So, it’s the New Year. It’s 2014. I really can’t believe it. There is something about the hours ticking towards Midnight on the 31st of December that make me shiver. I feel throttled into the New Year, the current year squeezed until it’s out of time and bursts with confetti. I’m a forward thinking do-er, so normally I love a good bit of change and am looking towards the New Year for a fresh start. I’ve always loved a new school year and a fresh bouquet of newly sharpened pencils–just like I love a flute of champagne and a good noisemaker to ring in the 10…9…8…
There was a season when I felt funny about goals. I would get a tickle like I was going to sneeze, or some other physiological reaction I get when things don’t sit well with my spirit. For some reason, I felt like goals=striving and I’m firmly AGAINST striving.
Striving makes you bone-tired and blistered–all burnt out from doing it on your own. When I spoke to the women at The Influence Conference last fall (LAST fall?!), I relayed my mental picture of striving. I spoke in a firm voice that, for me, striving is when I see something good and I’m pulling it faster and faster towards me like it’s on the end of a rope. Instead, I want to walk towards the good things in step with Jesus, in His strength and not mine.
And, that’s what goals are for me. They are the direction I’m aiming and a firmer declaration of the ideas and hopes God has put on my heart. They are not resolutions, they are not be-all-and-end-alls. No way. My goals are held with a super loose hand, and I know that I’ll pivot and abandon and move towards the better that God has for me in 2014.
If my goals WERE the be-all-and-end-all, well, that would be idolatry. We know what happens in Scripture when people put their things or their ideas above God. It’s never very pretty, and sometimes it’s pretty painful.
That said, I think setting goals is a really fun and challenging exercise. I want to be the kind of woman that values her time and her energy, because there is only so much to go around. I want to be working towards the things God has laid on my heart until He moves me in a different direction. This is NOT gospel-less striving, because that makes my ears burn. This is not a resolution list, where they are good intentions but empty promises. My goals are simply the direction I’m pointing my time and energy.
So, like the past few months–I’m going to be public about my goals. I’m also going to share the goals from the past month and let you know what worked and what didn’t. This is mostly because I’m trying to refine my goal-setting and understand the process better for myself. :)
So. For December my goals were:
My December Goals:
Finish Book Proposal.Done! It’s off to an agent and we’re working to refine it!
- Read Gift from the Sea again. It’s ALWAYS my fave. Well, I didn’t do this one. BUT, I did read The Fault in Our Stars (4/5 stars, I cried like a baby.) and Where’d You Go, Bernadette (5/5! Definitely read this one!). Both of those books are only $3.99 on Kindle right now–and you won’t be sorry reading either one! So…here’s what I think about my reading goal. I am finicky about books. It’s like eating for me. I don’t want to eat something I’m not hungry for–even if I have it on my meal plan. I want to read what I’m dying to read…when I’m dying to read it. So, I think in the future I’ll make this a simple reading goal…like and amount of books or pages.
- Do not eat out because of lack of planning. Eat out for enjoyment–but not because I wasn’t prepared. This was not thought out well because of the holidays, but it IS something I want to get better at. I wasted a lot of meat this month because I wasn’t prepared to be home to cook it…and I didn’t think to mess with a crockpot. Not cool, Hayley.
- Serve somewhere with the boys before Christmas. As one of our Christmas presents to our sons, we gave them money with the stipulation that they had to use it to serve someone else. We’re currently narrowing down the list of choices with them…we’re down to: sending the $$ to our Compassion child, Nathan…buying something through Heiffer International…and buying food for our church’s food pantry. So, while this wasn’t perfect, we are moving towards the goal and definitely speaking to the heart of service with our boys.
Purchase gifts thoughtfully.Done, done, done. Feel really good about this holiday shopping season!
My goals for January 2014:
- Take a road trip with Mike.
- Meet Bob Goff at the Barna Frames live event. (That freaks me out typing for the world to see!)
- Take a portrait of each son.
- Read 2 books.
- Write an encouraging email or letter to 5 women I think are super cool.
I’d love for you to join the growing community of women who are linking up here at the beginning of every month. All that is required is that your post is regarding your goals for the month. That’s it! I would love if you would comment on the two posts before yours, just to encourage the other posters in their goal setting. :)