Written by Katherine Hutchinson-Hayes

The start of a new year is a time of reflection and introspection for many of us. As we turn the page on the calendar, we may feel renewed motivation to set new goals and make plans. We may want to improve our health, learn a new skill, or take steps toward achieving a long-held dream. Whatever our aspirations, the new year presents an opportunity to chart a course toward personal growth and fulfillment. While it can be challenging to stay committed to our goals over time, setting them can be exciting and empowering. With a clear vision of what we hope to achieve, we can act toward making our dreams a reality and living our best lives.

Christian editors understand the importance of setting goals that align with our faith and values. Goal setting can help us stay focused on our vision, stay motivated, and continue to improve our craft. But where do we start?How do we set achievable and meaningful goals?

Here are some detailed tips to guide us in the goal-setting process.

  1. Pray for clarity and guidance.

To establish goals for our editing business, it’s crucial to begin by seeking guidance. Spend some time in prayer and request direction from God about which aspects of our business require enhancement and which goals will coincide with His intention.

For instance, we could request guidance in broadening our customer base, enhancing our editing abilities, or boosting our revenue. Jot down any revelations or suggestions and remain open to modifying objectives based on fresh information or feedback.

Setting goals that align with God’s will can bring more clarity, purpose, and fulfillment to our work. Therefore, it’s worth taking some time to seek His guidance and see how it can improve our business.

  1. Set SMART goals.

When setting goals, it’s essential to ensure they are SMART–– specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This means our goals should be clear, quantifiable, achievable, relevant to our career or personal aspirations, and have a specific deadline.

For instance, instead of setting a vague goal like “improve my editing skills,” a better, more specific goal would be to “complete a course on grammar and punctuation by the end of the quarter.” This goal is specific (taking a course on grammar and punctuation), measurable (completing the course), attainable (within a set time frame), relevant (to your editing business), and time-bound (end of the quarter).

As Christian editors, we can set many other examples of SMART goals. We could aim to increase the number of clients by 20% within six months or acquire a certification in a specialized editing field within a year. Whatever our goals, to achieve them effectively and efficiently, we should ensure they are SMART.

  1. Focus on one or two goals at a time.

While it’s tempting to set multiple goals, focusing on one or two at a time is often more effective. This allows us to give our full attention and effort to each one rather than spreading ourselves too thin and not making progress. Consider prioritizing our goals based on their urgency or significance to our editing business.

  1. Create an action plan.

Once we’ve set our goals, the next step is to create an action plan outlining the process to achieve each goal. Break down each goal into smaller, more manageable tasks and assign deadlines to each task. For example, if our goal is to acquire a certification in a specialized editing field within a year, we can break it down into tasks such as researching certification programs, applying by a specific deadline, and studying for exams. An action plan breaks down our goals into actionable steps, making tracking progress and staying on course easier. It also helps us to identify potential obstacles and develop strategies to overcome them.

  1. Celebrate our successes.

Take time to celebrate our successes along the way. When we achieve a goal or complete a task, take a moment to acknowledge our progress and thank God for His guidance and provision. Celebrating our successes will help us stay motivated and encouraged as we reach our next goal. We can celebrate our accomplishments by sharing our achievements with loved ones, treating ourselves to a small gift or activity, or simply reflecting on how far we’ve come.

By seeking God’s guidance, setting SMART goals, focusing on one or two goals at a time, developing an action plan, and celebrating our successes, we can set ourselves up for long-term success as Christian editors.

Katherine Hutchinson-Hayes, EdD, is a writer/content editor. She works for Iron Stream Media as a book coach/editor. She’s a sensitivity reader for Sensitivity Between the Lines and an editor/contributor for Inkspirations. She is the board’s vice chair for the 540 Writers community. Her writing has been published in Guideposts.