Jan 2, 2015
2015 GOAL SETTING, PART 2: WHAT DIDN’T WORK + WHAT I LEARNED
Faith, Giveaway, Goal Setting, Motherhood, My Books, Personal
Hi, friends! Welcome back to Part 2 of 2015 Goal Setting. If you are new, be sure to read Part 1 here to get started. And friends, remember this truth: there is nothing magical about January 1. The best day to begin is TODAY.
In Part 1, we talked about what went well and what we were grateful for in 2014. I am so encouraged by the thoughts you shared on the last post and by the dozens of blog posts that have been written with such passion, honesty, and intentionality about the coming year. Y’all are in this with your whole hearts and that gets me fired up even more! Let’s keep going, shall we?
What didn’t work in 2014? Honesty time! And before you do this step, remember not to beat yourself up here. I know you want to make this your best year yet. The past is behind you. The old has gone, the new has come! Just list some facts here. In business and life, what didn’t work well to help you live your best life this year and what needs improvement?
For me, a lot didn’t work. I am human and I fail all the time. But! All of the challenges this year eventually pointed me back to what matters. They strengthened me. They refined me in big ways and made me more confident in my faith and purpose. The challenges showed me time and time again that I need God and that is a very good thing. Often, the challenges redirected me to a better path and a deeper trust in the only thing that never fails.
– Going through a miscarriage and trying to have a baby was challenging, but like I shared on Monday, it was completely for my good. Read the story here.
– Many people think writing a book is glamorous. Maybe if you are writing about flowers or something light-hearted. Writing about your own failures for all to read is a different story. Writing the book was the hardest thing I did this year because it made me face myself and question where I was seeking my worth. I feared what others would think of my path. I feared never finishing my manuscript. I feared so very much. I faced my life’s mistakes as I wrote about them. I cried oceans of tears and mourned what felt like lost days chasing after the world’s idea of success instead of God’s. There was so much shame I didn’t realize I was still carrying. I felt totally inadequate as a writer. (I could write that last sentence about thirty times I felt it so much.) And you know what? It was for all my good. I felt about as tall as a grain of sand and it made me throw my whole reliance on the Lord for my strength and identity. I’m still on this journey, but in writing the book I felt like I exhaled bricks. It was like going through ten therapy sessions a day — speed therapy, if you will. I laid down the shame and baggage at His feet and found myself saying, Wherever you want me to go, Lord, I’ll go. Whatever you want me to write, help me put the pen to the paper. Less of me, all of You. I still feel a bit overwhelmed by the book being out in people’s hands. Most of me wants to close my eyes and slip away from the internet for a few weeks to let the book rush pass, but that is selfish and sheepish. Although, I like sheep : ) I told you I was going to write out my mess, and I hope it helps some of you not feel alone. I don’t write about fear because I have none. I write about it because I know it well and, by the grace of God, I am learning to understand it more so it doesn’t speak louder than my faith. Fears and all, I know for sure this book what God gave me to write, imperfect as it may be. Writing those pages was like going through the pains of labor and then feeling the joy of knowing you gave it your all and your whole heart is in it, but ultimately God is the creator of life and made it happen. He is so good.
– I had a wake-up call a few months ago when I was introduced to what is now one of my favorite marriage resources, Unveiled Wife. Jennifer is now a friend and writes about the challenges of marriage and she also has been an advocate of paraben-free products because of the harmful effects they have on the female body. Search her site for “parabens” or google it and you may have the same wake-up call I did. Quite honestly, I freaked out. Every single product I had used my entire life — face lotion, bath soap, make-up, lip gloss, hand soap, cleaning products, and even some over-the-counter medicines — was full of harmful toxins. So, we got rid of everything and started over completely. It took me six months to finally find skincare products that didn’t make my face breakout, but I think it might have been more that my hormones were adjusting to paraben-free living. I am so grateful for this wake-up call and, even though it was costly to get all new products, it is worth it for the long-term health of our family. Here are some of the products I use now:
Clockwise from top left: Tarte concealer, Organic Bath Co. Stress Less Oil (more on this in a mount), One Love Organics Easy Does It Cleanser, Tarte Amazonian Clay blush, and Acure Sensitive Skin moisturizer. One of my favorites is this Stress Less oil from Organic Bath Co. The owner, Gianne, has become a friend and told me that she used the PowerSheets to help start her business — so encouraging! She’s generously offered a 20% discount to anyone who reads this post. Enter the code HOORAY at checkout. Enjoy!
– Parenting. Parenting. Parenting! Grace is a blessing and she is, like many three-year-old’s, strong-willed. Parenting in 2014 was hard. There were days I felt totally defeated and had to throw up the white flag. But, like all I’ve written about thus far, it has so been for my good and it made Ari and I seek advice from older parents in our church, which was so helpful. The challenging days of parenthood ultimately made me more patient and a better listener. The trials of parenting have made me slow down more so I can help Grace understand her feelings and emotions as they come. Being a parent humbles you as you realize you have zero control sometimes. God is in control and my job is to be a living example of the new testament to Grace, showing her heaps of grace, consistency, honesty, humility, and prayerful trust in action. Being a parent has grown my faith. It has brought me to my knees and made me pray, because sometimes that’s all I can do! : )
– I am very grateful for Will Ray and the sound financial guidance he has given me the last couple years. I highly recommend working with him for either your personal finances, business finances, or both. Will helped us become debt-free (besides our mortgage) last year, which was something I didn’t think would happen with Ari’s enormous student loans. But, Will helped us see that it was possible if we were willing to, as Dave Ramsey says, live like no one else so we can live like no one else. But, as much as I felt financially prepared this year, things happened. Unexpected business costs threw me for a loop, further solidifying the importance of the business Emergency Fund. From the tax mess I mentioned in this post to thousands of dollars lost on a website design that never came to fruition to unexpected product shipping costs, it was a big year for unexpected loss. There is nothing I could have done to change these things, so each situation brought me to my knees. My business is very important to me because of WHY we do what we do, so I am extra passionate about making sure we are financially sound to carry out the mission we have. But, the ultimately Lord is in control of that too and this year was a reminder that I have to trust Him with all of it.
