SMART Goals for the New Year

by Donna Mumma

“Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 3:13b-14 (NKJ)


When one of our sons was a freshman in high school, he enrolled in a leadership class. The curriculum stressed the importance of making and attaining goals. The students were taught to design goals according to a simple pneumonic device known as SMART. Their goals were to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

A new year approaches and many of you may be thinking of writing goals. Whether you’re a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid of the two, you need a plan. I’d like to suggest some SMART goals to help bring you success in the new year.


Submit your work to God. Ask him to bless your words and allow your creativity to craft the message He’s given you. Then submit your work to someone in the industry like an agent, an editor, a publishing house, a magazine, website, or online publisher. You must make your work public to reach your audience.


Marketing may send chills down the spines of authors. But it is an essential part of the writing life. Find a new strategy in the coming year and make it work for you. Get your name out there so your audience, editors and publishers can find you and get to know you.


Make plans to attend a conference. These offer the opportunity to meet and network with agents and editors in the industry and make connections that could lead to a contract.


The writing life carries great highs and lows. But as James 1:2 reminds us, we can count it all joy. From our struggles come stories that we can pass on to readers starving for hope.

Take back your time

Writing is a time-bound endeavor. We face deadlines that must be met, but pressures in life seem destined to sink our writing schedules. Protect your time so your writing goals become a priority in your life and not a casualty of your life.

Let’s be SMART as we press forward to the new year and set goals that will enable us to reach for that ultimate prize; fulfilling our upward call from God.

Lord, help us to make smart goals in the New Year and bring your message to those who need it most. Amen.




Donna Mumma writes award-winning fiction and non-fiction seasoned with a sense of adventure. An avid believer in education, she holds a M.Ed. in Elementary Education. She serves as Tampa chapter president of Word Weavers International. A native Floridian, Donna lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with her husband. She is the mom of two college boys and an energetic collie named Duke.

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