3 Tips to Make Writing Goals for the New Year

As we welcome the new year, it automatically makes us think of goals and dreams. It can also cause discouragement. That’s the last thing you want as you dream, plan, and look forward to a new year. In Today’s Tuesday tip, let’s look at four things to consider as we make our New Year’s goals.

1. Review last year’s goals

Examine last year’s goals. As you do, answer these questions:

  • Were your goals reasonable?
  • What got in the way of achieving those goals?
  • Is there anything you need to address?
  • Do you need to adjust your expectations in this season?

Be honest with your answers. No guilt allowed! You will learn from your mistakes and your successes as you review.

2. Pray

Sounds simple, right? Yet it’s normally left out of the process. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. Invite the Lord to show you.

3. Break down major goals into attainable goals

While “write a book” is a great goal, it’s too big. Instead, you might break down your goals into these steps:

  • Write a synopsis or theme for my book idea
  • Listen to a COMPEL teaching on how to write a book proposal
  • Write my book proposal (Break this into steps!)
  • Write value statements for each chapter
  • Complete three chapters to include with my proposal
  • Share my completed proposal with a publisher or agent

Now you have doable goals that lead to a completed project.

4. Create doable deadlines

In COMPEL, we have a community group called “Confetti Friday.” Each week, writers share goals for the upcoming week, as well as celebrate the previous week’s goals. It’s not unusual for a writer to be frustrated because they didn’t accomplish their goals from the previous week.

When they dig deeper, they often determine they are creating deadlines but not making them doable.

They pattern their deadlines after a full-time writer when they are a mom with three small children and a part-time job. They create unreasonable deadlines, feeling like it’s better to work under pressure, only to feel they’ve failed when they don’t meet them.

  • What is your life like in this season?
  • What is a reasonable deadline?
  • Dare not to compare.
  • Don’t try to mimic anyone else’s schedule, goals, or deadlines.

As you make your New Year’s goals, create deadlines that work with your real life. When you do, you are giving yourself the opportunity to succeed. Create a goal. Break it into manageable tasks. Give each task a doable deadline that factors in your life.

Celebrate every step of the way!

Your Turn

Take a moment to look back at last year’s goals and leave a comment about what you’ve learned. When you look back on last year’s goals were they reasonable? Were they doable? Did you break them down into bite-sized tasks? Did you seek God over those goals? Since today is the first day of 2019, what do you plan on doing differently in the new year to help your writing dreams come to pass?

Take It Further

Enroll in our Setting Yourself Up for Writing Success course! In this course, you will learn specific strategies for goal-setting, overcoming obstacles and dealing with discouragement so you can achieve the dreams God placed in your heart. This course, included in your COMPEL Membership, will also provide you with practical tips for figuring out your capacity, your writing schedule, and your daily routines so you can turn your love of writing into a reality.


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  1. This was excellent advice, particularly for someone like myself who works full-time and has other commitments. Breaking it all down into attainable goals is very important. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Calvonia Radford: January 6, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    This tip is timely. I have experience writing SMART goals. So listing the goals and breaking them into attainable steps is not a struggle for me. Determining a timeline is challenging. Mainly because this is a new journey for me and I have no frame of reference.

  3. Michelle Rabon: January 3, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    Something I have learned about myself is that I thrive with parameters. Setting goals, deadlines, etc. All help me to get to where I need to be. However I think I sometimes tend to get ahead of God, I create my own timeline rather than asking Him what His timeline is for me.

  4. Desiree Taylor: January 2, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    I think I struggle the most with breaking down my goals. I know God wants me to write this book but I find when I am overwhelmed with the task, I have a hard time. It is better for me to break it down into smaller sections instead of so broad and need to find a new rhythm for this season instead of trying to get back to what I was doing last season because it is a completely different season. This was great, Suzie. It is helping me to honestly evaluate myself and work at creating goals in a way I can be successful.