Friday, January 27, 2012

DEVOTION: Be SMART by Shirley Corder

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

How often we quote this verse of Scripture without stopping to think about what God means when He says He has plans for us.

November is a month of goal-setting for writers. NaNoWriMo was founded in 1999 by a small group of American writers. The goal is to write 50,000 words of a new novel during the month of November. The numbers have grown exponentially over the years. In 2010 (the latest statistics available), over 200,500 writers signed up, and 37,500 passed the 50k goal. Many of the books produced in this fashion over the years have been published.

You're asking me what this has to do with us here in January, 2012, right?

Hear me out.

The real benefit of NaNo--or any other writing goal-- is just that. It's a goal. I've reached it 6 times and I have loved each rush to the goalpost. Each day you have a task to complete. You know what you need to do. It's do-able (only 1,667 words a day) and it's fun. It also gets you writing at a pace you wouldn't normally consider.

A commonly used definition of a good goal is that it should be SMART. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. NaNo is all these things.

". . . I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." If God has a plan, or a goal, for your life, surely you should have one too?

I ask you, whether you're a writer or not, do you have a goal for your life? If you don't know what it is, how will you know when you reach it?

Did you set a New Year's Goal for 2012? If God has a plan for you, why not ask Him what He wants you to do this year? Next month? This coming week? Then take out a pen and paper. (Yes, really. A pen! Those things you used to write with!) Do it the SMART way. Write down one SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE goal that you plan to complete with His help. It should be ATTAINABLE, albeit with some effort, and REALISTIC, and of course it must be TIME-BOUND to a specific date.

Leave a comment to tell us what your SMART goal is for the next month or two.

SHIRLEY CORDER is a goal-setter who lives in South Africa with her husband, a hyperactive budgie called Sparky, and an ever expanding family of tropical fish. She is contributing author to nine books to date and her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer is due for release in the USA later this year. Hundreds of her inspirational and life-enrichment articles have been published internationally. You can contact Shirley through her writing website, her Rise and Soar cancer site, or follow her on Twitter.

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