– I struggled with ugly feelings of comparison and worrying about competition, which has rarely every been a thing for me. But, it happened and it was not fun. And once again, this was so for my good. The Lord helped me turn comparison into true compassion and cheering on!
– In general, what didn’t work was worry, stress, or anything less than the joy that I know I have no matter my circumstances. I worried too much and God always always always had a plan that was bigger than mine. I often think of Paul in prison writing these words:
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Phil 4:11-13 NIV)
There were many more challenges, but this are the ones that stand out today. Can you sense a theme in all of my challenges this year? What I learned from all of this:
I have no control.
What about you? What challenges did you face this year and what did you learn from them? Perhaps you are still in the thick of some challenges and have no idea yet what they are supposed to teach you. That’s okay! Wherever you are, let’s share the hard things and encourage each other in them. Leave your thoughts in the comments and help encourage others as well.
Next step! As a creative, visual person, imagery really lights my heart on fire more than anything. Great photographs and colors can make my heart sing and help me clarify my vision. If you are like me, you will really love this step. Make a Pinterest board of images that will inspire a purposeful year. Title your board “Making Things Happen in 2015″ so we can search for each other’s boards! Now, one word of caution. I rarely use Pinterest (like, twice a year) because it can be the black hole of distraction and discontentment. Pin wisely, friends. Pick images that light your heart on fire and move on! The goal isn’t to have Pinterest-worthy year, so pick images that have deep heart, not just pretty things. Here’s my board from last 2013 and from 2014 and here is where I’ll be pinning images for 2015 over the next weeks as I let my goals marinate.
What fires you up? What are the things that light your soul on fire? Pretty simple, yet very profound: name them and then DO them. Do more of what fires you up. If dance parties, hugging your kids, laughing with your husband, and doing good things for others fires you up, DO those things today (and always, but start with just today).
Download a free printable of the list above here.
Physically do some of the things you want to see more of in your life and take action on them. Not all of them, just some of them. Do what you can. We all have at least five minutes every day, even if we don’t think we do, to make what matters happen. How much time have you already spent on social media today? How much time will you spend on it the rest of the day? Trade that time for doing something that fires you up, not for self-indugence, but to live on purpose and love well. I don’t think many of us can say that lurking on Facebook fires us up, can we?
See what happens when you physically start living on purpose, instead of by accident. Little by little, get connected to what matters most to you. Love on people. Write out your list and then DO something on that list. If you love the ocean, but don’t live near it, click here. Does the sound of rain make you feel alive? Here you go! If you love dance parties, pump up the jam! If you love hugs, give one. If you are fired up by creating, make something, even if it’s small, like a card for a friend. Take photographs just for the love of taking them. If you are fired up by the outdoors, close your computer or put down this iPhone and step outside. Just do it. Don’t wait to live.
See how making the things on your list happen starts to shape your life — and most importantly — the lives of everyone around you. God gave us talents and gifts that are meant to be used to shine His glory brightly to the world — and He gave us sunsets and the roaring ocean likely to leave us in awe of His goodness. Note to self and everyone: It’s hard to do and see those things hiding behind a computer screen : )
The Bible doesn’t tell us to “follow our passions” so we can be happy, but it definitely tells us to use our unique gifts to serve others. And there is a deeper joy found in that. A peace that passes all understanding. You were created for great things, my friend. You were created to shine brightly for Him. That is definitely something to have a dance party for! Share your list here. I will share mine soon too. Making life happen in 2015, here we come!
More Monday. Get to writing and DOing, friends!
PRIZES FOR THIS POST: Read Part 1 for all the ways you can win! Winners will get either a $50 gift card to my shop or an Emily Ley Homebase Binder set! I love the Homebase Binder to keep our household things organized and I keep my PowerSheets in it too. Thanks to Emily for this great giveaway!
Winners will ba announced January 31 so you have lots of time to spread the word about this series and make these posts happen. I’ll be back next week with more 2015 Goal Setting goodness. Happy meaningful, intentional, purpose-filled, fired-up weekend, friends!
Leave a comment with your thoughts: What were some of the challenges from 2014 and what did you learn from them? What fires you up? And leave a link to your Pinterest board so we can follow each other : )
P.S. Need a new iPhone or desktop wallpaper, like the one above, for the new year? Check out my free downloads gallery here.
This blog, your book, the Power Sheets….they couldn’t have come into my my life at a better time. I am so glad I stumbled on them and can start making it happen all while living a purpose filled life!
I am so grateful that you encourage us to take this little-by-little. By taking my time, I have found myself taking a more prayerful approach to planning for the months ahead. I shared the 3 biggest lessons I learned from what didn’t work in 2014 on my blog here:
2014 challenges for me included: Continuing to recover from a heel injury (stress fracture) making it painful to do what I love (run) and even just standing and walking at times was difficult; struggling with anxiety and tension and the mental / emotional / physical symptoms associated with that in addition to feelings of insecurity because of this; and knowing what it is I want to do in life but not being sure of how to go about it and wondering if it’s even possible.
What I’ve learned: God is good and faithful and He uses our lowest points to grow the most beautiful things. It is when I am completely depleted and at the end of my rope that there is room for Him to come in and do His thing. Little by little, day by day, He is healing and restoring me and changing me for His good. So thankful for His grace in the middle of my messiness.
What fires me up: Morning cardio workouts, coffee, worship, God’s Word (bible journaling), writing, creativity, my best friends, hanging out with my hubby, and a good book (can’t wait for my copy of Make It Happen to arrive this week)!
Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.com/runnergirl84/making-things-happen-in-2015/
Thank you for your heart. Some challenges and what I learned from them:
1) My radical goal was to get involved in the community we live in. I volunteered to set up for the monthly art walk which was good and well. I also, though, found myself as the co-chair for the children’s area at the yearly festival which was not as good and well. It was tough and scary and too much. I want a heart for the Spirit’s wisdom that guides me through the gray area between the faith of trusting a yes and the wisdom of trusting a no. It was too much, but there’s something remarkable about seeing God do what you utterly cannot. Here’s what I’m determining that I learned: The spirit of Christ lives in me and the life that I lived in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.
