You’re probably thinking: “Rachel, it’s February. Why are you talking about 2014 Goal Setting?!”
Because, to quote Lara Casey, “There’s nothing magical about January 1st.”
How depressing would it be if you could only “officially” set goals on one day of the year? Forget social conventions, forget “New Year’s Resolutions”, forget the new start you promised yourself and then promptly dropped.
Start over. Set some new goals. Make It Happen.
My friend Nicole, because she is the Knower Of All Epic Things On The Internet, introduced me to Lara Casey’s PowerSheets (she also introduced me to the Vlogbrothers and Vera Bradley, but that’s another story). PowerSheets are basically an extensive discovery project, wherein you clarify for yourself what are the most important goals to YOU and how you want to take steps to make them happen. The PowerSheets* – which you can buy here – have been a wonderful tool for me, but you certainly don’t need magical sheets to set goals. You can even follow Lara’s 2014 Goal Setting Series (click the image below) and get some of the benefits of going through the PowerSheets without purchasing them.
Although I would really suggest that you do purchase them. If you regret it, I will personally buy you ice cream.
My PowerSheets arrived mid-January, and I filled out some of the initial prep-work before diving into February, armed with my 5 Goals and a lot of tentatively hopeful feelings. I like planning for new things. I like goal-setting, I like making lists, I like writing about the kind of life I want to have, I like dreaming. But I struggle with follow through.
In a nutshell, the last year of my life was insanity. I became someone’s girlfriend for the first time, turned 21, got engaged, bought/remodeled (mostly ourselves) a house with my fiancé, planned a wedding, lived with my future in-laws, got married, quit my job, and tried to figure out how to be a wife.
For much of 2013, I could only focus on what was directly in front of me. What colors had to be picked out? Do the bridesmaids need matching dresses? Did we fill out that paperwork? Did I send that family an invitation? Where did that hole in the wall come from? Am I still going to fit into my wedding dress after eating all of this pasta during my second emotional breakdown carb fest of the month?
You get the idea.
I set out in 2013 with marvelous intentions, and then they all got tossed aside for the sake of what had to happen NOW. It was a beautiful year, I am so grateful for it, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But I want to live intentionally in 2014 and make my goals become reality.
Here are my 5 Goals of 2014:
1. I want to glorify and enjoy Jesus Christ, and I want to have an authentic, thriving relationship with Him.
2. I want to be intentional about cultivating a healthy, joyful, loving and respectful Christ-centered marriage with Hans.
3. I want to embrace self-care.
4. I want to create things that inspire, encourage, and lead others closer to Christ.
5. I want to develop a simple, responsible, and sustainable lifestyle.
My word for 2014 (yes, I chose a word…don’t laugh) is SIMPLIFY. I want to cut out the excess to make room for the essential. Excess stress, Facebook, relationships, commitments, and possessions…it all has to go.
These are my February Goals. Each one ties to one of my main 5 Goals.
1. Watch the Passion Conference Livestream.
2. Pray with Hans about a couple to mentor us.
3. Develop a healthy morning routine.
4. Blog at least twice a week.
5. Pare down my book collection.
Hayley Morgan of The Tiny Twig put the above quote on her blog a few weeks ago, in relation to self care. Let me tell you…self care feels selfish. Our Christian culture tells us to serve! serve! serve! with precious little about taking care of ourselves. Now, I am not advocating that we kick service to the curb. Jesus was a servant, through and through. But, He also took time to go and be with His Father alone.
Matthew 22:36-40 (ESV) – “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Loving your neighbor means you have to love yourself. You have to fill yourself up in order to pour out into others, or else you will run dry. You have to fill your car up with gas in order to go places, right? Likewise, fill yourself up. Do things that are good for you. Spend time in the Word and prayer, take a walk, eat a salad, laugh with your spouse, light a candle and pour yourself some tea and read that book you’ve been wanting to read since forever.
Why should YOU set goals?
To quote Lara Casey again, “Everyone ends up somewhere. Few people end up somewhere on purpose.” Do you want to drift through life, allowing the hits life hands you to knock you off course, only reacting to life instead of reaching out and making YOUR life happen? Of course you don’t!
Figure out what’s important to you (what gets you excited, what you’re gifted at, what you have been called to do, etc.) and then figure out where you want to be in those areas. Set goals, break them down into achievable steps (monthly, weekly, even daily) and then go after it. It’s really as simple as that.
What are your 2014 Goals? How are you going to make them happen?
*Disclaimer: I don’t know Lara Casey and I received no compensation for writing this post.