Warning: mega post packed with goodness! Grab a tall glass of sweet tea and enjoy : )
I wrote a series on Goal Setting & Setting Yourself Up for Success at the start of this year because I got really tired of NOT making progress on the things that matter most. In fact, I realized I didn’t know what truly mattered most to me. I didn’t want to end another year with regret about things I could have accomplished if I had just taken tiny steps along the way to make them happen. I got really tired of looking back and realizing how much time I wasted on worry and things that distracted me from my purpose. I started this year with one main goal in mind and several that branch out from it: to know God more and walk in His ways. I wanted to finally do the things I’ve always had on my heart to do. I wanted to make LIFE happen. Turns out, a lot of you felt the same way.
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I updated you with my first round of progress on April 10 and our second update was supposed to be on July 10th. I didn’t forget about it, but I have had a really hard time writing this post for some reason. I started to write this update and suddenly felt stuck — like I had nothing to report on. Then, over the last weeks, God has been breaking me down to see just how much change has happened in my heart since the start of this year.. and how much more growing I need to do. If you read my newsletter this month, you know it’s been a crazy time! I needed to put the train brakes on to slow down and realize that I have made a lot happen, through God’s amazing guidance, the last four months.
Photo by Faith Teasley. Be sure to sign up for my next newsletter to see our full office tour on September 1!
So much has happened since my last update! A few highlights…
– We hosted an amazing Making Things Happen Conference. We’re so excited about the next one in October.
– We bought our house — praise the Lord! Well, the bank technically bought it, but we are paying the mortgage : )
– I wrote a book 46-page proposal and it was accepted. More on that later…
– Ari interviewed for and started his new job. He officially and Interventional Radiologist and Professor at UNC. I’m so proud of him!
– We said farewell to Susan and welcomed Meredith into our family. Meredith has been a dream come true and moved all the way from Norman, Oklahoma to be with us! Read her inspiring blog.
– We interviewed and hired Lisa, who celebrates one month with us today!
– Nicole celebrated 3+ years with us and renewed her contract (with some bribing – see here), Emily celebrated 4 years, Marissa celebrated 3+ years and Kristin celebrated her first wonderful year with us!
– I spoke at Engage! and Americasmart.
– Emily and I worked with 22 incredible branding clients.
– We launched lots of new shop products.
– Ari and I took a week of “stay-cation” and had a great visit with his mom. Our stay-cation included a trip to the Piggly Wiggly — definitely a highlight!
– I read a book that changed my life.
– I took 2 weeks completely off of social media.
– Ari and I started teaching Sunday School.
– We also shared the story of our marriage – the good and the challenging – live on camera.
– We celebrated the one year anniversary of my dad’s baptism. God is amazing!
– We said farewell to some great friends. We miss you Thom and Bek!
– We launched the Southern Weddings and Lara Casey monthly newsletters.
– I planted a garden and fell in love with gardening (and got stung by a poisonous caterpillar family — what!?).
– I had the biggest business meeting of my life. More to come on that in a few months.
– Gracie continues to make my heart so full every day. That is definitely a highlight.
– We celebrated five years of Southern Weddings with lots of favorites from the last wonderful years: favorite editorials, real weddings, SW ladies, behind-the-scenes goodness, amazing photographs and our growth. God is good!
My motto as of late: nothing measured, nothing managed. My bulletin board is below. This phrase has stuck with me lately because I tend to operate in the opposite way — I naturally prefer to live impulsively and coast through life rather than having a solid plan. When I have a plan and a goal, it means I have to commit to something and there is a chance I could fail, so my natural tendency has been to shy away from goals. Anyone else ever feel this way?
You know where this whole “Make it Happen” thing came from in the first place? Because I had to say that phrase to myself constantly to get motivated. When I was in college, my course load was 56 credit hours per semester. I had to kick my own tail to make things happen constantly. I still do. Over time, I’ve gone from being a coaster to a doer. This is not “natural” for me. If you’re in the same boat, welcome : )
I’ve come to see that you have to have clear goals and be able to measure your progress to keep moving forward. I need accountability or things don’t happen. Leave me to my own devices and I’ll get distracted. That’s why I made the PowerSheets and have devoted a good portion of my life to learning how to make things happen and teaching others to do the same. Life is too short to coast.
The basics of how to make things happen (read the goal setting posts below for much more!):
1. In order to make progress on anything, you have to first be honest with yourself about where you are. Face the reality of where you are — with a heaping dose of grace for yourself — and ask God what you need to do next. Is what you’re doing right now to make your goals happen working? If not, redirect and take action on a better plan. Be honest and gentle with yourself. Progress, not perfection.
2. Next, dig deep to define what your goals/next action steps are. The difference between a dream and a goal is that a goal has a plan. In order to set great goals — goals you will want to accomplish — you have to get specific and get to the core of WHY you want to make them happen.
3. Then, DO something about your goals. You must take physical action. Physical action is different than thinking about things. This isn’t rocket science, but making things happen takes hard work. Your goals must be more important than your excuses. Are they?
4. And then, finally, you must measure your progress. Whether you use my PowerSheets or you use a journal, use something. Nothing measured, nothing managed.
If you are stumbling on my blog for the first time, or if you need to start fresh, below are the links to get you moving. It doesn’t matter that it’s August. It’s NEVER to late to do what matters and start LIVING. Today is the day — YOUR day to start making it happen, to get back on track, or to choose a new track entirely!
GOAL SETTING + MAKING THINGS HAPPEN
GOAL SETTING FOR 2013, Part 1
GOAL SETTING FOR 2013, Part 2
GOAL SETTING FOR 2013, Part 3
GOAL SETTING FOR 2013, Part 4
GOAL SETTING FOR 2013, Part 5
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: CLEAR THE CLUTTER
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: PREPARE FOR GREATNESS
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: TAKE A BREAK!
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: NAME YOUR FEAR
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: CREATE BOUNDARIES
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: ENCOURAGE OTHERS
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: THE BIG LIST
If you started with me on your goal setting in January or even if you’re new here (welcome!), I’d love to hear about your progress, big or small. The goal is PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION. Honest updates will help you move forward. So, weigh in below. I hope to encourage you or pray for you. And you just might inspire someone else with your comment!
Today is Awesome Confetti notepads available here.
GIVEAWAY: As motivation for you, I’m giving away a set of PowerSheets (if you already have a set, you can give them to a friend who needs a boost or you can have anything in my shop up to $35!)! So, comment on this post and fill me in on your goals and/or your progress so far this year! Why am I doing a giveaway to encourage you to comment? Because when we write things out and put them in black and white, stuff happens. You can keep your dreams to yourself or you can be accountable and DO something about them. I want to help you be accountable! We’ll check in again on your goal progress on October 10th and then at the end of the year. Mark your calendars.
First, a couple big things I learned overall. As I wrote in January and in April, goals change! I’ve continued to update my goals using my PowerSheets to mirror the change I’ve felt in my heart the last few months. It is so important to evaluate your goals and check your focus often. The second big thing I’ve learned (I also said this in my April update and it has continued to hold true!) is that, the more prayerful I am in my decisions, the more radically God changes my path and takes me to places I never thought possible! His plans never fail. I am impulsive by nature, so this has been a huge change and an enormous blessing to practice prayerful decision-making.
OK, let’s do this update, people! (more…)