2) One of my other goals was to love my husband by doing things with him that he enjoys doing. I made a list of small things that I could do once a week with him (watch Austin Powers, play a board game, buy him a snickers with the groceries, etc.) and larger things I could do once a month (try a new restaurant, go with him to a game shop to play games, buy a beaten path kind of beer, etc). This was not as easy as I thought. I work an 8-5 at a bank, and I realized how selfish I am about my Saturdays. It’s not like I’m reading or writing or talking long walks. I usually have to get groceries or tidy or scrub pee smell out of the couches. BUT if I wasn’t getting groceries or cleaning, I WOULD want to read and write and take long walks, not sit in a game shop playing Magic the Gathering with smelly boys. I don’t know an action plan on that one, but I am carrying it on my heart when I pray. I want to love him well and nourish my heart’s light.
3) I don’t pick my clothes off the floor or wash dishes after we use them or let my bathroom air out after we shower. During the first three months of Making Things Happen 2014, I had a nightly process where I’d make focus items for tomorrow, pick up the living room and dining room, make lunch, and plan my clothes. I found I wasn’t going to bed at the same time as Brandon so I cut everything but focus items. I learned that time matters a lot whether that’s how long I think someones going to take or how much time I think I have or if something has a designated time.
More on the blog: http://www.keepingthemaryfaith.wordpress.com. Thank you for making space for us.
I did the Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter things. Happy New Year!
Here’s my pinterest board. Can’t wait to add more to it!
Some of the challenges from 2014: 1) comparison. Not sure I’ve fully learned yet because I still struggle with this. There are days that I absolutely love my life and feel so content, but then I see what someone else has done/ achieved or what their life looks like and I feel frustrated with myself, discontented, and disheartened. I have learned that things aren’t always what they seem and am little by little learning to appreciate where I am and like you mentioned in your post, to be compassionate, cheer on and encourage! 2) Social media. Period. Trying to keep up. It just isn’t worth it. I get so much more from real life and prefer face-to-face relationships and community. I want to build community where I am! 3) Job and finances. On a path to being debt free and while discipline has been necessary and sometimes challenging, it is so worth it and I am feeling more and more freedom! God always, always, always provides. And I saw this again after getting a seemingly improbable opportunity early last year. I can trust him with my life! 4) Worry and stress. Total waste of time. Choosing to trust Him and His plan and believe that I matter and my story matters.
What fires me up? Community! My family. Time in the Word. Worship. True, authentic, heart-changing worship. Blogs, blogging, other creatives. Difference-makers. Pretty (purposeful and functional) products. Organizing, decluttering, and planning. Travel. Disney World. Bright lipstick! A clean space. Making a house a home. Southern character and charm. Your posts. I am always so inspired by what you share, Lara.
Here is the link to where I’ll be pinning my images for 2015: https://www.pinterest.com/eaparker/making-things-happen-in-2015/
Happy 2015, everyone!!
Elizabeth, I struggled with social media too! I actually quit Facebook and every once in a while I get a pang of “I didn’t know about that!” For example, an acquaintance is pregnant with twins. I ran into her at lunch the other day and it was more fun to find out in person 🙂 While I have missed on out events and announcements, I am finding out that I enjoy the extra effort that comes with actually getting in touch with the people I want to connect with instead of mindlessly catching up on everyone’s life. Good luck with your journey!
Poor time management and letting work rule me where major challenges in 2014. I also worry a lot about my career. I am learning to be more focused on the important things and doing what matter most.
What didn’t work….saying yes to everything. Trying to do everything. Trying to be everything nfor everyone – the best daughter, sister, friend, lover – it’s just all too much sometimes. In trying to please everyone all the time, I can get lost. I took a hit on a show that I produced this year. It was the first time that I had a business loss in that respect – but, I suppose I can look back on it and think that I got to produce in a new venue. I KNOW i’lll never work wtih them again. And I learned more about my field. A relationship didn’t work this year. I’m trying to remember that those who you share your heart with should lift you up…that there should be a give and take…it’s something I’m still struggling with.
Passion fires me up! 2014 challenge was not having enough time.
I just love this series. I followed along and half-heartedly participated last year. I even purchased PowerSheets but I was too scared to even open them. This year, though…this is the year. I started working on the PowerSheets on NYE and I cried. Like big-time cried, to face my fears and admit that I have been trying to control every aspect of my life instead of letting God do HIS work. I am tired of being afraid of everything and I am ready to live my fullest life. Thank you for your inspiration.
So, the challenges. They seemed plentiful this year. The biggest challenge for me was probably lack of sleep and exercise. My body has been out of whack and I was running on fumes. I hired a health coach and she is helping me tackle the sleep issue , which has already had a positive affect on other areas of my life. Another challenge was comparing myself, my home, my job, my children, my marriage…to everyone else. That’s not working for me and I want to work hard on that. While there are plenty more things, these are the two biggest challenges for me.
Do you think the powersheets will be available for pdf download rather than waiting for them to come in stock? I’d be excited about that even if they were not in multi-color print just to not have to wait until Spring, that seems long to wait when you can go to a printer locally and get in a day or so.
Intentional is my word of the year, but I need help, LOL.
But definitely feeling excited by finding your site.
Hi, Jenny! We wish we could get them faster too, but they take a while to produce : ) We aren’t able to offer a digital download for several reasons, but be on the look out for our “perfectly imperfect” sale this week.
One of my biggest challenges from 2014 was undergoing a major surgery and the recovery time with it (both emotional and physical). I wasn’t always the most gracious to those that were trying to help me during this time, and I was in a lot of pain. During recovery I had a lot of time to think and sometimes allowed myself a pity party. Other challenges were letting go of my controlling instincts during the wedding planning process (it all turned out wonderfully!) and building new relationships in my town.
What Fires Me Up;
Quiet time with the Lord
Cuddling with my new hubby
Reading & discussing
Cooking healthy + delicious meals
My pup Crimson
Girl time with coffee/dinner/crafts
Making my home cozy
Knitting/Crocheting (I will master this!)
