Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
For Your Journal: Writing Prompt


Do you keep a journal - or wish you could get one started? Literary Mama wants to help.

Three times a month, I'll post a writing prompt. Open a notebook and write for 10 minutes. Don't worry about grammar or punctuation - just write. Then let the writing simmer and your mind wander for awhile.

And who knows? Maybe you'll discover a character for your next short story or a theme for a narrative essay. Or maybe you'll use the idea to create a special holiday card or photo album for someone in your family. However you decide to use your journal entry, I know you'll enjoy re-reading it months--and years--down the road.

A survey conducted in late 2007 by FranklinCovey revealed that 35 percent of their 15,000 customer respondents break their New Year's resolutions by the end of January. When asked why, nearly 40 percent said they had too many other things to do, but 33 percent said they were not committed to the resolutions when they set them.

Are you making resolutions for the new year? Adding any writing or journaling goals to the list?

Best-selling authors and organizational/time management experts Stephen Covey and Julie Morgenstern have these suggestions to help you be more successful:

  • Think of your resolutions as goals
  • Set only one or two realistic goals
  • Write down your goals
  • Take baby steps
  • Track your progress
  • Reward yourself
  • If you slip up, recommit

Need more inspiration? Use the SMART acronym:

  • Be Specific: Your goal should answer the 5ws (who, what, where, when, why).
  • Then, make sure your goal is:

  • Measurable: It should have concrete criteria for measuring progress.
  • Attainable: It requires you to stretch a little but isn't out of reach.
  • Realistic/Relevant: You believe you can accomplish the goal; you believe it is worthwhile.
  • Time-bound: The goal has a deadline.

Journal Entry: Write two writing-related goals. Feel free to use this worksheet -- it's worked well for me the past several years.

Karna ConverseĀ is a freelance writer who’s written everything from technical documentation and price proposals to newsletter articles, devotionals, personal profiles and essays. Her essays have been published in a variety of regional and national publications, including The Christian Science Monitor, Notre Dame Magazine, the Cup of Comfort and Chicken Soup anthologies, Our Iowa, and on Iowa Public Radio. She and her husband are parents to three young adults. Karna is a former blog editor, senior editor, managing editor, and editor-in-chief of Literary Mama.

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I've read quite a few articles about New Year's Resolutions. The one I liked the best was about 'micro' resolutions where you make one small resolutions for every month. Everyone's lives are so busy these days that this seems much more doable to me. I really like the SMART acronym. All the best to everyone for 2012.
Karna, Recording small, achievable goals in our journals, making them manageable and even fun to do will help to ensure success with getting them done. Nothing like journal writing to help you keep track of your progress, including celebrating successes! I love your focus here on the 'goals' approach to making life more successful. I have chosen your post, Writing-Related Goals Journal Writing Prompt, for the #JournalChat Pick of the Day on 1/11/12 for all things journaling on Twitter. I will post a link on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, my blog and website Refresh with Dawn Herring, and in Refresh Journal, my weekly e-journal: You're welcome to join us for #JournalChat Live for all things journaling on Thursdays at 5 EST/2 PST on Twitter; this week our topic is Journaling for a Positive Perspective. Thanks again for this goal oriented approach to keeping resolutions for the new year. Be refreshed, Dawn Herring JournalWriter Freelance Host of #JournalChat Live and Links Edition on Twitter
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