Purposeful Hopes for 2016
A while back I stopped posting my monthly goals because I didn't feel that they fit in with the overall content that I wanted to provide for people on the blog. I still love sharing about goal setting, and I do want to continue sharing yearly goals because I think they are important and I love intentionally walking into my year rather than aimlessly wandering into it. Maybe you want the same and can glean a little bit from this post that might help you in your own process!
It's so crazy to think that this is only my second year doing this, but I honestly cannot imagine going into another year without laying out some purposeful hopes for it. That's what I like to call my goals - purposeful hopes. They are areas of my life I am trusting God for while simultaneously taking action on...but they are all held in open hands, ready if God wants to change them.
I use the PowerSheets to set my goals. This is my second year using them and they are absolutely critical for me in the process. Something so big as setting goals for the year has become one of the most exciting times of refreshment for me using this tool. This is the giant list of lessons I learned in 2015...I texted a picture of this to my husband immediately because I just couldn't believe how much there was. I was reminded through reading over these how God has answered sooo many prayers, even some from years and years ago.
One of my favorite parts of the PowerSheets is that you are given the chance to work through the past year, what has been working, what hasn't been working, what fires you up, what you want to be true of your life when you're 80, etc....BEFORE making any goals for the upcoming year. I love the prep work because it acts as a soul cleanser for me. Writing things down helps me to process and get all the swirly things in my head out and making sense. When I can look back through all my prep work and see themes, it makes goal setting a whole lot more productive and purposeful.
Here's another sheet from the prep work in the PowerSheets...what fires me up. These are the top 10 things (there are sooo many more) that really set my heart on fire, fill up my cup and bring me joy. I'm going to be focusing more on these things this year.
Okay now for 2016 goals! I have 12 verses that go along with each and I will be praying through all my goals each month using one of the verses to guide my thinking and my doing in each area.
- Grow in hospitality // Because Jesus valued this highly and I just don't feel like I totally grasp the concept yet. There are many ways that I'm sure I do this well, it's what the foundation of my business is built on - using food to gather people and deepen relationships - but I know there is SO much more to this concept and I want to dive in. I'll be reading scripture on this, reading a few books, seeking to invite strangers into our home more (really hard for me), invite more of our church family into our home, and share what I'm learning online as I feel prompted.
- Healthy postpartum and breastfeeding experience // This was a huge struggle for me after Reaghan was born, and wasn't something I would say I was relaxed about until 8 months in. It almost did me in emotionally and mentally way more times than I can count. One of my biggest goals with Everett is to be a healthy, balanced, whole person who is emotionally available to love my family well. I was not any of those things for the majority of Reaghan's first year. Because of this I took all 3 of Lactation Link's online breastfeeding classes (highly recommend!) and have an LC already lined up for immediately after delivery. I'm also going to be encapsulating my placenta for it's hormonal balancing benefits, and plan to spend as much time outside and with other people as I can so I don't become isolated.
- Cultivate peace in my heart and home // I want to experience this despite whatever circumstances come our way. I know our lives will have trials and hardships that we can't even see right now, and I am hoping to grow in the area of peacefulness and patience rather than letting my emotions completely run wild. To do this, I'll be limiting my phone time, creating a Sunday checklist to have a fresh start each week, using my Prayer Journal a lot more often, looking for ways to serve my husband and put him first, and will be reading two books on the subject. I also deactivated my account on Facebook and so far that has been super refreshing and I have noticed the joy in my heart increase!
- Plan and organize my business finances // I've got to get this part of my business organized and under control. Numbers make me freeze up, so I'm outsourcing this to a friend who can do my books for me monthly. This is just necessary for me to keep my business running and be sustainable for years to come. I'll be setting a yearly budget as well so I know what needs to come in income wise to take care of our expenses and make a profit. I'll be reaching out to other business owners for help and also reading a book about it. It's one of my bigger goals to be able to contribute towards our family income one day with my business, and also to be able to give back to people in need through the business as well. I know in order to do this, I need to take some wise financial steps.