Blues and greens
Family game nights
Getting to know my husband’s family more and more
Lara! You have GOT to read No More Dirty Looks if you’re getting into natural beauty products. These ladies make gigantic science words sexy. No joke lol I don’t know how they did it but they are hilarious and informative all at the same time. You will never use ‘regular’ makeup or lotion or shampoo again. And we’re not just talking parabens that are bad for you. They get deep into tons of toxins. And they give recommendations for replacements too!
K off to read more of your book 🙂 love you!
Challenges from 2014 just hit me today. Well, the reality of them hit me today almost like a post traumatic onset. Like looking through the insurance claim photos of a horrible car accident, noticing the healing scars and bruises and realizing that you walked away from the accident but based on the photos and wreckage you can’t seem to understand HOW. Yes, that’s where I am . I learned that God is God smack dab in the middle of chaos. I learned that death has no sting when you can find the peace beyond understanding. I learned that healing sometimes comes through pain. I learned that in order for something new to grow, seeds need to be planted and that often means breaking hard ground…yes you could say that 2014 was major. What fires me up? That God cares too much about me to leave me where I am. Pinterest board https://pinterest.com/inneractivefit
I’ve just come across your blog and LOVE it!
This year for us as a couple is about seeking the Lord more and making things happen. I’m aiming to use less social media and use my time wisely for Jesus instead.
I’ve written about our 2014 here…https://deepesttreasure.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/2015-is-here.html
We love being outdoors, pudding and being with our friends. Something we aim to do more of this year!
Thank you so much for your honesty and encouragement! 2014 was a year that seemed to highlight the challenges more than the positives and I am looking forward to changing that this year with the Powersheets.
A big challenge this year was my marriage and I am still working on what lies in front of me for my marriage. My husband has anger issues and likes to control me emotionally and psychologically. This has been very challenging and we continue to work on it. However, it is hard to see what God has planned for me because it seems dark most of the time. I don’t know the story about the challenges that you faced with your husband, but what was the turning pint for you? How did you know what God was directing you toward?
Moving into 2015, I plan to live an intential life with purpose and with a passion for what gets me fired up. I am passionate about my animals, running, writing, teaching, and God. All of these bring light into my life and help me to get excited about what could come next.
I also get fired up from inspirational and passionate women like yourself. Thank you for all that you do and your honesty to inspire and encourage other women.
I am sending prayers for your marriage, Rachel, and am so grateful you shared your thoughts. I’d write in all in a comment, but my book gives a much better description of our experience in marriage. I hope it encourages you! God can do what feels impossible.
For me, creating is like breathing. I have to design. It’s just part of who I am and who God created me to be. Sometimes I wonder if God asked me to stop creating, to not design another thing, would I be obedient? Could I do it? It runs that deep through me. Crazy, I know!
This year I launched a “business”, or gave new life to an old one. I’m a graphic designer and I love to create photo cards and invitations and announcements and have done some Christmas cards for family and friends in the past. Now that my son is 2 and I feel like I’m coming back to life, I thought I would rebrand my business with a new name, new look, new cards, etc. I was really excited about it and have lots of ideas, but thought I would begin with Christmas cards. A challenge of it was finding the time without feeling the guilt. In this season of life, I only have a small window of time to work on creating new things since I’m a stay at home mama. My son is my priority and that doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for this mama to get away to create. And that’s REALLY hard! When I would find myself with some time to design, it would be during naps (when a million other things could be done) or once he went to bed (while my husband is home). I felt guilty for choosing to design over spending time with my husband. I felt guilty for choosing to design over taking care of chores. It’s been quite a struggle to find a good balance of things right now, when time to create is so limited to begin with. Beyond that, launching my Christmas cards turned out to be a huge flop. I had 2 orders. I think it failed because I waited too long to create and put it out there. Once they were out there, I was so tired from creating that once they were made public and available, I just left them there, without using social media to my advantage to put myself out there and be a presence. I didn’t talk about them or remind people of them. I just let them be, hoping that people would want to buy cards. I’m not giving up on it, but I definitely would say I need to reevaluate my approach!
**I pinned from this post and shared on Facebook!**
I love the idea of making lasting changes; it’s not about New Years resolutions, it is about making lasting changes that will make my walk with Jesus closer and make my life simpler. (I shared on IG and twitter).
It can be hard to think about challenges and what I didn’t do GREAT at, but it’s so liberating when I realize that I’m acknowledging my weaknesses so that He can help me with them.
I shared some of my challenges here….
The biggest challenge in 2014 was adjusting to a new way of being the church. We are basically allowing God to lead and are currently attending a more organic/community based church. It has been hard to shed the comforts of the traditional church I have attended all my life, but God is teaching and leading and I am trying my best to TRUST Him through it all. I volunteer for a great organization that provides education and hope for a community in Goma, DR Congo in Africa. That is what gets me fired up. My adoptive son is from the Congo and it is important for me to give back to his country and also Be a voice for the least of these. My trip to Africa changed my life. My blog Divine Moments was born out of that passion that God laid on my heart. I want my blog to be a connecting hub that helps people connect to direct projects where they can put love in action.
“I have no control. God does. Trust God.” Amen, Lara!
My 2014 Challenges:
1. Transition. In the past two years, my husband and I have moved cross country twice. These transitions have shaken my heart to the core. But God is good, and He is walking with me through all of these changes. I am daily in a place of surrender and abandon.
2. Worry. The fear of the unknown and wanting to control that unknown – which is humanly impossible. But with God the impossible is possible. I am learning that Faith is the opposite of worry. Trusting wholeheartedly in God is greater than any of my worries. I’m working to choose Faith over worry.
3. Over-analyzing. Over-thinking. Over-whelmed. I thought a lot last year about a lot of things. It was all to easy to get lost in my thoughts, focusing on the not-so-good. But choosing to take captive my thoughts to Him and to listen to the good voice and act on that voice.
What fires me up?
