Hi! Happy January!! I'm back from a long blog break with a whole bunch of posts lined up for the new year. To kick off, I want to share my goals/intentions for this new year. This is the third year that I've been using Powersheets to write and track my goals and it's been totally life-changing. They walk you through setting overall goals, then break those down into small, bite-size action steps. I've given some examples for each goal below.
I also love how the Powersheets can work each year with your particular season. My goals for 2016 were short and simple: pray, and read the Bible. When I did my 2016 Powersheets in December of 2015, I was in a dark place. I was drowning in new motherhood with a tiny baby and hadn't yet gotten treatment for what I now know was postpartum depression. I couldn't envision anything other than staying afloat and all I could focus on was clinging to Jesus to get me through.
This year, you'll see that things are a lot different. Praise God that I feel 100% different than I did a year ago. Although I got a lot "done" in 2016, my focus of prayer and Scripture really helped me heal and get me to a place where I could build upon that foundation. This year, my goals look a lot different, but all fall under my personal definition of a "successful" life: living in a way that honors Jesus and leads people to Him by illustrating His goodness.
I'm excited for this year...a year of immense growth and change for our family. A year filled with so many firsts and new things. I have no idea what God has in store but I do know that by walking with Him I'll never be alone!
Without further ado...here are my ten goals for 2017!
GOAL 1: treat my body with kindness and honor the unique way God made me.
Why: "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
I was diagnosed with allergies almost four years ago, and am still mad about it and have struggled with sticking to eating in a way that honors my unique needs. This year, I want to focus on my physical health, not out of a desire for perfection but out of a desire to be kind to my body. My one and only body, that God created intentionally and without mistake. I'm starting to understand that to honor the way God made me is a form of worship, and is honoring to God himself. That's why the verse above jumped out at me. I want to glorify God in my body by taking care of it. Eating well and exercising makes me a more whole version of myself and I'm a more present, patient and fun wife and mom.
- Complete one whole30
- learn to make a few "treats" that honor my body's needs
- Complete three workouts per week from The Balanced Life Sisterhood calendar
- Create a two-week paleo meal plan to rotate for easy meal planning
GOAL 2: Create a lifegiving home for our family and guests, a place of rest and retreat.
Why: "By wisdom is a house built, by understanding is it made firm, and by knowledge are its rooms filled with every precious and pleasing possession." Proverbs 24:3-4
As we settle more into our home, and welcome another child into it, I'm becoming more aware of how I want to use this space that we've been given. This space will become the backdrop for our children's first memories and I want it to be a place that reflects our family's values and a space where they can learn and grow. I also want to equip our space to welcome guests and gather friends and family around our table. As the verse says, I want wisdom to guide all the decisions when it comes to our home, even those trivial things like decorations, so that the whole space is a space that reflects God and our love of Him.
- Read The Lifegiving Home
- Complete The Lifegiving Home Experience
- Have our home blessed
- Swap out art + decor so its more in line with our values
- Replace functional items with more beautiful options
GOAL 3: Prioritize self-care and practice grace-filled rest.
Why: "He (Jesus) said to them, "come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile." Mark 6:31
I love this verse so much. Even Jesus needed to rest, and told his disciples to rest! Rest is so important. It's biblical, it's holy. As I put more on my plate with a second baby, I want to intentionally pursue self-care and REST so that I am filled up in order to pour out for others, namely, my family.
- Re-read The Fringe Hours
- Schedule monthly self-care on my calendar
- Create 3-5 weekly self-care rhythms
- Put "slow Mondays" on the calendar
- Intentionally pursue current and new hobbies
GOAL 4: Savor the slowness of the newborn days with this second baby.
Why: "Better is one handful with tranquility than two with toil and chase after the wind." Ecclesiastes 4:6
When Xavier was teeny, I was in such a hurry. I had this need to prove to myself and the world that "I could do it." I had the mom thing handled. I rushed my recovery. I welcomed all the visitors. I tried to be superwife and supermom and super business owner. And I learned some really valuable lessons. Mostly that rushing is not the way to go. I love the verse that I found when praying about this goal. Basically that LESS with PEACE is better than MORE with STRESS. I want the newborn phase to be filled with peaceful less. Less on our calendar. Less visitors. Less commitments. Less priorities. Lots of snuggles in bed and staying in pajamas all day and truly savoring those days and weeks that are gone all too quick.
- Enroll Xavier in pre-school (will allow for two mornings just me + baby to bond and hang out)
- Prep freezer meals ahead of time for stress-free cooking
- Plan to "cocoon" for first two weeks with minimal visitors
- Hire a VA to handle Etsy things for a few weeks
GOAL 5: Steward Xavier's heart, mind and soul well.
Why: "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
The gift and burden of parenthood is that we are Xavier's first teachers. The ones who will point him to Jesus, teach him values like kindness and courage and generosity and honesty. And that starts now. He is picking up on things now. He is a precious soul from Heaven that we are given responsibility for while on Earth and that is beautiful and humbling and weighty and I don't want to take it for granted.
