He will realign us when we get off track, so no choice is a 'wrong' direction, but just a lead to the next step boldly.

  3. Thanks for your comment, Lynn. You were so true when you said "He will realign us when we get of track". A story I heard once was that space ships to the moon were off track much of the time and had to be constantly realigned. God is faithful, and we can trust Him with our future.

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  5. I love what you say about Ruth and Orpah. I too would like to do as Ruth did and step into God's greater plan for me. I appreciate the resources you have given us to help us along the way: the list of your notes from your pastor's sermon; the list of ways your are asking God to guide and help you; the lists of Scriptures; the list from Rochelle Melander to guide our review of our goals.

    Thanks for your user-friendly lists, Sandra. I am looking for a balcony. I can see I have lots to do when I get there. Soon, I hope, even for an afternoon.


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