Walks with my Husband by the ocean and in our adorable, coastal New England town. Spending time in the SRT studies. Spontaneous adventures. Giving thoughtful gifts. Moments when I feel clarity and purpose in the most mundane activities. Serving my Husband. Hope. Working to root my life in Truth and Love and building a firm foundation.
Make it Happen 2015 Board:
Some of the challenges I had in 2014 were related to adjusting to being the parent of a toddler. That’s was a tough transition for me since I was so independent. But, he is dream and now I have a routine and can handle the unknown better. Also, I missed some of my health and fitness goals and I am dedicating this year to ME so I can make them a priority. If anyone wants to follow my Pins here they are —> https://www.pinterest.com/melissamekdeci/
First of all, I am definitely going to consider going paraben free! I’ve recently been trying to find better makeup and skin care options, but I didn’t know just how bad parabens were.
Also, thank you for the reminder to just do what fires me up. There really are no excuses when, like you said, everyone has, at the very least, five minutes to spare.
Things that fire me up are snuggling with my husband in the morning, Christ-centered coffee talks with close girl friends, flickering candles, reading a good book, hot baths, and sending encouraging texts.
Hello, I was able to post on my Instagram and share one of your quotes that speaks to me (out of so many!). I’m grateful for the positive feedback and hope to have prompted others to look into your blog.
I love following along with this series! And I’ve already dove into the book, I’m already almost on Part Two. It’s very inspiring, and life changing.
I wrote about some of my challenges on my blog:
I can’t wait to share my pinterest page, and dive into what really fires me up.
Thank you so much Lara Casey! And thank you so much for giving us some graphics to use. 🙂 You are the best.
I started my pinterest board but I gave it the wrong name! oops!! Here is mine:
Some challenges in 2014: parenting!! turning a new direction on my blog, my first ebook, starting a small shop on my blog. These were GOOD things that were also CHALLENGING and ended up taking more out of me than i had anticipated. 🙂
Challenges from 2014: financial struggles, health/pregnancy miscarriage and sickness and then early pregnancy sickness, time suckered focusing my time on non important stuff.
What fires me up: peaceful home, financial stability, getting debt paid off, minimizing clutter, quality family time with hubs and lil man, being healthy, helping to provide for our family so my husband is no stressed, creating, writing, reading, dreaming, empowering others to change their situations, sharing hope, loving on others so they know they are cared for and loved, doing what matters, Natural and simple living
I received my Make It Happen book today, and along with your powersheets, and Jessica Turner’s new book, I feel like I might actually get a good handle on this year! Praying.
Thank you for the challenge to create a pinterest board for our vision and inspiration for this year. Within a few hours of me creating it I got a text from a friend who said that looking at my pins literally made her cry, and we’ve since had some very important conversations about re-finding focus and establishing a vision for life. Your book and this series has brought about MANY opportunities for me to connect with people in new, spiritual and meaningful ways. I never realized how much my instagram posts, here and there comments at church or pins on pinterest could help someone.
Challenges in 2014: Family hardships, facing the fear of the unknown, comparison, sometimes doubting God has a good plan for me (usually as a result of the comparison!)
What Fires Me Up: Lattes, possibilities and bright new ideas, being inspired and inspiring others, encouraging others (especially to live and tell their own inspired stories), books,exploring, finding everyday adventures, living with lots of color and artwork, writing, painting, polka dots, sparkle, and shine, creativity and the creative process, typography, beautiful hand lettering, snuggles with my kitty, laughter shared with family and friends, HOPE, the way God can make broken things beautiful and the impossible possible… (and so many more!) 🙂
Here’s a link to my Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/aplacetodwell/making-things-happen-2015/
The word I have chosen for 2015 is FIND, because I want to find God in everything I do…and I want to seek Him with my whole heart.
Challenges of 2014:
Starting a Business.
Battling inner lies and self negativity.
These things and the challenging parts of them have pointed out to me where I put my value, and where I find my worth.
What fires me up:
Walks with our dog.
Waking up to coffee and quiet time.
Hugging my husband.
Laughing with my husband.
Dreaming with my husband.
Making other people smile.
Intentional time with friends.
Investing time in my group of middle school girls.
Here is the link to my pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/machellekolbo/making-things-happen-in-2015/
2014 Challenges: Unmovable obstacles. They revealed areas in my life that God wants to change.
What fires me up? Ministry, encouraging others.
My 2014 challenges:
1) I had the hardest time loving myself. I loved the things I could create with my gifts, but I did not love the gifts themselves and realize that it’s okay to take a break and just enjoy creating rather than the end result.
2) Work/me balance. I’m grateful to have a really wonderful day job that I adore. But in 2014, I went a little crazy with how much time I spent working on day-job things. It seemed like 90% of my time, I was working on work–and though my day job is great, it is NOT my end-all-be-all career goal.
So much FIRES ME UP! Doing small things for people that surprise them really makes me feel good. Creating for the sake of creating and glorifying what SHOULD be glorified rather than glorifying myself… encouraging others with my music!
From the 2014 challenges, I learned that my husband and I need to better communicate and plan our weekends to reflect what we want for our lives, including down time to rest. I also learned that having people over more often helps us keep thing simple & clean, which in turns make it more likely that we use our home to bless others and be hospitable. Lastly, this year really hit home that it’s important to focus on what my natural gifts and talents on and strengthening those vs. trying to become better at things that might not be my natural talents and abilities. I’m fired up this year about inspiring and encouraging others to live out of their strengths and to use their gifts to bless others, especially in a local setting!
I am such a procrastinator, and have been for such a long time. It’s deeply ingrained and hard to break out of this tendency. However, a lot of my challenges from 2014 were due to this! So, I know to have a more peaceful 2015 (and make things happen!) this has to stop. I’m seeing a little grace already, but will keep trusting the Lord to work this out in me! Also, I am the queen of good intentions but not getting those intentions accomplished. I am a dreamer, and dreaming fires me up for sure! I just want to make sure I am a doer of the things I dream that are within my ability to do, and not put them off! 🙂
I’m slowly going through your ‘Making Things Happen 2015’ blog posts, taking my time to really think. I’m also listening to your book, and just purchased a copy to re-read after I’ve finished listening.
