In Search of Goals

A few years ago, I got into the car and headed for Los Angeles and the SCBWI conference. Because of previous obligations, I was a day late and driving alone. Since I didn’t have my friend Marge in the passenger seat (Marge can find any destination in the world), I had to depend in mapquest.com. I have news for you. Mapquest does not always send drivers on the most direct route to reach their goals. I took some scenic, gas-guzzling tours through several neighborhoods before arriving at the end of my journey.

Because I was at a writing conference, I began to think how this experience could be applied to me as a writer. Did I plan each project so that I could finish it with the least amount of detouring? Did I take a lot of wrong turns before I found the direction of my plot? Was I a creative gas-guzzler, idling instead of getting myself to the computer? Was I in such a hurry to get where I was going that I didn’t take time to write in my journal, sit in the shade with a cup of tea, ask for guidance in daily devotions?

It came as a shock to realize that my writing life was not guided by a reliable map or by an estimated time of arrival. I needed some goal-setting strategies! After a good deal of soul searching, I came up with the idea of creating a “Goal Notebook.”
I bought a small (1 1/2 inch spine) three-ring notebook and filled it with paper. I used dividers with tabs to separate the categories: meditation, long-term goals, short-term goals, progress diary, journaling ideas, images.

Meditation: This is where I do a little searching each morning and copy a Bible verse or other quotation that is meaningful to me. I like to do this in my back garden where violets grow beneath the roses. But in bad weather the kitchen table does nicely, for a bird bath sits beneath the window and our resident towhee likes to visit.

I write a few thoughts about the verse, then thank God for the sunshine warm on my back — or for the rain that keeps our hillsides green. Then I ask for guidance for that day.

Would you like to know more about my Goal Notebook? About long-term and short-term goals? Keeping a progress diary? Recording Journaling ideas? Or that intriguing word — images? Tune in two weeks from today, and I’ll tell you how my search for goals began to expand into some serious writing.

 Contributed by Marilyn Donahue

 

 

 

Advertisements

7 responses to “In Search of Goals

  1. Marilyn, I’ve already got a new goal this week: to get a notebook and “outfit” it to be my Goal Notebook! I can hardly wait to find out more next time about how to use it!
    -Nancy

  2. Hi Marilyn,
    What a great idea! To keep everything in one place. Mine are all over the place. Journal here, calendar there, sketchbook over there. Thanks for the tip!
    -Veronica

  3. Gloria McQueen Stockstill

    Marilyn, what a great idea! Like Nancy, I’m headed out to get my notebook!

    Gloria

  4. Marjorie Flathers

    What a GREAT post, Marilyn! This is a terrific idea we can ALL put to good use! And thanks for the “tip of the hat” to me, re being a good navigator! I appreciate that….and always try to do my best to find the easiest route possible. I’ll look forward to the next installment of your blog. Marge

  5. Sherri Crawford

    Marilyn, I LOVE the idea of a Goal Notebook! I’ve got many notebooks and idea folders and at times I feel overwhelmed. ONE notebook with the things you mentioned is a terrific idea! I can’t wait to read part II. Your analogy was great! Thank you for this practical help. Quiet time—just sitting still with the Lord is #1 for a Christian.
    Sherri

  6. Shirley Shibley

    Dear Marilyn,

    Good job, as usual. You’ve shown us a great way to be a constructive goal-setter! I see where I need to improve in this area, and I’m adding a goal-notebook to my list of goals I’ve already set up for July. (After vacation, of course).

    Shirley

  7. I am the creative gas guzzler! I’m glad to finally have a name for it! I did buy the notebook several months ago. I just haven’t taken advantage of.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s