Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Goals?

Ever since my children started attending school, I have found myself in the quiet still of our home on the first day of school pondering goals.

Some of my goals are clearly kitchen related:

What interesting and nutritious meals can I prepare this school year for breakfast, packed lunches, after school snack, and supper? How can I vary them enough to keep my girls happy and satisfied? Funny how hubby takes the backseat with this set of goals. He's by far the easiest to please in the food category.

The apple french toast with prepared fresh fruit seemed to go over well this morning, so that's one meal I'll add to my rotating list for breakfast foods. I suspect the chicken caesar salad I prepared for their lunches will be equally satisfying, so I'm penning that into my rotating lunch menu. Snack and dinner I'm still at a loss for as of yet. Suggestions are welcome. Please!


Other goals are household chore related. You know, a schedule to scrub the toilet, shower stall, bathroom and kitchen floor, fridge clean-out, dust, vacuum, the never-ending laundry days that really need not be scheduled because it's really become like breathing--constant, force of habit.


Church responsibilities and spiritual growth is another one I tackle. How many devotions will I have time to ponder each week. When would be the best time to enjoy them and spend time with my Lord, listening for His answers, hearing His responses? Making sure we have the education hours at church all lined up and ready so that our congregation can be nourished by one another is another concern to keep track of often. I want to tithe my time to God, but as I look at all the other goals piling up, I'm tempted to plead "there just isn't enough time", and then I'm reminded that without Him, there would be no need for any of these goals, so He must come first.

Today's devotion was on Joy. Acknowledging the joy in your life. I'm joyful to have a life so full that I must prioritize and organize, and I'm joyful that I know that God will help do just that!!


And then we get to the fun writing goals. I tend to break this one down to yearly goal, monthly goals, and daily/weekly goals.

Yearly (and I go by school calendar for this, Sept./09 to August/10) : I'd love to write "get published" under this goal list, but if I'm truly writing for God, and trusting Him to lead and guide and answer, I feel what I really need offer in this yearly goal instead is three polished manuscripts (polished to the best of my abilities now) along with submissions of each to at least two targeted publishers. I write for God, therefore every manuscript I create I not only learn and grow in the art of writing, but I grow as a human being, as God's child. I stretch my comfort zone when I write, tackle tough emotional issues, and so if what God teaches me through these stories He lays on my heart are only for my spiritual and maturation growth, then I am joyful and grateful for His guiding me through that. If my stories are to help others and entertain others, then I know when God feels I'm ready, He will find the publisher for them. So all I have to do is write to the best of my ever-improving ability, grow in all kinds of directions, and send out knowing He's in total control!

Monthly: Well, for September, it's obviously centered around the ACFW conference. Preparing for it, and then organizing and absorbing all that I learned while at it. For October through December, I'll be polishing The Unlikely One with all that I learned at conference, and send a proposal for it out to at least one publishing house by Christmas. The rest of the year will be rewriting and polishing two of my current written stories. They need a lot of work, so it'll take me the eight months to deal with them. So the conundrum is: where do I fit in writing the story burning in my heart right now? It's a sequel to The Unlikely One, and I know who and where to go for the research of my hero's career, and subsequently, I know exactly where my tithing will go if this story should ever sell.

Have you ever pondered that? What organization will benefit from your tithing of income on each of your stories? I love thinking of this. It makes me all giddy to think that if God sees fit to have my stories published, that I'll actually be able to tithe from the sale of them. Not only is God blessing me hugely with growth in so many ways by encouraging me to write these stories, but if they make money one day, He's blessing me with the opportunity to help others financially as well. My first story is centered around creating a riding stable for the disabled. If A New Beginning ever sells, not only will my church and all the programs we support benefit from a portion of the tithing of sales, but Pride Stables, where I did research for that book, and where real horses therapeutically help the disabled, will also gain financially from that story.


Weekly/Daily: These I will create at the beginning of each week/day. They might include word count, certain proposals written, character sketches, research done, etc. They will be pretty specific. This week, I'm working on my proposal, gathering all needed for the early bird session at conference, and thinking packing-the-suitcase and all that that entails.


