January 17, 2019

New Year, No Goals by Lynn Dove

I will admit that I do not make New Year's resolutions anymore.  I find the effort to be very discouraging for the most part because inevitably only a few days into the New Year I've already failed in some way at keeping them.  It's not that I have not made resolutions in the past because I have.  I tried to make goals that were easily attainable.  I knew that setting far-reaching and pursuing lofty ambitions for myself or for my career at the start of the year, would undoubtedly cause me grief and guilt in the weeks and months that followed.  Being an "A" type personality, I would be consumed with perfection in succeeding, that I would become obsessed, and all else would fall by the wayside while I strove for the unreachable.  Let's just say, it not only made me miserable, it made everyone around me miserable too.  So I made more realistic goals for myself only to find I had not the time or the discipline needed to accomplish those either!  I would then spiral into a guilty malaise where I did not do anything!  That's not a good way to start a New Year.

I applaud those, especially fellow writers, who set and keep goals for themselves to start the New Year.  Whether the goals are just a continuation from the past year, or newly made, I pray that like the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:24, you will be spurred on towards the finish line!  Keep running the race set before you and keep at it until it is finished.

I strive for that as well, but I don't sprint for the finish line as some might do.  My race for many years now has been a steady jaunt, like a cross-country run with deep mud pits and high obstacles to go over or go around and the finish line nowhere in sight.  People keep nudging me to run faster but I can't.  I keep my slow and steady pace and continue to be amazed by the intricacies of the journey lessons I learn along the way.

My writing journey meanders like a contented stream.  Some days I am caught up in the current and will pour my thoughts onto paper undammed and heading straight for a waterfall.  I will write for hours and days with no slowing down.  Then there is that inevitable log jam, and words merely trickle onto paper.  Life gets in the way.  Grandchildren need my attention, my husband requires a proper meal, I must shoo dust bunnies from the house.  It can be days and weeks before I return once more to the computer keyboard to again write.

Previous years, I would fret about not writing.  My writing goals always before me, causing me angst because I could not keep to them.  I no longer am guilty during those "log-jammed" times.  My writing can wait.  It is enough to know that I am in the centre of God's Will.  There is a season for everything and He is in control.  I embrace the journey and know there is a finish line at some point, even though for now, I don't see it.

 Lynn Dove is the award-winning author, of the YA “Wounded Trilogy”- a contemporary Christian fiction series with coming-of-age themes.  A wife, mom, grandmother, and free-lance writer with articles published in several magazines and anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Soul books, her blog, “Journey Thoughts” is a Canadian Christian Writing Award winner.  Readers may connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and at lynndove.com  


  1. There's nothing more important than being in the centre of God's will, Lynn. God is pleased with you!

  2. The quote on your meme is absolutely lovely. I applaud your sensible approach and self knowledge. Sometimes it takes us a few years to figure out how we work best...

  3. This is the most encouraging post I have read in a long time. Thank you, Lynn.

  4. Me too Lynn! And I also love your quote.

  5. I am noticing a new day coming among our InScribe writers. I believe we are encouraging one another not necessarily to finish the longest run or to be the first past the post, but rather to savour the lives we are given and steady ourselves in God's will. May we strive to live our lives and our faith by "being" instead of fretfully "doing." May what we write be to God's honour and glory. Thanks for sharing your reflections on writing goals as they apply to your life, Lynn.

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  7. Thank you for your honesty. I too, haven't bothered with goal setting in years gone by. But the last couple of years I have altered my focus. Now my goal is: to become a better person. How: to set things in place that work on my character and my walk with God. I have experienced some deep grief distress in these years, but by developing me, and with Gods graciousness, I can look back at last year and thank God from where I have come.
    Also agree with Sharon. It is all about the being, not just the doing.

  8. Thank-you for comments! I love the wisdom of “being” rather than fretfully “doing”.


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