I started working on my goals for 2016 on December 4, 2015, and I had been dreaming of them weeks before that. The beginning of December, I thought, gave me more than enough time to work through my PowerSheets and have my goals posted by January 1. Perfect timing, right?
After a year of sharing my 2015 goal journey here on my blog, it was a pretty easy decision to continue this practice in 2016. The accountability it produced, community it cultivated and fruit it yielded were all convincing factors for keeping it up.
As with anything I set out to do for a second time, there are things I planned to do differently and better this year. "I've had a year of experience," I thought, "I can improve on what I started," and to me, this began with posting goals on the first of the month.
Then January 1 came and went, and February creeped closer and closer. The thing was, my goals weren't ready. I hadn't finished my PowerSheets prep work (not for a lack of working on it steadily) and honestly, my heart was still processing it all. I could've forced it, but even in my momentary disappointment of not completing it on my "perfect" timeline, I felt a peace and confidence about giving this the time it was asking of me. So, I worked steadily and consistently, creating a plan for 2016 little by little, thought by thought, dream by dream and prayer by prayer.
This is where what I thought was the "wrong timing" (a.k.a. posting 2016 goals anytime after January 1, much less in February) morphed into the right timing. My rigid, perfection-inspired timeline almost robbed me of the purpose and faith infused into my 2016 goals, but thankfully, grace won, and I yielded to the attention and time it was calling me to give. The result is not perfect, but it is so right. I feel confident and called to these goals and I am so excited for the direction God gave me for this year.
If you joined me for my 2015 goal journey, you may be surprised to see how different my 2016 goals look. Certainly there are recurring themes and values, but they are formatted very differently. I didn't set out to do this, but as I worked through them, that is where I landed, and I love it. It has been empowering and enlightening to embrace the evolution of the goal-setting process. I am so grateful for the steps I took last year toward what matters most, and with my new goals, I am excited to continue stepping in a purposeful, joyful direction.
Last year, I had quite a long list of goals and many of them were very specific. This year, I have just ten goals, and each one represents a larger idea or value I want to focus on, and the practical steps will happen month by month, week by week, and day by day. Also, my word for the year is "GROW", and it ended up working perfectly into the 10 areas God put on my heart to focus on this year.
Now that my goals are ready, I feel empowered and excited to take the little steps toward achieving them. I've never run a marathon, but the way I feel about completing my prep work and 2016 goal setting is how I think I'd feel after crossing a 26.2 mile finish line. I am so excited to share my goals with you, and as I do, I would love to hear from you, too! What has been developing in your heart for 2016? Whether you have talked about it, written it down or only dared to dream about it, this is a great place to share. I want to cheer you on!
1. Grow in God.
WHY: This is the thing that lasts, and when I'm rooted in God, close to Him, and strong spiritually, it has a positive impact on EVERYTHING ELSE.
Practical Steps: read the One Year Bible daily, pray and use prayer journals, be in a small group, read books that will help me spiritually, be involved at our church, share spiritual growth with Woody
2. Grow in marriage.
WHY: Because I am called to be Woody's wife, and I am the sole person who will have the greatest impact on his life. Because I am called to love Him well, and we can do more together than we can apart. We are better together! Also, we want to build a strong foundation for our family and children.
Practical Steps: Date nights, family calendar, co-lead marriage small group, read books on marriage, be around other strong married couples, cultivate intimacy
3. Grow family.
WHY: Because God has given us a unique place to influence and love our family. We want them to be healthy, well, and to know God's purpose for their lives. Also, we like them and enjoy them! :)
Practical Steps: plan times to visit family and invite them to visit us, pray for our families, stay in regular communication through phone calls, texts and mail, show up for special and important moments, tell them we love them
4. Grow friendship.
WHY: Because friends make life so much better! God created us for community and He uses our friends to sharpen us (Proverbs 27:17), draw us closer to Him, and help us. Friendship is one of life's best gifts, and it is valuable and worth investing in.
Practical Steps: supper club, traveling with friends, create time on the calendar for coffee and lunch dates, pray for friends, make the effort to call, write, text, call and visit
5. Grow inspiration.
WHY: Inspiration is like fuel for my dreams, my gifts and my calling. Inspiration is so important—it fuels and enlightens. It not only opens my eyes and my heart, but it makes my work better and makes life more enjoyable. Soak inspiration in like the sun!
Practical Steps: read books, go to brunch with Woody, travel, spend time with brands and people that light up my heart, surround myself with art, candles and baking, stretch to find inspiration in new places, pay attention to what excites me
6. Grow creativity and productivity.
WHY: Because this is my heart. God gave me creative gifts and desires, and I literally yearn to create. Writing and illustrating and sharing with people brings a sense of fulfillment and wholeness—like I'm doing what I was made to do. It's easy just to think about creating, but I want to do it! Create! Produce!
Practical Steps: write (more blogging!), stretch to write outside of TLK, illustrate, bake and cook, make things, build and grow creative community, friendships and mentors
7. Grow home.
WHY: Our home is a gift from God, and we want to steward it well. This means taking care of it as a peaceful, restful place for our family. Also, opening it up to welcome others and love them well by showing hospitality and generosity.
Practical Steps: simplify, clean and maintain home, save for new furniture, create spaces that are inspiring, welcoming and speak to the value of love, family, marriage and God, host events in our home, have people over for dinner, set up guest room
8. Grow intentionality.
WHY: The world moves fast with lots of options and distractions. It takes a purposed heart, focused mind and intentional plan to invest in, grow, and water the things that are most important. I have been given so many resources —time, money, talents, abilities, friendships, ideas—and I want to use them wisely and with intention.
Practical Steps: family calendar, continue goal setting and using PowerSheets, focus on good financial management and stewardship, write thank you notes, use Simplified Planner to manage time, appointments and steps to making things happen (tasks and to dos)
9. Grow self care.
WHY: Because my self—my body, spirit and soul—is given to me by God and I am responsible, equipped and called to steward it well. God gives me a part to play. I want to serve my body and my being well so that it can serve me well so I can serve God and others well (husband, family, kids, friends, people around me and people I don't know.)
Practical Steps: physical exercise (walks and strength training), eat healthy—limit meats, sweets and bread during the week, set up weekly grocery shopping routine, be intentional with schedule, go to bed in the 10pm hour and get up in the 6am hour
10. Grow impact.
WHY: Because God put us here to reach people for Him. The only way to do anything that lasts is to reach people with the only hope we all have: Jesus. This can be done little by little, pointing people to good choices, loving them, giving to them, serving them and welcoming them. Use what we have to create lasting impact.
Practical Steps: financial responsibility, pray over our finances and ask for God's provision and for more than we need, pray for guidance and wisdom in spending and giving and to make an eternal impact, co-lead marriage small group, try Periscope, learn by reading
As I write this post, what I really want to do is look each reader in the eye and say, "You can do this." I share my goals with the hope that it helps you know you're not alone, that you can accomplish important things, and to give you fresh perspective on your own journey through sharing in mine. I get so fired up when I think about people, women especially, living full, purposeful, joyful lives. I am excited about sharing another year of goal setting with you and I'd love to hear from you. What, my friend, are you dreaming or hoping for in 2016?