I started 2014 with the powersheets, but felt like things quickly fell apart for me. Unexpectedly, my husband asked how I felt about moving half-way across the country. This was such a challenge for me, for us. We spent a good part of the year waiting for news on his new job, and when we did hear the good news, we were told we had to wait some more before we could make plans. The suddenly we were told we had a month to move 1,600 miles. That included selling our house. I felt like my goals were just being washed away. It left me feeling defeated. What fires me up is this new year, full of new beginnings. And these blog posts, and your book,( I didn’t make it in time to buy another set of PowerSheets) also fire me up to re-realize my goals and make them happen!
2014 was filled with lots of challenges. After my dad died in September 2013, we sold our property in Hawaii and made the decision to move to a totally new community where we knew no one.. If I were to summarize 2014 in a few words transition/change = challenges.
1. I lost my sense of purpose for sure. I escaped through social media big time. Wasted hours, always on my phone. I still struggle with it, but each day I try to have a purposeful plan of what I want and need to get accomplished.
2. Social media made me less present in my family life and less productive in my business life. I used social media of those who are in my industry as a comparison which didn’t lead to inspiring me to do great things, but left me feeling inadequate and questioning my business.
3. Failed at exercising. I realize I need to get into better health so that I can be there for my son, to see him grow up into an adult, to one day see my grandchildren when he gets married and has kids, etc. I just never made the time and always found other things to do.
What fires me up is realizing the importance of living on purpose in everything we do. To glorify God in all things.
1. I realized my gifts are to make beautiful flowers out of clay and to pour my heart and soul into it to bring others happiness is a way of showing God’s love. I feel more empowered this year to use my creative talents and create things that I haven’t yet tried and to share it with others to bring them some happiness as well.
2. I love to bake so I want to use that to share with others. More importantly though showing acts of random kindness no matter how small because you never know how what you do may show God’s love.
3. Be more present with my family. I failed miserably at it in some respects and it’s something God has been pressing on my heart a lot, just need to put it into action.
I have a tough year of achieving my goals, but I do feel like I have a stronger purpose and actively taking the steps to achieve it.
I bought your PowerSheets last year when they first came out with the intention to use them and they sat there. This year, I’m going to Make It Happen! 🙂
Last year was full of finishing school. Graduating was such a blessed relief. I learned to persevere when I really just wanted to quit and drop out, but it also left me little time to process things and do stuff that I really care about. Nevertheless, the lesson was a good character lesson that will no doubt serve me well as I move forward into this new year, free to pursue what really matters to me.
Last year was also marked by my stubborn refusal to leave my comfort zone. It was full of procrastination, making excuses, and constantly comparing myself with other people which led to me just not doing anything because I felt less than adequate. It was also a fierce struggle against fear, a fight I’m not sure I won, but that I know I will continue to lean on God for help to overcome this year.
This year, I want to let those things go. I want to step into newness and let go of old habits. I want to shed my old skin and become someone new. Going through the process in your book is helping me so much! I never realized how much emotional junk I had hiding in my heart – and all this time, it was mostly that stuff that was preventing me from really making changes and moving forward! Thank you for sharing your story and guiding us through the processes ourselves – it’s making such a difference for me.
Stuff that fires me up… hugs. good, healthy, fun, creative, “Ratatouille” style food. a cuppa coffee with friends or my mom. reading great books. witnessing beauty in nature. making someone feel seen and heard. seeing someone else succeed in overcoming a struggle. “succeeding” in taking a beautiful photograph, playing a song on the guitar/piano, or writing.
Made my pinterest board here:
This was such a great idea! I’m loving the visual compilation. Inspires me to stay focused on these things that really matter. Thank you for the inspiration! 🙂
Challenges of 2014: Last year was spent finishing graduate school and tackling life after graduation. I never realized how much time and effort I put into school and once it was completed I was a little lost with what to do with my energy. One of the hardest parts of last year was comparison – with my life choices, with where I am at with my career, decisions with my personal life. It was hard accepting and being honest with where I truly am. I questioned a lot of my decisions and didn’t recognize peace whenever it existed. Being filled with worry and anxiety over so many areas of my life that I cannot control. Controlling instead of trusting God. Rushing and just going through the motions of life to just be down with something. I wasn’t “present” for so many things last year. Unhealthy eating and not being physically active.
As silly as feels typing it out, this year I want to create a life. I’ve spent so much time studying and focusing on school. I never realized how much other areas of my life were being neglected. I want to focus more on family, relationships, friendships, and finding community. Focusing on taking care of myself physically and spiritually. I want to continue pursuing my hobbies and what fires me up.
So what fires me up: Family, photography, blogging and sharing my stories, travel and seeing new places, writing, prayer, reading business and creative books, Louisiana and our culture, listening to others and using my business degree, laughter – especially my godchild’s, the color yellow, exercising – running and yoga, and cooking family meals.
It’s almost hard for me to put into words how hard last year was for me. In the first week of the year we moved into a beautiful new home. That same week, we also found out my little brother had a malignant bone tumor at 24 and was expecting his first baby with his girlfriend. It was a year filled with chemo, surgeries, sickness, me trying to be there for my parents watching their baby boy suffer while I was a thousand miles away. When we finally seemed to get the cancer stuff under control (or at least to a new normal), my husband’s aunt was murdered at her workplace in a random act of violence. If I am honest, there is a big part of me that wants to wipe 2014 from the books.
But, God was at work in big ways through the hard things. And I was more honest in my prayers with Him than ever before. It’s often the hard things and the testing of faith that causes the most spiritual growth, right?
What didn’t work in 2014 was burning myself out trying to be there for everyone, 24/7. I neglected myself in big ways and refused to admit I probably needed some counseling to help process it all. I also got very carried away in distraction via social media to escape a bit from the dark places in my life. My need to control was really brought to light when many things in my life were exposed to be completely out of my control and I didn’t handle that especially well.
