So, how many of you have ideas about your goals and you are already overwhelmed or anxious about HOW to make them happen? You want all of your goals to have been tackled yesterday. This series is an exercise in patience and doing things little by little to produce real lasting results. If you are feeling overwhelmed, we’re about to dive into some clear waters as we set goals that have meaning. Goals that are rooted in what matters. Goals you WANT to conquer, even if it takes time. Because, you know what? The journey to making those things happen is where the good stuff lives. Your goals may change half-way through the year or you may make them happen faster than you think if you take it day by day by day. This is about progress, not perfection. As my friend Emily says, “The joy is in the journey.” I know you overachievers want to have done everything yesterday, but I have also been reading every single comment on this series. Those of you who are taking this step by step are making remarkable discoveries! I’m so pumped by all the lightbulbs I see going off! Little by little, babies grow. Can you imagine if we got pregnant and the next day have birth to toddlers?? We wouldn’t be ready and we would have missed so much sweetness. It is the same with our goals. They matter enough to make them happen well.
If you are just stumbling on this blog, welcome! It’s never too late to begin! Previous posts:
First up, my answers from Part 4:
My LEGACY: The idea of legacy, setting Grace up on a solid path, and using all the gifts God has given me to be a light for Him to others has been on my heart for many months. I wrote this post about creating a “Life List” and encourage you to make one for yourself. You can download a free Life List printable here.
I am breaking my legacy seeds up into two categories:
For Grace (and our future children, Lord willing):
– Inspired by my friend Jeremy Cowart, I started an email account for Grace when she was born that I send happy mail to every so often. When she is older, I will give her the password so she can read years of love letters and good things : )
– I have been working hard on our family photo albums and finally ordered her first year album from Artifact Uprising. Investing in having photographs taken of our family and having them printed is priceless to me. I’m so grateful for the gift of photographs!
– I created the Life Handbook and can’t wait to fill this out for Grace with Ari. I also plan to give one to my parents to fill out for Grace, too : )
– I want what I write on this blog to be a legacy for Grace, knowing that some day she may read all of this. Hi beautiful girl : )
– The things in our home. I want her to know we had a love for life and people, not things. I have been working on this constantly, but this is the year of CLEAR so I’ll be getting rid of much more stuff in our home when I get back from traveling. A story that hasn’t left my heart is this story of Meredith’s mom giving away the chairs in her living room. I want to live knowing my things aren’t mine. We are blessed to be a blessing to others.
– My book.
– The way I interact with strangers, the way I love Ari, how we use our money (working with Will Ray has been a life-changer this year!), cultivating joy away from screens – gardening, playing, reading; how we pray together daily as a family, singing to her, teaching her — all of these things are seeds I am planting daily to show her His love. “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.” – Andy Stanley
What I write, say, do; my book; the way I interact with others in person and one-on-one; the products I create for people to have in their homes; how I share my story and faith; Southern Weddings; the way we deal with conflict; leading my staff well with integrity; serving; giving; teaching students and our interns; teaching through my blog and webinars and speaking; and sending encouragement to others. I can’t wait to hear all of your ideas, too!
My RADICAL: writing my book is the only thing on my mind right now. I have a long way to go in a very short time. But, God is able. Truly. My radical is making this book happen without fear of what others think or how I might be criticized.
My 2014 song: Oceans by Hillsong United. These lyrics!
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Alright! Welcome to the final steps in this series!
