I am working on Lara Casey’s 2017 Goal Setting Series. Here is my reflection of Part 1 of 5.
- Part 1: Getting Started (Steps 1-3)
- Part 2: Cultivate What Matters (Steps 4-6)
- Part 3: Say Yes, Say No, Choose a Word
- Part 4: Uncover Intentional Goals & Part 5: Make It Happen
Back in the summer of 2014, I started thinking about making goals in my life. It was a rather foreign concept at the time. I said back then:
I never gave much thought to having life goals before now. (Well, except for the huge goal of finding a good husband when I was still single. ;-)) Seriously, I always imagined “goals” as being grand, lofty things like starting a business or going back to school or writing a book or something. It seemed ridiculous to make those kind of goals when I was just trying to make it to the end of the day with my sanity and perhaps a clean load of laundry. Lately, I’ve definitely been surviving, not thriving. Then I read what Elizabeth Foss said here:
What do you want your life to look like? What do you see as your unique calling? These might be grand, lofty, complex things, like starting a ministry or taking a mission trip. But they might also be less grandiose, but deeply textured things like running a well-ordered home and opening your doors to your neighbors. Honestly, for right now, in this season, one of your primary goals might just be to get some sleep!
Elizabeth recommended Lara Casey’s Powersheets and I decided to give them a try. They were truly instrumental in helping me evaluate what is most important in my life and what I’d like to achieve. Lara showed me how to make big goals and break them down in manageable bits that reflected my season in life. It has been successful over the last two years, making improvements and progress in various area of my life.
However, when I completed the Powersheets, my youngest was still in diapers and I had little ones at home with me during the day. That season was different compared to now. This is the first year that I have all my kids in school all day and while other commitments keep me busy, I have some flexibility and more time to pursue other things that I couldn’t with little ones under foot.
I was debating whether or not to order Lara’s powersheets again but I was hesitant to spend the money because I was trying to reign in my spending after the holidays. Well, God bless Lara because she offered a 5-day Goal Setting course on her blog. You can follow along with her powersheets or just use plain paper. I decided to take the course and use my new 2017 bullet journal.
Lara encourages us to share our progress with friends so we can be held accountable to each other. Since sharing these things with you helps me to plant them in my heart, as well as holds me accountable, I share some of the steps in Lara’s course and how I answered them.
Step 1: Evaluate How I Am Doing in Various Areas of my Life (on a scale of 1 – 10.)
I focused on the positive things but also mentioned the “needs work” areas that brought the ratings down.
Heath (6) – Progress made: I am few pounds lighter than last year and completed my summer 100 Miles in 100 Days challenge. Yay! Although, lately I have been slacking off, especially with the holidays. Too little walking and way too many sweets has made me feel less than healthy.
Friends (7) – I have made some wonderful connections with online friends, meeting many of them in person. So fun! However, I haven’t seen many of my nearby real life friends in ages! There is always an excuse or reason we’re busy but I crave some girl time. I am feeling the tug to make it happen.
Family (8) – I used this category is for extended family. I feel like we are keeping a good connection with each other, especially after starting a private FB group just for our family. In regards to my mom-in-law, my FIL’s death has brought us closer, although I could work on being a little more patient with her when our ideas on life clash, especially now that she needs more help attention as she gets older.
Wife (8) – I think our marriage is going strong and we are making sure we have alone time together. The main thing I want to work on is to continue to do a daily act of kindness for Brian. He always does so much for me, it is my way to say thank you and let him know I appreciate his love and friendship.
Mom (7) – It’s harder to be positive about this because there is always room for improvement as a mom, but I have good kids who are kind to others, relatively well behaved in public, love God and want to serve Him in their little ways. The areas that need work are having more one-on-one time with the kids, especially after school. They need my full attention for homework so I have make sure I have all my stuff done so I can focus on them. I’d also like better consistency in our family evening prayer.
Homemaking – (6) – Progress has been made over the years with better meals, some pockets of messiness cleaned up and a much better morning routine. (I haven’t been late for school once all year!!) But there is still much more decluttering to do. Frankly, we just have too much stuff. There is also a list of house projects I’d like to start.
Finances (3) – Ugh. This is the area I need the most work on this year. On the positive side, I have given more to charity and we have saved some but I sorely need to update our budget and stop spending money on spur of the moment purchases. I’d like to be more intentional in my spending and stop contributing to the “too much stuff” problem.
Spiritual (7) – I have definitely read Scripture more this year than any other year, thanks to the Blessed Is She devotions. I’ve practiced trusting in God when nothing else made sense. My desire to pray for others has grown and there have been moments when I really felt connected to God. As for improvements, I need consistency. Morning prayer when the kids are at school is much easier but while they were home during vacation, I had such a tough time quieting myself before God. Plus my night exams have been spotty at best. So I’d like to work on consistency and giving God’s time with me top priority.
Blogging (6) – I’ve written less this year but I think I have made better connections with online friends. To be honest, I added this category but right now it is not a huge priority. I have no “plan” to grow the blog. I simply use it as a way to express my thoughts and stay connected with you. I don’t really care if it grows and it’s not a money maker so if I could post just once a week (maybe twice, if I’m feeling crazy,) I’d be happy.
Recreation (8) – Now that the kids are older it’s much easier to have pockets of time to myself so this area is fine (minus the above mentioned needed girl time.)
STEP 3A: What good things happened this year?
I made a page of highlights, including trying to look at the good in bad situations. My father-in-law died but he was surrounded by those he loved the last days of his life and passed away peacefully as his son read Scripture to him and prayed over him. Even with my mom getting cancer, the surgery was successful and she is well today. Those are both blessings.
Step 3B – What lessons did you learn in 2016?
- Life is short. Let go of the little stuff that bugs you.
- When you are at your weakest, God is at his strongest lifting you up.
- Family is everything.
- Close friends can become a second family.
- Enjoy the little blessings (and crazy kid moments) each day because they will be what matter most in the end.
- Even in the darkest moments, you can still find beauty or a smile if you search for it.
I’ll post Day 2 tomorrow. In the meantime, if you want to know more about making goals that fit your season in life – whether they be lofty or simple – I strongly recommend following the series. Lara is so positive, yet honest about her struggles, that you really feel like you have a friend who cares and wants to bring out the best in you. 🙂
Happy 2017 and see you back tomorrow!
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