I've gone way to long on this post. Sorry. It's really more a diary post for me. But if you can gleam something from it, I praise God for that too!


Surrendering to Him,

Eileen

20 comments:

Wendy Love said...

Yes, I have an idea for breakfasts...give them the same old thing every day! Make it easy on yourself. Find a cold cereal that is not junky and go for it. Advice from a much older mother....

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Organization--and setting goals-- is just so much fun! I'm the same way! My life is changing a bit right now, but as soon as it settled I'm going to sit down and make my own goals. Thanks for the encouragement.

T. Anne said...

Every part of your post could have been written by me. September may as well be new years around here with school and fall and all things new. It's the busiest month by far! I really need to look at my long term writing goals. Of course representation takes priority. What is the exact date of the conference? I'm praying and I would love to know so I can be more accurate. Thank you!

Lazy Writer said...

You have some great goals there. I tend to set goals when the kids go back to school, too. It just seems like a good time to do it. I appreciate your reminder about God guiding our goals. We do need to keep that in perspective.

Lee said...

I do the same thing when school starts. Mine are to make dinner every night and no TV for the kids during the week.

Rebecca Nazar said...

I'm not a big "New Year's Eve" person, instead setting my goals the beginning of fall when the girls return to school. I'm clearing my head today and thinking about which WIP should come first. Fun . . .

Stephanie Faris said...

I read something last year in Self magazine about making small goals toward a bigger one. So if you want to eat healthier, you set a goal to try one new healthy recipe a week. If you want to exercise, try just getting up and exercising for 10 minutes in the morning. Something small and doable, so you don't feel overwhelmed.

Cindy said...

I love that you mention tithing from what we get from publishing our stories! I'm soooo looking forward to that.

I recently made scones--for the very first time. They were so yummy and so easy. I don't know how nutritious they were, though :)

Keli Gwyn said...

Eileen, I enjoyed reading about your goal setting process. I'll be going through a similar one when our one and only heads off to college in less than two weeks. Life will be very different with an empty nest, and I want to be a good steward of my time.

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

you are very structured, eileen, which is a great thing for a writer and mother and a Christian. you've really gotten it broken down in very manageable chunks, too. :) kudos.

jeannie
Where Romance Meets Therapy

Jessica said...

I'm with Jeannie. Kudos! LOL
What a break down!

I try to vary my kids' meals, but I hate cooking so it's tough. Sigh. Your breakfast sounded yummy!

Gwen Stewart--Singer-Scribe said...

Great goals, Eileen! As a teacher, wife, mother, and part time writer, many times my goals are simply to get through the day. :) But I know in each role, I'm doing what God wants me to do, no matter the end point. My busy life often makes it impossible to say "yes" to any more obligations, though, so I have to be purposeful in my priorities.

Kelly H-Y said...

Wow ... your school-day breakfasts and lunches are much more intricate than mine!

Tabitha Bird said...

I like your goal setting focus and the way you say you write for God. I am learning to be joyful in following Him instead of trying to lead and be joyful in the waiting. Yeah...still learning :)

Katie Ganshert said...

I truly admire your heart for God and your attitude toward writing for Him. I need to take a page out of your book. You are an inspiration, Eileen. :)

Lily said...

Yes, I got a great gift out of this post...

You reminded me that I have a scheduling problem because my life is so full of blessings.

Thank you.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Eileen -

I'm tired just reading your list. It puts mine in perspective.

May the Lord give you strength and the ability to keep everything in right priority.

Blessings,
Susan :)

sherrinda said...

Eileen, I love your heart. You are spirit-filled, it just oozes out through your words. I love the discipline of your life and the focus on Him. You really inspire me.

Georgiana said...

I love your food goals! Feeding healthy meals to my family has been a constant source of frustration and struggle, but carries more rewards than so many other things I could devote my time to. It's not easy, especially for a generation that wasn't especially trained up in this area, but it's so worth the extra effort.

Need More Words said...

Don't it make you feel good to sit down and do this planning. It seems burdens are lifted when you know what you have to do. It also helps when you have to make decisions about, should I go to this, should I do that? If it doesn't fit, some way, into your goals, it makes it easier to say no.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Diane