STEP 13: Review. This is important. Get the big picture of everything you’ve written so far in your mind and heart before you write your goals. Read through everything you’ve done so far. Read every word. Look at your 2014 vision statement again and re-write it if you need to. I added to my lists and re-wrote things after going through this process because I got more clarity. Cross stuff out, revise things or add to them. Add to your lists of what did and didn’t work (I added a ton to mine!). Add more to your YES and NO lists. Refine your 2014 Pinterest board. Take pins out that don’t fit with your Vision. You know you can take photos yourself and put them in your boards, right? Take pics of things that mean something to you and put them in your board. Refine everything and get CLEAR before moving to the final exciting step…
STEP 14: Yeah, yeah, yeah! You’ve made it! Like I told you from the start of this process, traditional goal setting does not work for me. Goals get forgotten and then they linger and make you feel guilty for forgetting them. Anyone else ever experience this? Well, hopefully at this point you are chomping at the bit to write some real goals down! Goals that mean something. Goals that you can’t wait to conquer. Goals that are very clear and will help you live a better life. So, let’s do it!
There are four rules to this:
1. Review! Read through all of your progress again so you have all of it fresh in your mind. Don’t set goals before you do that step above!
2. Make a list of the first goals that come to your mind for this year when right after you review everything you’ve written. I suggest taking a big deep breath, putting on your 2014 song and seeing that 2014 Vision as clearly as you can before writing.
3. Then, check your goals to make sure they are really good goals. It’s so easy to make goals that sound good or goals that other people have that you think you should have, too, just to keep up. Don’t do that. The idea here is for you to SIMPLIFY your life, not to give yourself a new to-do list of random things that sound good. Be very specific and careful about what you decide to spend your time on this year.
Do a GOAL CHECK and ask these questions:
– Will this goal help my 2014 Vision?
– Does this goal also help other people?
– WHY would I spend my time on this goal?
If the answer is NO to that first question, then it’s possible it’s not the best use of your precious time. Don’t run in circles with goals that don’t DIRECTLY connect to what matters most. Get specific. Focus on what really matters to you in the big picture. See your 2014 vision and write down goals that strategically help you build that vision. Cross goals out that don’t 100% fit. Revise goals that are not clear. Be BOLD.
4. This is the most important key to goal setting. Write down your WHY with every goal. When I was a personal trainer in New York for many years, most clients would come to me with a number and say, “I want to lose 10 pounds.” I would ask them, “WHY 10 pounds?” Usually, when we got down to it, it was just an arbitrary number, or a weight they were in college. There was no real heart connection to the goal of losing 10 pounds. But, when we dug deeper into WHY they became out of shape in the first place and what they wanted most in life, a picture of true fitness started to emerge. Instead of, “I want to lose 10 pounds because that’s what I weighed in college” (not very motivating and more self-defeating), we worked on goals like, “I want to be healthy and strong so that I can live long enough to walk my daughter down the aisle. I want to live a long, happy life so I can be a better husband and show my kids how to be joyful and healthy, too.” That works. That is motivating. SO, get real with WHY you want these things to happen and connect them to something that really matters to you. It will help you ACT on your goals instead of toss them aside.
I’m going to share my final 2013 goal update Monday and my 2014 goals on Tuesday, so take the weekend, if needed, to really get clear and dig deep about your own 2014 goals. When you are ready, leave them here in the comments on this post or the final post on Tuesday!
Dream big, friends! Your playing small does not serve the world.
Let your light shine, friends. Don’t wait. You never know how long you have left here on this earth to love others and change them for the better in that love. It’s a powerful domino effect. The good you do today changes generations. That’s why setting good goals and having a clear focus is so important. Life is to short and too powerful to coast through. Take your time writing down your goals. Pray on them, talk them out with people you trust. I cannot wait to hear yours! HOORAY!!! Happy weekend, friends!
PRIZES FOR THIS POST: See Post 1 for details on how to enter. Winners will be announced January 31, so you have lots of time to spread the word and make these posts happen. OK, these are some of my favorite prizes from shops I love! Randomly-chosen commenters on this post will get either a $20 gift code to my shop, a Walk in Love T-Shirt, a print of your choice from Naptime Diaries, a set of prayer journals from Val Marie Paper, the headband of your choice from She Does Justice, or a Make It Happen coffee spoon from my friend Jessica! Yeah!!!