Hello, 2015! I'm excited you're here!
For the past couple years, I've focused on learning how to create a purposeful life and make what matters happen. This has truly been life-changing for me, and I'm hopeful as I share a little window into my ongoing journey that you will find a shared story, an encouragement, an idea or a resource that helps you in your own path of purposeful living!
Since 2012, I've invested time into not only dreaming dreams, but actually living them. Along the way, one of the common characteristics I've noticed about chasing dreams is that most often they start with a very unsure outcome. Accordingly, I've spent a lot of time diving into projects and experiences with no guaranteed success! The only thing certain, has been my determination to make it happen some way, some how.
Through this experience, I've not only been pleasantly surprised at what a good dose of intentional living can produce, but I've also learned so much! I've learned about websites, design, e-commerce, printing, time management, loving people vs. loving projects, how to be a better wife, the beauty of friendship, and a whole lot about myself.
As I continue on this journey of making what matters happen, I'm stepping into another adventure of which the outcome is uncertain: I've decided to share my yearly and monthly goals along with my monthly progress right here on the TLK blog!
This is an intimidating idea to me for all sorts of reasons.
1) Sharing creates serious accountability, which can lead to pressure. What if I don't accomplish my goals? What if my goals change? 2) A monthly post of my goals gives me less room for flexibility (my nice word for "slacking.") This calls for good time management and consistency on my part. 3) I have to be vulnerable. Goals are super intimate because at their core lie our truest hopes and dreams. Goals also encompass the parts of us we want to make better, and exposing this is a really vulnerable process.
But, despite the unsure outcome, I'm doing it. The good reasons are so much more important than the fear I have to push through to make it happen. Here are a few good reasons cheering me on:
1) Sharing my goals creates helpful accountability and can build community. Spoiler alert: One of my 2015 goals is to make new friends and connections through The LovingKind. As I share my goals, I'm going to invite you to share yours too. Despite my fears of "what if I can't…" I am more excited about the opportunity to celebrate accomplished goals together and create support for achieving what matters. 2) Sharing my journey might help someone else in theirs. Some fabulous women (Lara, Emily, and Nancy to name a few) have been brave in sharing their goals, and it has helped and encouraged me tremendously in the last couple years. 3) I want to be more consistent and intentional creating and tracking my goals each month. Putting them on the TLK blog gives me an extra "why" for making this happen.
As part of my path toward living on purpose, I have been blessed to connect to Lara Casey and her Make It Happen initiative. Lara has created powerful tools and experiences that have had immeasurable impact on me making what matters happen in my life. Lara lives her life practicing the principles she teaches, and she is a mentor to so many. Follow her on Instagram to get a taste of her genuine, heartfelt and vulnerable approach to living on purpose and loving others generously.
Make it happen Giveaway!
As I mentioned above, one of the things I'm most excited about is sharing and celebrating our goals and accomplishments together, and I can't wait to hear your goals and be inspired! For you to share your goals is brave and amazing, so we are celebrating this with a giveaway!
I'll be giving away a copy of Lara's new book, Make It Happen, and a gorgeous gold foil Make It Happen print from the Lara Casey Shop! To enter to win, simply leave a comment below with one of your goals for 2015 (please include your email.) Commenters from now until January 31 at 11:59pm CST will be entered to win. I will draw one Make It Happen book winner and one Make It Happen print winner at random February 1, 2015.
February 1, 2015: Congratulations Ashley, Emalee, and Sarah for winning the Make It Happen Giveaway items!
This year, Woody and I set goals together as a couple and I also worked through my 2015 PowerSheets and created my personal list of goals. I used a similar style list last year and loved it. Having my goals in front of me all year helped keep me on track and gave me a great sense of accomplishment and purpose along the way. Part of the goodness of writing down your goals is acknowledging and celebrating when you accomplish them! I find this affirmation and sense of accomplishment helps keep me going toward what matters!
I'm going to share with you my 2015 goals and also my January goals. I'd love for you to share one (or more!) of your 2015 goals in the comments below (and be entered to win the giveaway above!).
Two disclaimers as you read:
- I work best when I am specific and detailed, so my 2015 goal list is somewhat long. I like to include some big, yearlong goals and some smaller, season-specific goals too.
- After doing my prep work, I write my goals in a stream-of-consciousness type flow, and have left them in that order for the most part. So, I hope you enjoy the random, yet purposeful flow that is my goal setting!
