I’ve stopped and started this post on many occasions, because the truth is, it’s far more honest and vulnerable than I’d like to be… at least for right now.
You see, as much as God has given me the gift of openness, I admit to few that it’s only after I’ve walked through the hard stuff- only after I’ve come out the other side or at least seen the light at the end of the tunnel- that I dare to open up and welcome people in.
I retreat to wrestle in private; to process on my own, in quiet places where only those who have seen me at my worst will witness my deepest struggles – the places where Im still broken, unsure and weak.
I dare not broadcast the unravelling before I can give hope to my hurting and reason to my struggle. Why? Because I want to feel strong not weak. Empowered not Dishevelled. And while I “pride” myself on being vulnerable and honest with people, its still masked in layers of an exhausting pursuit for perfection.
I can relate to far too much of this and that needs to change. But not in my own strength; by the power of the only one who can truly love us unconditionally, heal us and make ALL THINGS NEW.
So how does this relate to goal setting and my hesitancy in sharing my own goals for 2015?
I’m right in the thick of it friends. Nothings wrapped up pretty yet or conquered and I sit, humbled on my knees, knowing that these goals are deeply personal and not necessarily “business focused or approved.” They’re messy, unfinished and raw.
But I’m ready to fight… to kick the pursuit of perfection right where it hurts and it starts right now, by letting you in.
“Vulnerability is showing up and having the courage to be seen.” – Brene Brown
If I’ve learnt anything in my walk with the Lord, it’s that each time my walls go up, when I’m adverse to doing something yet continually forced to go back, I know it’s for a reason.
There is someone, maybe YOU, that needs to read my words and hear my heart.
I’m trusting him to speak into the deepest recesses of your spirit- to the places that you’ve brushed aside, ignored and dare not shine a light on- and asking that he’d give you courage to ask the hard questions and take action to make what matters happen this year….
The Legacy We Leave
While it can be tempting to dive in and start writing out our dreams and the secret desires of our heart, I don’t believe we can start there when it comes to setting intentional goals. And by intentional, I mean goals that have roots and are grounded in the things that will matter when all is said in done.
Before we cast visions of our next victory and fancy our desired accomplishments for the year, we need to start right back at the vary beginning… actually in this case, THE END!
We need to ask ourselves who is it we want to become, what legacy we want to leave and how we want to be remembered when we’re gone.
It’s in working backwards that we see clearly whether the things we are choosing to invest our time into now, are truly the best things.
While done is better than perfect, I believe Good can be the enemy of Best, when it comes to God’s plans and will for our lives.
We can spend our entire lives chasing what we think we want or desire, only to discover that what we achieved was meaningless in the grand scheme of things.
‘I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.’ – Bob Geoff | Love Does
So let me ask you:
- If you could envision your most purposeful year yet what would it look like?
- Why do these things matter to you?
- Where do you want to be when you’re eighty?
For me, it boils down to this.
- I want my business to work for me, not the other way around! I want it to provide for my family financially and operate on the same cash based system that has allowed Dave and I to find financial freedom and live debt free.
- I want to release my expectations of myself for life this year, embrace the unknowns as we enter a new season as parents and give myself grace as we discover our new “normal”
- I want to live with more margin in our schedules, less demands/ “have to’s” and more open weekends
- I want to know my identity in Christ alone, fully accept his love for me just as I am, and find freedom in the areas I still need healing
- I want to share and live vulnerability, allowing God to continue using my experiences, my mistakes, my brokenness and my past to bring others to him
- I want to continue deepening our marriage bond and serving/loving my husband the way he needs
Why do these things matter? So I can experience all that God has planned for me, live in the peace, contentment and joy he offers me and continue discovering that truly all I need is more of Jesus and less of me.
When I’m 80, I want to be ready and excited to meet my saviour, hearing the words, “well done, my child. You chose what was best!”
…I want to know in the deepest recesses of my heart that I used this one life to make a difference; to have loved unconditionally, served selflessly, lived passionately and was gratefully full of joy!
My 2015 Goals
So with these things in mind, I share with you my intentional and purposeful 2015 goals; the ones I’ve wrestled with, prayed through and nervously etched on paper, knowing they are God’s will for me even more than my own.
This year, I’m taking the leap and living radically … radically free from my own control and surrendering to all that HE has planned for me.
1. Pursue Peace – with myself, God, others and life
- Action Steps: Study the bible in the areas that steal peace from me, simplify my life, and implement the strategies and teachings God reveals through books and teachings such as, “Simplify.”
2. Find freedom and healing – from the parts of my past I’ve stuffed down deep and in the areas I have yet to experience victory from their control
- Action Steps: Uproot the lies I’ve believed about myself (negative self talk) and replace it with truth (verbally speak it out loud over myself), believe God for healing, listen to my body for what it needs (exercise, food and rest) rather than do things out of guilt or fear and spend time alone with God sharing my heart each day. Oh what freedom! I can taste it…
3. Cease Striving – and the Pursuit of Perfection
- Action Steps: Take life day by day by praying each morning for what God wants me to do and focus on THAT DAY (not tomorrow, next week or next year), flexible work schedule, taking a maternity leave, stopping when I become frustrated rather than pushing through, walking away when I become paralyzed in worry rather than trying to figure things out, releasing my expectations and embracing what is, even pain
4. Serve my Family – making them my priority over business goals/growth/achievement and pleasing others
- Action Steps: Taking care of our home (cleaning), weekly date nights, taking maternity leave, taking planned longer vacations throughout the year, more “unplugged” social-media free weekends, not doing things out of guilt, less scheduled commitments (even social)
5. My business working for me – rather than me being slave to my business
- Action Steps: Drawing a salary, moving business to cash based system, sticking to a business budget, creating new goals and projections for THIS season of life, limiting distractions (social media/ taking on new and extra projects)
6. Make much of Jesus, not me – using my experience, giftings and influence for his glory alone
- Action Steps: Use my words to share his message (in person, social media, blogging, books etc), only post what points to him, share my story vulnerably, write/ post only when God puts something on my heart
7. Focus every business effort on helping people discover and fight for what matters most – marriage, relationships and faith
- Action Steps: Being intentional and brave in my blog posts, releasing my workbook, Be My Own Wedding Planner, aligning everything I post and share with this message, investing in other entrepreneurs who share or desire to share this mission
8. Make more room for community – and face-to-face time with people
- Action Steps: Continue leading and attending small groups, connect with other entrepreneurs in person (or via Skype when not possible), visit family and friends, invite neighbours over
What is it that you want to make happen this year? What would your life look like if you set intentional goals that paved the way, starting TODAY, to a life that truly means something? Start now. Start anywhere. Grab a pen and paper and begin with those 3 questions I wrote in the beginning.
Written by an inspiring woman and childhood acquaintance of mine, I could not think of a better note of encouragement to leave you on.
May it remind you that your work matters, inspire you to keep going, comfort you where it hurts and whisper that nothing worth while was ever easy!
Stay true to who you are, my friend [and whose you are] and the things that God has called you to.
“Blessed are those who regret saying no to a lucrative opportunity that falls outside their values.
No sum of money is worth abandoning what is important to you. Your time will come.
Blessed are those who feel they are unsuccessful in their work.
Tomorrow is a new day. Success is yours to define.
Blessed are those who risk failure in the eyes of the world.
Failure is a trustworthy teacher. It is the litmus test that your bravery is real.
Blessed are those who dare to do excellent work for a tribe of ten rather than dishing up mediocrity for the majority.
You are unique and inspiring.
Blessed are those who feel paralyzed when they step out of their comfort zone.
The world outside your secure bubble is precisely where the magic happens.”