But 2015 has dawned a little brighter. My brother has no new cancer and can resume a mostly normal life. Wrestling with God has brought me much closer to Him and more reliant on Him.
I am ready for a year of focus. Focus on my passion for writing, really focusing on my people instead of being carried away by distraction. Focusing on the needs of my body and soul. Focus on what fires me up: laughter, nature, compassion ministry, running, writing, homeschooling, reading, travel, and spending more time with the Lord.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your heart and your gifts, Lara. Now that I’ve been introduced to your blog and methods, I have a feeling my life will be changed.
Being overly anxious to get “there” — I learned that God’s plans require my discipline, obedience and dedication. I need to consciously and intentionally remove distractions, keep my mind and body healthy, focus and go all in, all whilst prayerfully following His plan for me.
I get all fired up when I see gorgeous brands, when clients give me creative freedom in my work, laughing and date nights with the hubby, through fellowship and prayer, pretty stationery and a tidy and clean home.
My pin board: http://www.pinterest.com/thepetiteco/petite-making-things-happen-2015 (My 3rd year now! CRAZY!)
Some of my challenges from 2014 is determining what my priorities are, or more specifically reconciling that I have to change my life to live by those priorities. Beginning stages of wedding planning with my wonderful fiancee and beginning to supervise two new staff that I feel very responsible for their growth and development. Helping other people and seeing growth (or potentially growth in others) fires me up and I love seeing that look in my students eyes after a meeting!
My hubby and two kids left grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, and cousins behind to move across the country because we felt God asking us to do so. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. God is doing amazing things for our family.
I have learned through this move to rely on God, trust Him with ALL things, and that I can do anything with God.
What fires me up?? Watching the relationship my children have with The Lord grow. My five year old daughter wanted to use her Christmas money to buy a “big girl bible.” Amazing!!!
Here’s my 2015 pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/rundisneynut/powersheets-make-it-happen-in-2015/!
Challenges in 2014. Thankfully this has pasted, but for about 4 months of last year breastfeeding was the hardest thing I have ever done. From syringe feeding him the first week of his life, having to use a shield, weekly weight checks, and PT for baby’s jaw muscles as a first time mom I was more than overwhelmed. But I stuck with it and at 4 months he stopped using the shield and was able to have a ‘normal’ breastfeeding relationship. I now have an almost one year old 22+ lb boy! I learned to not give up, that my perception of how it was supposed to be and reality do not need to be the same, and that ultimately changing my attitude and giving it to God was something I should have done in the first place. Even during the hard times of nursing I was still blessed to be feeding him with my milk.
What fires me up? The changes that occurred last year!! Having godly, close friendships, a smaller home, gardening space/backyard with trees, seeing my baby develop and grow, my husband, God at work in everything, sunshine, simple moments.
It seems like there are people who say, “do more of what fires you up” and then go on to name those HUGE, gigantic life goals and pursuits. I love how you made it practical for everyday life…dance parties, hugs, etc! What fires me up? Using fun pens, Taylor Swift music, my favorite candle and fun fabrics!
Finding challenges was a lot easier than finding good things, isn’t it sad how that works out? My three biggest themes in challenges this past year were fear, worry, and addictions. I’m learning, as I delve deeper into this, that I have tremendous fears and worries about NONSENSE that weigh me down for no reason. Philippians 4:6 needs to become my battle cry! I also am facing serious addictions to STUFF: food, emotional eating, clothes, etc. I’ve allowed these things to become idols of happiness in my life instead of turning to God for true comfort. Making changes starting TODAY! It’s amazing what realization will do for you! I love reading and learning the Word, it’s definitely firing me up. I love giving things to people, for no reason other than I was thinking of them. I love hearing my kids laugh, every day. I love hugging my husband. I want more of these things…not STUFF. I’m choosing less, and I couldn’t be happier.
Time with my family fires me up, beauty in creation, health and wellness, Jesus unconditional love, and sharing Him with people who need Him. Moving from my home and loved ones was the hardest part of the year for me.
One of my biggest challenges from 2014 was facing a devastating loss I never dreamed would happen. What I learned from it was that God was working a miracle and His grace was present. I learned that sticking to my goals will make things happen. What didn’t work was yelling and filling my life with things that didn’t mean a lot to me, just took up my time and space- pretend shopping, just surfing IG, shopping randomly (especially at Target), going all the places to avoid quiet, staying introverted instead of connecting with others.
My Biggest challenge from last year was just not taking care of myself. I am a mom to two kids under 3. I have two businesses and an extra side job with no real childcare. I am a stay at home and work from home mom, and the stress is REALLY getting to me. I am having such a hard time giving myself boundaries and being happy. I am overwhelmed and stressed and finances are still tight, so it doesn’t even seem worth it.
What Fires me Up:
1) Decorating. I LOVE renovating and updating our house!
2) Alone Time!: I really need more of this!
3) Entrepreneurship: I love building something and watching it grow
4) Jesus: I have learned that I MUST lean on Him!
5) Wine, Coffee, and Chocolate: Self Medication ☺
Here is the link to my Pinterest board! https://www.pinterest.com/amanda_ready/making-things-happen-2015/
Would love to enter for the conference!! ☺
I like to get people going, and I’m learning that this happens through my words both written and spoken. So seeing that happen in people’s lives gets me fired up.
What didn’t work for me last year was fear, worry, jealousness, and the like. My journey to freedom has been a journey, but He’s getting me there.
My biggest challenge was negative self talk, and losing sight of who God says I am., but I’m determined to NOT let that deter me this year. I wrote about it here:
You are speaking truth into my life, Lara! I felt like I didn’t live with purpose last year. My excuse was that I couldn’t understand where the Lord was leading me, but that isn’t the correct approach. I must live on purpose wherever He has me. This year it is my goal to be intentional in every way possible. I know that I will fall short of this goal, but I am not going to give up.
What were some of the challenges from 2014 and what did you learn from them?
My biggest challenge in 2014 was keeping up. I felt like the world was moving around me at 100 mph and I could never quite get life in my grasp – or at least catch up to it. It was such a blessing of a year but come New Years Eve I was exhausted, I was crying, I was totally spent. When I should have been celebrating all the gifts God had blessed me with in 2014. I didn’t have any processes in place, I was just waking up, surviving, and crashing into bed. I used the word “busy” a lot to the people I love.
