The following sentence is something I never thought I’d type. I spent a good deal of time this weekend reading most of Exodus. I started reading it and was so captivated, I couldn’t stop. Those of you who know me well know I am admittedly not a big reader. I only read the Bible (because if I’m going to spend time reading anything, I want it to be the best thing I can read) and usually in small portions or Ari reads it out loud for both of us. My attention span is that of a gnat. But, I really identified with Moses. God had great things He wanted Moses to do. Moses told God he didn’t think he was good enough. He wasn’t well-spoken or as strong or fit for the job as lots of other folks. Lots of people got mad at Moses and doubted him, despite the things God had done through him. Moses didn’t feel worthy or prepared. But, one thing Moses did have was that he trusted God. He complained sometimes and failed a lot, but he did what God said to do. I identify with that. The feeling unworthy part. So many times I think, God WHY ME? Why is this my calling? I am not good enough. I am so flawed. I am not strong enough. I can’t do this on my own! Well…. I learned through Moses that God will give us the words to speak. We just have to be STILL and listen. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Emily wrote me this note right before I went up to speak at engage!12. It helped me relax and just speak my heart. If Moses’ BFF had passed him a note right before he parted the Red Sea, it probably would have looked like this. OK, maybe without the XOXO’s though.
Tomorrow is [supposedly] the day they decide on Ari’s job at UNC and, in all honesty, I have a lot riding on this decision. Staying here in Chapel Hill is really important to our family and my business. But, I think one reason God gave me the desire to read Exodus this weekend is partly because He wants me to TRUST. Aaaaaand just as I was in the middle of typing this, my friend Jan called to ask if I’d speak on Goal Setting at our church tomorrow night. Bam. Thanks for the attitude change, God. I’m so grateful for that affirmation right now. God’s timing is perfect. And in that phone call, I realized what I haven’t wanted to admit to myself – that God is trying to get me to make goals that have NOTHING to do with my circumstances. In thinking about our lives and my goals lately, I have been acting like Grace when she doens’t want to take a nap – like a baby. So, as my friend Gina says, it’s time to put on my awesome pants, step into my fear and just do it. Here goes! Based on my 2013 Vision (to be a light to others and to live a life that is centered on God and serving and to have all of my efforts and pursuits focused on that goal) and the 9 Goal Setting steps before this that gave me clarity, these are my goals.
Goal 1: To know God more by learning about Him in the Bible and through prayer because knowing God means I will know what is right and good and He will direct my path. Everything good comes from that. God is my compass. I want to know everything I can possibly know about God so I can align my life with His will. I want to know God so I can change for the better for everyone in my life. I want to study the Bible and pray without ceasing. That means a lot of things, namely less time in my phone and on email and on extraneous projects and more focused time without distractions, reading. My goal in short: read and pray daily. Repeat.
Goal 2: I want Ari and I to have a more thriving joyful marriage because that will help us be our best for each other and Grace and everyone in our lives. Because we are stronger as individuals when we are stronger as a couple. Last year was truly a year of transition and miracles and this year, I want to celebrate life more together. My goal is to plan something epic for our seven year anniversary on March 18th. I also want to plan something really special for Valentine’s Day. I want to plan adventures every week, even if they are really tiny. I want to make Ari feel special and help him be his best. I want to open my heart and let him in more. I know I have a self-protecting wall up most of the time. I want to learn more about what God wants for our marriage and I want to DO those things. I want to help other couples do those things, too. I would love to write a devotional with Ari for couples or start a video blog series together. I also want to write often about marriage in the South on Southern Weddings. I want to lead by example, in our failures and triumphs.
Goal 3: I want to become more physically strong so I can be full of energy to do God’s work every day and give to others. I stopped weight training last year and that is the longest time I’ve been out of the gym. I want to be physically strong so I can live a long healthy active life and be able to teach Grace about God and how to live a good life through my actions. I want to fuel my body to do good things. I want to recognize when I am tempted to use food to control my emotions and choose God instead through prayer, reading, stepping outside to take a deep breath or just by being still and having a good cry if I need to.