- Read one parenting book per month
- Pray for and with Xavier daily
- Spend intentional one-on-one time together weekly after the baby is born
- Read to him every day
- Daily floor play together
- Encourage his interested through toys, activities and outings
GOAL 6: Embrace and live out my Catholic faith more fully.
Why: "Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ." Galatians 1:10
This verse was a wake-up call for me when praying through my goals. My Catholic faith is a very important part of who I am, but for the past couple years I've been afraid or hesitant to share much about it. Ever since I gained a "following" online, and that following seemed to be mostly non-Catholic, I've shrank back. I've been afraid of posting something "too Catholic" and losing followers. I've put likes and numbers ahead of something so important to me: my Catholic faith. And I've also given in to fear that I don't know enough about my faith to share it publicly, because what if people push back and I don't know what to say? All of it boils down to one thing: seeking to please man instead of God. I don't want to hide this important and beautiful part of my life. I want to dive even deeper into my Catholic faith and embrace it as the cornerstone of my life that it is.
- Sign up to be a lector at church
- Join the Blessed Is She Sisterhood
- Go to confession monthly
- Make a habit of a daily Rosary
- Include more Catholic decor in our home
- Pray one novena per month
GOAL 7: Cultivate a Christ-centered marriage that glorifies God, honors Matt and is a light to others.
Why: "A cord of three strands is not easily broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12
Gosh, marriage is such a gift! I think my goal really sums up everything I could say. My marriage is a gift and a tool. A tool to draw me closer to Jesus, and a tool to draw others closer to Him, too. I want to focus on that this year.
- Read one marriage book per month
- Complete The Love Dare
- Find creative ways to fill Matt's love tank
- Encourage Matt with scripture
- Read Scripture together
- Pray together daily
GOAL 8: Glorify God in pregnancy + childbirth
Why: "Worthy are you, Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things; because of your will they came to be and were created." Revelations 4:11
I've been conflicted about childbirth ever since finding out I was pregnant. Do I try for an intervention-free birth again? Do I even care to have that experience? Am I trying to somehow "redeem" Xavier's birth story and the fact that I felt shameful that I had an epidural? I began praying for peace about what to do, what path to choose, and like a lightning bolt this came to me clear as day: my only goal is to glorify God. With Xavier's birth, I held natural birth as the highest ideal. I wanted that more than I wanted anything else, more than glorifying God, I just couldn't see that until now with the gift of hindsight. This time, I know that whatever our birth story holds, it will be beautiful and I want my highest ideal to be glorifying God throughout the remainder of pregnancy and in our birth story, rather than glorifying some Pinterest idea of how birth should go. This verse I chose as my "why" will be something I come back to time and time again - God created this baby and God ordained this story for our family and to Him be the glory for everything this journey holds!
- Create a soothing and worshipful labor playlist
- Read The Pregnancy Companion and Waiting in Wonder
- Create a list of verses to meditate on during labor
- Pray through pregnancy journal throughout pregnancy
- Create a list of prayer intentions to offer up labor for
GOAL 9: Organize our family legacy and establish family traditions
Why: "Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness." 1 Timothy 4:7
Being parents really puts things into perspective, doesn't it? Now that we have two kids (two kids!) things like legacy and tradition seem so much more important. It's about more than just Matt and I now. I want to work hard to organize our finances to protect what we've earned (retirement, college savings plans), prepare well in case of tragedy (insurance plans) and intentionally start some meaningful family traditions. To me legacy also includes our memories, so I want to keep up on documenting those, as well. I love the verse to go along with this goal, because it reminds me to not get sidetracked by the things the world says are important but are really silly, and to focus instead on things eternal. Being a good steward of our finances to set up a solid legacy and creating traditions that will lead our family to Jesus fall into that.
- Finish our wills
- Get up to date on photo printing and photo books
- Read How to Celebrate Everything
- Create a google doc to keep track of tradition ideas
- Get all insurance policies in place
- Make a plan for retirement
GOAL 10: Invest in friendships.
Why: "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
It hit me at my December book club meeting how incredibly blessed I am with friends, and how much I cherish my friendships but don't always show it. Although it's valid, I think I've used becoming a mom as an excuse to shrink back from social things and become even more of a homebody. And while my personality is that of an introvert and likely won't change, as the verse I chose says, it's important to have others to help share your burdens. Joys, too. I want to invest in my friendships, to keep them growing and thriving, because simply put: life is richer when shared with others.
- Keep birthday cards on hand to send
- Add friends' birthdays to my calendar with reminders a few days before
- Ask friends how I can pray for them each month and follow up
- Make a list of people's favorite drinks and treats for surprises
- One friend date per month
Do you plan yearly goals? I'd love to hear - pop a link to your post in the comments, or just share what your hopes are for this new year! XO!