I learned that being “busy” isn’t being successful. I learned that “surviving” isn’t being successful. I learned that taking a week to put all deadlines on hold to put better processes in place is OK. It’s OK!! In fact, that is what I am doing this week. :o) And I thought I would feel like a nervous wreck, but I feel a sense of calm today.
What fires you up?
Inspirational words on paper or print. Triumphant stories of women my age who are in the same place as I am, coffee or dessert brain breaks with friends and no technology allowed, prayer, focus music, hugs from my husband, kisses from my puppy dog, seeing girls wear our clothing brand and post pictures with smiles, giving surprised to others.
My Pinterest Board:
Biggest Challenges in 2014 – Endless Overwhelm. I changed jobs and it was never ending work, which caused me to neglect time with my kids and hubby. Even though, I left that position for something else, I didn’t quite learn my lesson, because 2015 started the same. Then I stumbled onto Lara’s blog at the very end of last year and purchased her book. The first 3 chapters had me in tears, because I couldn’t believe someone could so clearly identify with my struggle of perfection and pushing myself to fatigue to prove that I was worthy. I am learning that God is enough and I don’t need to be the savior because I already have one :). I am also learning to be still (and do the right things). That has always been so HARD for me.
What fires me up?
Sending silly time with my kids
Quality time with my husband (no kids around) – LOL
Speaking life into my friends and family
My Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/kshatter/make-it-happen-2015/
Ah! YAY! I’m all about bath and beauty products that are paraben/icky-chemical free, because they are often better for us, animals (animal testing makes me sick to my stomach, and the planet. Love the picks that you shared! I pinned them over here > https://www.pinterest.com/pin/183803228518665952/
Also on Insta! > https://instagram.com/p/zItR2wvmgA/?modal=true
The biggest thing that hasn’t been working this year, and probably many years before, is just all the ways I don’t take care of myself well. I need more sleep. And vegetables. And exercise.
So I’ve learned, and we’ve learned as a couple, that we need to be super intentional and set hard boundaries or none of those things will happen ever. We finally set ourselves a bed time, and it is so good.
I love thinking about what fires me up! It so important to remember when scheduling my life and what to say yes to and what to say no to! Photography, singing, laughter, kids, hearing how God is working in people’s lives, coffee meetup, and so much more, make me happy!
Pinned in pinterest!
A couple challenges I experienced last year were…
1. I wanted to go back to school to get my masters degree, but didn’t have the finances to cover all of my expenses. Aside for the donations I received from friends and family, the only other option I had for funding was a private student loan (and that turned out to not be an option at all).
It hurt for a moment and I was disappointed that I wasn’t going to be able to go back to school (at least for now), but I knew (and know) that God’s plan is ALWAYS better than mine. The money that was donated, I used for a down payment on a car. (Before spending the money, I contacted everyone who gave and offered them their money back. All but one gladly told me to keep it and put it towards my future.)
2. For the past few years, it’s been a challenge getting a full time job for a couple of reasons. Up until last August, I didn’t have my own car, so I had to borrow my sister’s car and worked mostly on the weekends, part-time. Now that I have my car, I work more at my current job, but it’s still part-time, and it’s for the most part, just a job.
After emailing and applying for many jobs, I finally decided that maybe I needed to have a professional resume prepared. So, I paid to have that done. Initially, it did get me more replies and an interview, but there is still a problem. I’ve noticed that, it’s not that I don’t have a great resume, it’s the experience (at least on paper) and/or location that’s been a problem. Because of this experience, it really has had me considering more, the idea of starting my own business(es). I’ve learned that I have to stay consistent, patient, and persistent no matter what.
A few things that fire me up…
1. I get fired up about helping others plan the best event for them- whether it’s weddings, a baby shower, a party, etc.
2. MARRIAGE! Marriage (when done God’s way) is a beautiful thing. I’ve never been married, but I desire to be one day.
3. Helping others to be their best selves and knowing their worth.
4. Anything that has to do with the ARTS.
I love your “I need more Jesus” print. It’s an awesome reminder!! I definitely need to hang it up in my office.
Oh—- the things that did not work. There were a LOT. But the biggest one was trying to build a platform. I lost my voice. I lost myself. I lost my purpose. I even lost the progress I made on creating a platform. I learned that while it is important for me to have goals and to intentionally build something worthwhile, I must do it in a way that reflects me and the heart Jesus gave me. Formulas are great. I just forgot to plug ME into them. #2015goalsetting (PS- I pinned this post)
I linked back to this series in my 2015 Goal Setting post! > https://www.ouryellowdoor.com/2015-goals/
2014 was in a broad glance good. However if I’m being honest I had things that didn’t work. Like it’s all about honesty here it goes in a nutshell… I started a relationship that I knew from the start was not going anywhere. I lost some weight out of guilt, BUT God in His great mercy helped me get out of it. Bless good friends who are willing to speak truth to your hardened heart. While the whole thing wasn’t the best, all things work for good for those who love the Lord because I’ve strengthened my relationship with God. and ladies He is Good!
What didn’t work for me in 2014 was being a people pleaser. It’s getting easier and easier to stop saying what people want to hear just to make them happy (while in the process, making me miserable).
Pinned on Pinterest!
So I also fell victim to the “comparison” trap. It’s honestly a tough one for me at times. I also underestimated the difficulty of working outside the home full time while having a newborn and a school-aged child. It was a lot to juggle and I didn’t always do it well. Which then made me feel awful, so that didn’t work either. This year I’ve been better about being more forgiving toward myself. I’ve also been trying to focus less on my to do list, and more on just enjoying time with my family.
Thank you for sharing some tips on natural products! We have been on a learning journey throughout this past year as well with Derek’s health and I had those same horrifying thoughts when I discovered just what is living within our walls. The things I thought were good and healthy weren’t at all! It’s been a slow process of change, but progress over perfection right? 🙂