My husband and I have conceded to the fact that we are in our busiest years of life with two young children at home (and a dog!), his job, my business, commitments to to our community, friends, family and church, etc . So about mid-2017 we sat down and tried to be very clear about our goals in life. Not just this year, in all of life. When we're 80, God-willing, and looking back on our life, what it is that we will be proud of? I tell you what, a perfectly curated Instagram feed did NOT come up. Because how we spend our time, is how we spend our life. We understand that if we're not careful- life will happen by accident. Our daily lives felt like fire-fighting, our to-do list was running us, not the other way around. Things were having to drop off our schedule. But were they the right things? Was I saying NO to the right things?
So I sat down to think about my life. What do I want? More importantly, why am I here. Why was I created? Throughout the month of December, I started working through Powersheets by Lara Casey which is basically a goal book- but one more up my street. I love her approach to goals and life and it really resonated with that way Eddie and I were thinking earlier in the year. What really matters? And how do we make what really matters, happen?
One of the things Lara asks you to do when uncovering your goals is to pick a word for the year. A word that really hones into what you want to achieve. I chose the word CLARITY. Clear, no fuss, no grey area, straight down the line, minimalism, no clutter, etc. It really represents how I want to organise my life in the next season, years, or life. As I have been mulling over this word and working out the wrinkles in the past week of how I can find my cadence in the every day, this phrase just popped into my head: "stop chasing someone else's dream". I realised, unknowingly, and I'm talking about in business here, I was chasing what other people wanted. Instagram and social media had played such a part in what I thought I wanted. I see fellow business owners growing and going, going going! I think I felt that I can achieve that too! I am good enough too! I want a beautiful new website too! I can push out that many orders too! I can actually achieve all that too! And, you know what, I probably could. I could if I stayed up late every night, woke up early every morning, worked on the weekends, never had friends over for dinner, never stopped to encourage someone in their life, etc. But I don't want that life. No wonder nothing was ever clear. I've been subconsciously chasing a "success story" defined by a world that doesn't share my goals. Saturdays will be for family days out, Sundays will be for rest, walks and going to church. My evenings will be for talking, laughing and Netflixing with my husband or having friends over for dinner, my mornings will be for sleep and school runs, some days will be work and some days will be running my home and loving on my baby. Just writing that out makes me smile- that is what I want, clearly.
So, just for the sake of sharing, here are my goals for 2018 (or for the next season as goals may change):
1. Sow for myself righteousness.
First and foremost, I want to know my God more, I want to love Him more and grow in the joy and peace that can never come from the world around me.
2. Grow together as a family unit.
I felt that many times, with all of life's demands, we were four separate people with four different strands of life and they crossed paths. I want to take more intentional time out as a family, like one organism, and find a rhythm, all with a common goal: to love each other. This year is about lots of cuddles.
3. Enjoy running a profitable business.
ENJOY! Key word. I absolutely love the business God has given me and I loving running it well, but I'm in a season in my life (as mentioned above) where I cannot put as many hours as others may do. I will be OK with that. I will enjoy this season of life and enjoy the works of my hands. I will grow slow and be content. My work will be life-giving to my family, not taking life from my family.
4. Cultivate a life-giving home
We often have dinner parties and people over- it's part of being in Christian community. People love, people share, people are not selfish- it's one of God's many gifts. I love opening my home to people to love on them, laugh with them, play games with them, etc. I love watching my children explore and use their imaginations, I love watching our garden bloom in the springtime. I love space to breath, places to rest, minimalism with warmth. That all takes time. This needs to be cultivated and intentionally fostered.
5. Feel great physically.
I will invest in my body.My me-time and exercise was always the first I would say "no" to. As I serve others, I always thought I can take back burner. And this may be true a lot of the times. I want to take care of myself without being selfish. By taking care of the body God gave me to run through life with, I will be happier and feel better and more energetic to take on life's challenges. Here's to a year of regular exercise, healthy eating and drinking the juices my husband makes me drink every day (thanks Jason Vale).
6. Be salt and light in all of my relationships.
This is a Biblical reference, but perfectly sums up out I want to live my days with the people around me. Loving on them, serving them, speaking truth to them, encouraging them, crying with them, praying with them, laughing with them. Y'all, no one when they were 80 looked back on life and wished they worked harder, they always look back and reflect on the relationships they had or didn't have. Aside from loving our creator, we were created for community. Can I encourage you to love on someone today?
So those are my goals for this year! I hope to keep my head clear and focus on what matters most to me! Kerry Lyons, another stationer who just came out with The Imperfect Life planner (of which I'm a proud user) shared something earlier in the year that really resonated with me. It was something like: Try replacing "I don't have time for that" with "That's not my priority" and see how that sits. Now, I think about this every time I feel those words about to roll off my tongue "I don't have ti...". My goals may not be your goals. That's fine. But have a good long think about your life. What are your REAL goals? What are your priorities, really? Here's to a year of clarity! Focusing on my priorities, not anyone else's. I hope the same for you.
P.S. Random bit of advice, should you be wanting any: (especially for those with children) is to set CLEAR boundaries in your schedule. Get the work you can get done in work time, so that you can be 100% PRESENT any other time. No more having a fuzzy head full of stuff, no more mom guilt! It's not about checking things off a to do list, its about making progress! Make 'progress' every time you sit down to work and stop when it's time to stop. You can pick it up again when it's time to and make a little more progress. Mamas, go love those babies!