- Cultivate meaningful and vulnerable friendships // Because depth with others fills up my well and with a newborn, I'll need lots of well-filling. I also have many friends who I feel genuinely called to love and serve, and want to make that a big priority. In a time when it would be easier to stay at home and isolate myself, I want to push myself to be around friends and love on them even if it feels inconvenient. I'll be praying more for friends, seeking to ask better questions, invite people over more and will be reading a book on intimacy.
- Expand my audience and grow my business // So more women, families and communities can experience the joy of building relationships over food. This is my heart and calling for this business, and more than I want the business to grow to the point of being able to bless my family financially, I want it to impact the hearts and souls of women and spur them on to change their communities with the blessing of hospitality. I feel so strongly that our products help simplify meal planning and cooking so much so that the time spent around the table with people can be savored more fully. For this goal, I'll be scheduling a coaching call with a business coach, protecting my business on the legal end, seeking to build friendships with other small business owners, putting more intentional thought into what I post to Instagram, and reading "Tribes" by Seth Godin.
- Grow in my design skills // Whitney English says not to focus on being bigger, but to focus on being better. I've taken this to heart and I want to spend this year really working on my design skills. I took a very basic class last year to gain the skills necessary to get my business off the ground, but now I feel the urge to learn more and become better at my craft. I'll be seeking out inspiration to focus my style, take a more in depth Adobe Illustrator class, and I'll be asking several graphic design friends for their hands on feedback and help!
- Purposeful, grace-filled parenting // We only get one shot with our kiddos and it is a huge responsibility to train them up. The weight of this is hitting me in profound ways recently. Since my life will be slowing down a lot with a newborn, I plan to spend a lot more time on the floor playing with them. I'll also sit down with Jordan to make a plan for how we want to create family memories this year, and we will start taking Reaghan on individual mommy/daddy dates for that one-on-one time. I'm going to be studying God's word on parenting, and reading several books. I'm also going to be making a point to pray for them specifically, something I have struggled with a ton!
- Healthy boundaries in my work schedule // So I can focus wholeheartedly on each task and live free from distractions. More focused work time means more focused time with my kids and cultivating that rest and peace in my life that I desire. We can't afford Mother's Day Out currently, but I'm going to be actively praying for God to provide for it. In the meantime, I'm going to be reaching out to some family and friends about childcare options so that I can spend larger chunks of time knocking out work, and have a few days a week I can count on for that, rather than trying to juggle it with my toddler walking around. I'll also be listing out all my work tasks and time blocking them for increased productivity, and focusing on the most important things first (designing, planning, blogging, etc) rather than the urgent (emails, texts, social media).
- Cultivate rest and margin // Real rest in the Lord will give my soul peace and refreshment. Sabbath honors the Lord and I need to grow in my understanding of what Sabbath truly means this year. I tried to really protect our time in 2015 but found myself making a lot of excuses. This to me = brain space, calendar space, and less physical clutter. I don't solely want white space on my calendar so that I can hoard my time all to myself - I purposefully want to slow down and create that space so that I am rested and available to accomplish some of my other goals - like building vulnerable friendships, and practicing hospitality. In order for those things to happen, I can't be running from one event to the next. I'll be reading "The Rest of God" by Mark Buchanan, establishing a weekly or bi-weekly day for Sabbath, scheduling some nap times just for reading and rest, seeking to keep 2 weekends a month free of activities, afternoons phone free - replacing with prayer, reading or anything on my "what fires me up" list from the PowerSheets.
As you could probably guess from my goals - my word for the year is PEACE. I had several words that I thought about, including: eternity, joy, passion, and a few others, but peace was the one that I just kept feeling drawn to. I lose patience super quickly. It's been a problem for years and as I've processed what might be causing this, I think it stems from overwhelm, leading to feelings of being out of control, then to impatience, and that just bubbles out of me in the form of anger and restlessness. I especially notice this with Jordan and Reaghan, and I know that something like yelling is caused by a lack of peace in my heart because I'm trying to juggle too many responsibilities or thoughts at the same time. I'm reigning it in and seeking to cultivate more peace in my home and heart this year so that I can live at peace with God, myself, and those that I love the most. This is what a lot of my goals will seek to serve this year, and I'm excited to see how God will change me.