- Thoughtfully and purposefully go through the home-buying process with Woody and purchase our first home!
- Cultivate our new home to be a place that is peaceful and special for our family and also welcoming and a blessing to others.
- Build a strong marriage founded on Christ, sacrificial love, companionship and commitment.
- Write Woody one love note every month.
- Expand and strengthen The LovingKind as a brand, blog, and products that point people to love and to God.
- Make new friends and connections through The LovingKind.
- Launch three new products for the TLK Shop.
- Post 2015 and monthly goals on the TLK blog and share progress.
- Intentionally plan a 3rd anniversary trip with Woody (hopefully to Paris!).
- Sharpen, strengthen, and improve my creative skills, specifically writing and illustrating, by practicing more. Progress over perfection!
- Learn to watercolor!
- Celebrate turning 30 in a meaningful way with dear friends.
- Celebrate Woody's birthday with family on St. Simons Island, Georgia.
- Be a good steward of our finances by keeping our monthly budget and having our monthly budget parties before the end of the month.
- Get healthy! Take care of my body by putting better food in it and developing an exercise routine so I have the energy and strength to give, participate, love and create in this life!
- Get more spiritually healthy by setting aside intentional time to pray, read Scripture and worship God daily.
- Create more time in the mornings by getting up earlier so I can have a peaceful start to my day through time with God, breakfast, and getting to work by 8:30am.
- Go to a conference, event, or workshop that gets me out of my box, inspires me creatively and challenges me personally.
- Have 3rd anniversary photo shoot with Woody in October or November.
- Plan a specific December budget to account for holiday giving, traveling, entertaining and Christmas cards.
- Order Christmas cards by December 1.
- Mail Christmas cards by December 15.
- Complete Christmas shopping by December 15.
- Host second annual Christmas cookie swap in December.
- Love my family well. Be intentional about time spent with them and choose to invest in my relationship with them through visits, phone calls, texts, emails, cards, etc.
- Have better dental health. Keep flossing as a daily habit and keep regular dentist appointments.
- Let go of the fear of success.
- Let go of my need for control.
- Pray for our future children and for God's perfect timing and plan for our family.
- Stop using social media by 9:30pm.
- Cultivate meaningful friendships and say "yes" to friendship. Answer the phone, send the text, mail the birthday card.
- Continue cultivating friendships with mentors and creative inspirations both local and through the online community.
- Celebrate well. Moments, accomplishments, milestones within my family and people around me. (birthdays, weddings, new babies, new homes, new jobs, holidays and the every day.)
- Be intentional at work about fostering a healthy working style and environment. Set a plan, say "no" to stress, use time wisely, stop "spinning," set goals for work, and love my team well.
- Create girls' creative group with Rachel and meet once a month for six months.
- Find people to collaborate with creatively (photography, videography, calligraphy, illustration, writing, flowers, design, shops, etc.)
- Use my Simplified Planner and PowerSheets as tools to help me have a purposeful and expansive 2015!
- Make birthday card list and send birthday cards to friends (minimum of 25).
- Keep improving and practicing my baking, learn three new recipes, and keep sharing!
- Take time to sit on porches.
- Honor and preserve our family memories in a beautiful and meaningful way. Create family photo wall in our home and order Artifact Uprising books of our honeymoon, first and second anniversary trips, and 2012, 2013, 2014.
- Attend two, new local Birmingham events.
- Buy a piece of art for our new home.
- Plan a trip to North Carolina.
- Spend time every week reading a book other than the Bible.
- Maintain a clean, orderly, simplified home.
- Book The Nest event space for my 30th birthday celebration.
- Take down and store Christmas decor.
- Launch Valentine's Day cards in the TLK Shop.
- Send last year's New Year's Eve Hope Tree cards to party guests.
- Make 2015 birthday card list and mark birthdays in my Simplified Planner.
- Participate in and complete 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting at church.
- Create goals at work.
- Pray for our future home and home-buying process.
- Register my small group at church.
- Plan Valentine's Day with Woody.
- Plan TLK anniversary dinner with TLK launch contributors.
Ok, friends! Here we go into a great year. Thank you for letting me share my hopes and plans for 2015 with you, and I can't wait to see where this journey takes us! I also can't wait to hear from you! What is one (or more!) of your goals for 2015?