Does anyone else feel like there is no way that it could be January 2016? 2015 was a blur, and another year is upon us. One thing that I learned from last year was that intentionality is worth it. Taking the time to sit and reflect on where I've been, where I'm at, and where I'm going- that's not a fruitless practice. To truly meditate on what God has done and where else He wants to take me is a good thing. It may feel selfish to spend so much time working on goals and thinking about all that I want to get done this year, but a truly selfish attitude is exhibited when I make it all about me. Last year was the first year I used the PowerSheets created by Lara Casey to guide my goal setting and to help think about how to cultivate and invest in what matters most. I also read her book, Make It Happen: Surrender Your Fear, Take the Leap, Live on Purpose and was blown away by her transparency in sharing how the Lord stripped her of her tendencies to try hard in order to get what she wanted or thought she needed. So much of her writing resonates with me. I strongly encourage you to get the book or to follow along with her goal setting series on her blog.
Living on purpose means that we allow the Lord to use our gifts for His glory and our good. We seek to walk in His truth and love Him more each day, which in turn leads us to love others. Last year, my one little word was simplify. I was tired of overworking and overscheduling myself by attempting to be all things to all people. (My friend Gretchen wrote a blog post about this tendency that sums up my feelings pretty well.) I believe that I used my singleness to God's glory by spending time with friends, serving others, and getting to know the Lord well. However, so much of that time was spent in discontent and comparison as I wrongly believed that I had to try to be all things to all people. Getting married has taught me a number of things, but one of the big things is that I can only do so much. I have to believe that the Lord has given me exactly what I need for each day and that I can only do what He's called me to do, which means that I cannot do all the things. I can, however, do what He's asked me to do.
Being married has allowed me to see myself in a completely different light. Sometimes I am not the biggest fan of what has been uncovered, and I get really discouraged thinking about how far I have to go and what I have to learn. That being said, the Lord has shown me that this year, my one little word is trust. I have to trust that He is in control (Psalm 24:1). I have to trust that He's not done with me yet (1 Thessalonians 5:24, Philippians 1:6). I have to trust that He will work all things for good (Romans 8:28).
So in light of learning to trust and throwing my fears aside, I give you my goals for 2016. I've included the why behind each goal and a couple examples of tangible action steps. I pray you're encouraged!
1. Goal: Read through the Bible in a year and memorize one book of the Bible.
Why? Renewing my mind to set it on truth will only happen if I sow the right seeds.
Ex.: go to bed on time so I can get up in the morning, make a plan for memorization, have a Bible memory accountability partner
2. Goal: Learn to love my husband well by appreciating our differences and learning his love language(s).
Why? When I am right with God and right with Rory, my marriage points others to Christ.
Ex.: plan more double dates, learn his passions
3. Goal: Cultivate a life of joy, gratitude, and peace, not of fear, negativity, and comparison.
Why? The latter is slowly killing me from the inside out.
Ex.: invest in my physical health, make a list of 10 things I am grateful for each morning/night
4. Goal: Invest in learning how to make my blog work for me.
Why? I want to be able to reach lots of people with my story and be able to contribute to our family.
Ex.: take Blog Life course, write a blog mission statement
5. Goal: Make my writing a priority and don't play it safe.
Why? God gave me a passion and a gift to encourage others and point them to Him.
Ex.: look for more opportunities to submit my writing online, find a writing mentor
6. Goal: Give up my phone addiction.
Why? When I am not present with others I fuel my discontentment and do not invest in what God has right in front of me.
Ex.: adopt social media free weekends a couple times a month, set clear boundaries for phone use at school
7. Goal: Pursue a life of simplicity by chasing contentment.
Why? You can't take a UHaul to heaven.
Ex.: make a capsule wardrobe, read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
8. Goal: Become a better steward with our finances and give generously.
Why? Honoring the Lord with money is an act of obedience that will not only bless our family, but others as well.
Ex.: save enough money for a down payment for a house, evaluate wants vs. needs, take Financial Peace University
9. Goal: Strengthen existing friendships and sow seeds to grow new ones.
Why? People > projects, and living in community is how God designed us.
Ex.: open our home to others, pray for my friends, don't limit friendship to those who are just like me
10. Goal: Embrace boundaries and learn to live in the moment.
Why? Focusing on the past and living to please others is not God-honoring nor life-giving.
Ex.: read Boundaries, take thoughts captive, let my yes be yes and my no be no
So friends, here are a few of my goals for January:
purchase/begin Blog Life e-course
clean up my closet
look for a place to submit my writing
have our neighbors over to dinner
begin memorizing James
work out at least 3x a week
talk to a good friend/family member on the phone
look at weekly spending
read marriage book/Bible with Ror
read the Word
love on Ror
PHEW! That's a lot. But I know that the Lord can do so much more through my surrendered plans than through a well drawn out blueprint that is focused on me. What are your goals for this new year, friends?
Other awesome ladies making some legit goals:
Valerie Woerner of Val Marie Paper