Goal 4: I want to stop breastfeeding, Lord willing, by Valentines day (I started weaning last week) and stay emotionally fit, despite the hormonal changes. I want to keep my energy up and give thanks, despite my current feelings (imagine if you didn’t have a period for two years and your hormones decided to start creating one… that’s where I am). I want to do whatever I can naturally to regulate my hormones so that I can be my best for my family, my staff and my friends. I also really want those 3+ hours a day back to do more for God every day. And, at the same time, I don’t want to lose the beautiful thing I have learned in all of this – that taking time to be still during the day is a very good thing.
Goal 5: I want to be humble and learn a lot this year about a lot of things so I can do what I do well. I want to learn skills that will help me be a light for other’s to know God. I want to be a better more skilled designer so I can spend less time creating graphics and so I can create inspiring products that help people focus on what is good in life. I want to learn to be a better leader so I can build my team up and equip them to do the same for others. I want to learn how to cook special dishes that make my family feel special. I want to learn how to keep plants alive more than a few weeks. I want to continue my calligraphy training so that I can write beautiful letters to special friends. I want to learn how to be a better writer so I can communicate my thoughts in a more compelling authentic way. I want to learn how to do my job in a more direct, powerful, efficient way so I can make more of an impact on everyone I meet. I want to learn more about investing and finances so I can be a better steward of our money. I want to learn so I can give more.
Goal 6: I want to learn how to be more efficient and reach more people with less time away from my family. I want to spend less time on the phone with clients and far less timing emailing. My goal is to find revenue streams this year that are more automated, yet help people in a profound personal way.
Goal 7: I want to learn how to be a better mom. I currently don’t read anything on parenting. I fly by the seat of my pants. I want to learn from others who do it well and become a mother full of wisdom so that Grace can be her best under our care. I want to raise her to be giving and pure and to have a heart of grateful JOY. I want to help Grace have more play friends and be a living example of the Bible for her in our actions. I want to be much more patient and less controlling and let go of my life so I can live in hers.
Goal 8: I want to continue to build a remarkable business that is a catalyst for real LOVE. I want my clients to have better LIVES and I want our brides to have strong MARRIAGES. I want to be a centered sounding board and prayerfully guide my clients this year to their fullest potential. My goal is to always come back to our CORE and to keep refining it.
Goal 9: To learn how to take better photographs for myself so that I can remember Grace as she is in these sweet moments. I am not really sure why for this goal. It feels like a very God-cenetered goal, but it’s something I can’t explain. I have this connection to great photographs… they somehow speak to my soul. They change me. I think a gift God gave me was to be able to see the vision of a photograph to create. I can see moments and the big picture and a vision. I don’t have the technical skills to match that to capture the moments I see, if that makes sense. I even bought a great camera last year. It hasn’t been used yet because I get really frustrated with technology and numbers and learning new skills that I have to read a manual for. I want to learn the technical skills of how to take the photographs that I see in my heart.
Goal 10: I want to live with less, keep a new budget based on the historical data we have from 2012, and be more frugal this year because my money is not mine. It’s God’s and I want to do more with our money for Him. I want to not only give away things I don’t need, but give away things I love. Ari is really good at this. His favorite sweater was in our charity pile this weekend and, when I asked him about it, he said he said that it wasn’t really giving unless you were giving something you didn’t want to give away for the sake of someone else. I love that. I want to be more sacrificial in my giving.
Goal 11: I want to build other’s up in faith and give lots of tools this year for people to make that happen. I want to study the Bible with others in my home and online. Going back to goal 1, I want to know the Bible so I can share it with others. Showing people the new life that I have been given and the indescribable JOY and freedom and love and genuine purpose I have found in this new life… well, that is something I want to share. Big time. If you were to find the most beautiful island in the world, you would want to invite all your friends. That’s how I feel about being in a relationship with God. I want everyone to be able to feel this goodness. I want to equip people with basic tools to know God more.
