Happy New Year’s Eve, friends! Ari, Gracie and I are flying from Miami (after a wonderful visit with his family — his dad’s first time meeting Grace!) to Pensacola shortly to see my parents, brother and Grandma Bunny (who turned 97 yesterday — wow!). I’m so grateful and excited to ring in a new year with them! I hope your plans tonight include celebrating the great things in 2013 and that the past is behind us, giving way to a fresh new start. Thank you, Lord! Anyone else ready for a fresh start?
If you just stumbled on my blog today, welcome. This may say “Part 3” above, but you are not too late to join us. It’s never too late to begin and there are lots of folks just getting started today, too : ) Here are the links to the previous posts below:
What I learned from what worked:
1. God is fully in control and He loves us all deeply. His purposes prevailed this last year. My selfish pursuits did not.
2. God has a very good plan, even when I can’t see the final outcome. I need to trust His plans ALWAYS and not try to control everything. He has this.
3. The Bible is truly the only source of wisdom for all aspects of life. Nothing else compares. I was changed more in reading the Bible and being still (so hard sometimes) and praying this year than anything else.
What I learned from what didn’t work:
1. All of the above : ) And that our days on they earth are very short. They feel shorter and shorter lately. I learned — and am learning — that I have to keep my heart focused on Him or I get way off track.
2. I am weak. I am so weak sometimes. I need Him to fill up all those places I can’t make whole on my own. When I stay focused on His glory and not mine, He leads me so clearly.
3. Lastly, I learned that I can’t do it all and that’s OK. Sometimes it’s better to pass the torch so more leaders can be born and grow. Dear self: pass the torch more!
What fires me up:
(just a few of the many things)
- Writing the things above and just being real about where I need to grow — being humbled — fires me up. I feel closest to God when I am humbled.
- Our mission at Southern Weddings — and in all we do — fires me up beyond words.
- Music fires me up. I am typing this listening to Oceans on repeat again.
- A crazy good workout where I feel my lungs burning and my muscles hot.
- Clean air. Clean water. These are gifts I’m trying to learn to not take for granted.
- A shared moment or conversation with Ari where I remember and feel our shared heart. We’ve had a lot of those lately. That shared heart was born of a man who died on a cross so we could be free. So we could forgive each other. So we could be forgiven. So we could be completely washed in grace and made new and whole again. That heart is the greatest gift we’ve been given. It saved our marriage and changed who we are as people.
- Watching Grace sing any song ever, Grace looking at me right in the eyes to tell me something, Grace laughing, Grace saying new sentences or asking me silly questions… she fires me up.
- Doing pirouettes in my living room. That was for you, Katie : ) The best part is that, lately, Grace asks to do them too. She can’t quite get the mechanics, but I hold her and twirl her around. Melt my soul.
- Grace praying spontaneously. Truly amazing. This is one of my favorite images from the entire year and from, well, ever.
- My friends who love the Lord and do things about it. There are too many of you to name. The fact that I know so many truly amazing women fires me up in itself. Thank you all for loving Him and being a light in my life.
- Getting things done, stepping into fear, saying no — that all fires me up!
- The ocean (so I took Grace yesterday!), seeing people change, baptisms (I cry every single time), singing in church with my family, solitude, writing, creating, the ladies I work with, Meredith, my family, hugs, the smell of pine, snow, farm animals (namely chickens!), flowers, white lilies, gardening, cooking, singing to God, slow dancing with Ari in the kitchen… I could go on but I will stop there for now : )
Speaking of what fires me up, I love surprises! So, I made you a little something fun for your New Year’s Eve : ) The 2014 Letter to Your Amazing Self! And haha – anyone see the typo in this letter? That’s what I get for not having Emily Thomas around all week to proofread for me!
Print this out, share it, pin it — download it full size HERE — and maybe even give a copy or email one to your BFF’s to fill out, too! Have fun. I’ll share mine tomorrow too : )
OK! Onto the next steps!
STEP 7: What is your 2013 VISION? To quote my friend Mitch, “You need to have a vision for where you are as a person. Everyone ends up somewhere, but few end up somewhere on purpose. You have to have a focus. Focus helps you know what NOT to focus on. If you have a vision, when times are tough (and they will be), it gives you peace and hope and passion to move forward.”
Where there is no vision, the people perish. (Proverbs 29:18)
Traditional goals get forgotten and they can be overwhelming if they aren’t connected to what matters. They can make life busier. I don’t want a new to-do list for 2014, I want a PATH. Goals with a solid, well thought-out vision behind them HAPPEN. They simplify life. And, as I found out this year, the clearer my vision gets, the more good I see in life and the more good happens for other people, too.
Write out your 2014 Vision. You can do this in whatever way you feel most connected to. A few questions you can choose from to get you writing:
- What kind of life do you want to live this year?
- Where do you want to be when you’re 80?
- WHY do you do what you do?
- What is your mission?
- What is your CORE?
- If you could envision your best year yet, what does that look like?
- 2014 is the year I (fill in your blank): _______
I will share mine tomorrow! Post your 2014 Vision here in the comments so we can inspire and cheer each other on!
STEP 8: Here’s where things get fun. You now know what did work over the last twelve months, what didn’t work and what fires you up. You learned some very valuable lessons in all of this. You are starting to see the bigger picture and have a VISION for your year ahead. So, what is NOT in that vision? Make a list of all of the things that are holding you back (or could potentially hold you back) from making this vision come to life this year. Write your list of what you are saying NO to in 2014.
STEP 9: With everything you have written down thus far in mind (I suggest reading over all of your progress again), what are you going to need to say YES to more often in order to make your vision come to life? Write your list of what you are saying YES to in 2014. Dream big, here, and write down the things you are afraid to dive into, too. There is great potential hiding in your fear. I encourage you to post your YES List publicly here and/or share it with friends to help inspire others and to keep yourself accountable. I think you will all likely NOT be writing Facebook or more social media on this list. Just a guess.
–> PowerSheets owners, the step numbers in the rest of this series won’t match what you have in your sheets, as you have more steps! : ) Exclusive new printables just for PowerSheets friends will come in the PowerSheets webinar on January 15th, too!
BONUS STEP! Pick a core word for 2014. What one word really resonates with you for the coming year? What word pulls together all that you want to make happen? Think hard about this. I’ll share mine tomorrow too. Research words that resonate with you. Pray on it. Then, write your word here in the comments (and give a virtual high five to those who might have the same word as you — we are bound to have some shared words!). Then, write that word in prominent places so you are reminded of your focus this year. Put it on a post it in your car. Put it on a post it literally inside of your fridge (I have a post it in my fridge!). Make it your computer desktop. Write it anywhere and everywhere to remind you of where you are going!
Speaking of going, we’re off to Pensacola! Happy New Year’s Eve, dear friends! While this is the last day of a calendar year, it has the potential to also be the START of your best year yet. Start well. Let’s do this!
PRIZES FOR THIS POST: Read Part 1 for all the ways you can win! Randomly chosen commenters on this post will get either a $20 gift card to my shop, a Simplified Planner…
…or a set of the NEW Encouragement Postcards from my shop!
Winners will be announced January 31, so you have lots of time to make this happen and spread the word about this series : )