Hello, 2013! Or, as we say in our neck of the woods, howdy! Well, my 2013 didn’t start exactly like I thought it would. Grace decided to party like it was 1999 and make some molars after midnight on New Year’s Eve, so we got a blissful four hours of sleep. I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty angry around 4am. I just got done with the flu and then it’s molar makin’ time. Ugh.
But, friends, something wonderful happened…
I remembered all the things that worked in 2012 and all the things that didn’t and it gave me great hope and an unexpected burst of energy. From past experience, I knew there was great possibility ahead and that difficult things in 2012 changed me for the better. So, I decided to take action and spent the entire day yesterday gutting the house for 2013. I’m glad y’all weren’t here with me because I probably would have Windexed you. I woke up really really tired of all the stuff in our lives and all the clutter that was holding me back. I played this song (my song right now!) really loud and literally gave away half of the clothes in my closet and simplified so much of our lives here in one day. Less stuff = less to clean up every day. Less stuff = more to fully appreciate. Less clutter = a simplified life. I conquered our bedroom, closets, bathroom and the kitchen so far. The attic and my office are next. My vision for my life became very clear after doing steps 1-3 and it’s really hard NOT to act on things when you find clarity.
Another amazing copper print above from Amber Moon.
While I sorted about 20 drawers full of loose pennies and paperclips, I thought long and hard about Steps 4-6:
STEP 4: What are the three biggest things you learned from what DID work?
I particularly loved Emily Thomas’ answers to this in the comments (second comment). I share those same sentiments for both lists. To add to that, here is what I learned from what did work (and I wrote these as notes to self):
1. “Bad” things will happen in life and God is right there in those challenging times, refining your heart and make you more like Him. That is a very good thing. You will be able to experience deeper joy because of the challenging things that crack your heart wide open. Welcome the challenges prayerfully and with trust. God is good. All the time.
2. God will never ever ever lead you astray. Time with Him is always life-changing and good for you and everyone in your life. Time with God is never unproductive. What is unproductive is when you try to do everything on your own. That leads you in circles.
3. You are on the right path.
STEP 5: What are the three biggest things you learned from what DIDN’T work?
1. Worry and stress got you nowhere and just wasted a whole lot of time.
2. Busy is the opposite of happy. Too many projects spreads you thin. Slow down. Don’t plan so much this year. Do less and do it very well, with great passion.
3. My favorite Bible verse: He who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. – James 4:17 Work hard at doing good always. Humble yourself. Give your authentic heart to the people right in front of you.
STEP 6: DO more of what fires you up and then write out your 2013 Vision.
I closed my computer after writing the last post and was so fired up! I did what I said I would do and physically did some of the things that fire me up… laughing with Grace, loving on Ari, singing and dancing in the kitchen, praying, reading the Bible, encouraging my mom, etc. I found myself enjoying laughter more and savoring moments in a new deeper way. I also read my lists to Ari to encourage him. He was amazed at how much has changed. Little light bulbs started to go off. I started to see my 2013 Vision slowly unfold.
Another word of caution about this process – it’s a process. This isn’t about having the perfect answer right away and it’s OK to change your mind about something! So, my 2013 Vision is a work in progress. The goal is for your LIFE Vision to become clearer with every day you are on this earth. Refine it. Act on it. Try new things. Get rid of old things. I encourage you to revisit your 2013 Vision often and refine it.
Click the image above to download a free printable for your 2013 Vision! I’m printing mine for my desk so I have it in front of me always.
I asked myself all of these questions first:
– Where do you want to be when you are 80? Alive, healthy, a faithful active servant of God, knowledgable about the Bible so I can share it with others, having given everything away for others, someone who teaches people about God through my actions.
– Why do you do what you do? Because, through my life experience, I have come to believe that you do not have to sacrifice what matters to make big things happen. You have to get your heart in the right place and make what matters happen. That is why I do consulting and branding. I want people to have businesses that serve their lives, not the other way around. That is why I love what we do with Southern Weddings. Because I want couples to have marriages that thrive on the good stuff – joy and giving and family… and biscuits : ).
– What kind of life do you want to live this year? One that serves and gives and that has a Heaven-bound perspective. A life where I am physically and spiritually strong (same thing in my mind) in order to serve others faithfully and create lots of positive good in the world.
MY VISION FOR 2013: Humble, strong, quick to listen and slow to speak, colorful, purposeful, clear. I will work hard with my hands for God’s purpose. I see a life with more solitude and joy, new friendships and deeper relationships with those I love. My vision for 2013 is to serve others in as many ways as possible. My 2013 vision is to be a light.
Ready for the next steps? I am!
STEP 7: Here’s where things get fun. You now know what did work in 2012, 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 coming to life this year. Make your list of 20 things you are saying NO to in 2013. I encourage you to share them here.
STEP 8: 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?
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 list your 20 things you are saying YES to here in the comments 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.
A bonus step before we move on to the final steps tomorrow… pick a word for 2013. Do this after you finish steps 1-8. What one word really resonates with you for the coming year? I’ll share my word and my progress on Step 7 and 8 tomorrow. Also, in case you are wondering, the MAKING THINGS HAPPEN part of this series will come after we’re done with all 10 Goal Setting Steps. You better believe we’re going to put some of this in action together! THAT I am very excited about. Let’s do this!