Goal 12: I want to finally WRITE MY BOOK. I already have most of the content written and just need to put it together. Nicole and I started talking about the printing and technical aspects of this before the end of the year, so it’s in the works. My goal is to release it before the end of 2013, if not sooner. I want it to be timeless and done well so it will help creatives make things happen year after year. I want it to be a legacy for Grace to learn from as well.
Goal 13: I want to continue to paint and create products for small creative spaces that inspire people to live better lives. God is the ultimate creator and I believe He gave all of us creative talents that are meant to be USED. I want to use my creative gifts much more this year: design, painting and singing.
Goal 14: An immediate goal I have is to finish my website. It’s been over a year in the making and it’s a monster. The coding is almost done, my shop is populated and I just have a lot of site content to populate now. I’m hoping we can launch it late this month!
Goal 15: I want to foster my friendships is a purposeful, focused way because then I will build a stronger bond with my friends and we can do more good things for others together. I want to be more prayerful for my friends, even when they don’t know it. I want to do surprise things for them to make them feel special and build their faith and capacity to love.
Goals 16: I want to support new moms more. I had a really hard time after Grace was born and several friends sent me care packages that really made a difference. I started a new moms group and my goal is to have several care packages and cards ready to go for new mamas and expecting mama friends that I can send out right away. I want to support new moms locally, too.
Goal 17: I want to send more real mail to build stronger connections with others, because hopefully it will help people feel God’s love.
Goal 18: I want to do more RAOK’s. As often as possible because these things can help people feel hope and know that God is good. A little kindness can change someone’s life for the better.
Goal 19: I want to show my family God’s love through my actions so that they will know Him more and trust in Him. My family is going through a lot right now. They need a lot of love. My goal is to be sacrificial with my time and resources so I can support them and take care of them in their distress.
Goal 20: I want to be like Moses this year in the way he trusted and just DID what God said to do. He let God use him. I want to be open to change and trust that God always has the perfect plan. No matter what.
More specifics to come once we find out, one way or the other, where we will be living next year. Remember that this is a process and you should be changing and updating your goals along the way. Just to keep you (and me!) accountable, do this.. put these dates as reminders on your calendars as check-in points: April 10, July 10, and October 10. I’m putting them on my calendar too and I will check back in here to let you know how my goals are progressing and I will want to hear about yours. All of your comments in this series have been so inspiring! There is SO much greatness waiting for you in this new year! Be sure to comment here with your 2013 Goals, too! Share them and you will be more accountable and likely inspire someone else. Don’t be a lurker anymore, friends. Jump in : )
A review of our 2013 Goal Setting:
Part 1: Evaluate what did and didn’t work + make your Pinterest board
Part 2: Evaluate the lessons you learned from all of this
Part 3: Decide what you are saying YES to and NO to in 2013
Part 4: Review your whole process and write specific goals!
Next up, we are going to get started on making these goals HAPPEN. Starting with… clearing the clutter! Your first clearing the clutter step is small (but effective), since I’m writing this late in the day. Prepare for tomorrow and start clearing the junk!
…are you ready for this?
Get a trash bag. Just one.
Walk around your house or head out to your car.
I promise you will find something to put in it.
(Then sort your bag into recycle, give away and trash)
Done and done. The next part of this series will be a whole lot less about planning and more about DOING. Go and DO something to clear the clutter right this second. Prepare your desk for tomorrow. Take out the trash. Clean off your computer desktop. Lay out your clothes for tomorrow so you don’t spend 20 minutes staring at your closet. Prepare for greatness!
Much more tomorrow! I have to go write what I’m going to share tomorrow night at church… (If any local friends want to come, let me know!)
P.S. WIN! To further encourage you to get things rolling for the new year, I’m giving away a seat to our Powerful Branding Webinar Series that starts on January 16th (next week!) AND one of these gold foil Make It Happen letterpress desk prints above that will be available in my new shop coming soon. I will pick a random winner next Monday to give everyone time to work through these steps, so make it happen and spread the word!