Monday, January 11, 2016

Looking Behind to Look Ahead for 2016

I'm a firm believer in that in order to take steps in a new direction, one has to take a solid look at steps previously taken. I have been working my way though Jennie Allen's 2016 Dream Guide and Lara Casey's power sheet model over the last few weeks. Brandon and I had intentions to work through these prompts and discuss as a couple before the clock struck 2016, but it just didn't happen. It's on the agenda for this evening. If I can stay awake. For some reason Brandon has no desire to discuss our life's purpose and dreams and areas of improvement at 5:30am, my finest hour.

I have no idea why.

At first I was a little disappointed that we have put it off for the sake of less important things, yet I remind myself that there is nothing magical about January 1. We all have the ability and opportunity to treat any day like the first day of a new year. There is no such thing as too late to the game. There is no cut off. Be it January 1st or 11th or June 10th or September 22, any day of the year can serve as a day for a new start, new dreams, and a fresh dose of hope and joy.

So while I did not develop a bullet point list of goals as a result from working through some goal focused pages (I have just one main goal this year), I did walk away with valuable data to use wisely as I press into this year.

(Does anyone, any by anyone I am referring to the 5 people that still read this blog, remember back in 2013 when I had approximately 150 goals for that year and worked through them every month and provided a detailed update at months end? Good grief. I can't even deal . . . just no. Ok it was really only five goals, but still.)

Here's what I want to remember. . .

What worked in 2015? 
First Five devotional first thing in the morning
Putting down my phone
Family dance parties
Saying no even if I have the time or energy to say yes
Saying no to good things so I have the space to say yes to the best things
Serving others
Social media breaks
Coffee with friends
Writing as a form of worship
Connecting frequently with a mentor/friend who exemplifies Christ
Book club gatherings
Park play dates
Open and free flowing communication with Brandon
Digging into scripture
Podcasts and Audiobooks
Annual fall vacation

What did not work in 2015?
Screens over people
Expecting people to know what I need without me telling/asking them
Guilt over "doing it all" and/or "not doing it all"
Regular date nights with Brandon - far too few
Structured home therapy sessions for Clara - far too few
Choosing laundry (or any other mundane chore) over writing - writing fills my tank - when my tank is filled I am a better mom and wife and friend and all the other roles. Laundry is necessary of course, but does not fill my tank.

Your turn. . . What worked in 2015? What didn't work? Remember, there is nothing magical about Jan 1. It's not too late to live with intention. 


  1. Oh, i really appreciated this post and your fresh way of looking at goals!

  2. Oh, i really appreciated this post and your fresh way of looking at goals!

  3. What did work in 2015: getting to see you more often!

  4. I so wish I could have this much clarity! I am one of those people who can't see the forest for the trees, so I have trouble really grasping the "big picture" sometimes, which makes it hard to look back and analyze the past. Maybe sitting down and making a list would help, but maybe that's a task I shouldn't begin when I have 2 sick kids :)

  5. LOL, responding so that you know for sure there are more than 5 of us still reading :-) :-) I enjoy and am grateful for everything you share! I spent most of 2015 in a relentless mode of multi-tasking which did not work well at all. My One Word this year is key. At first I chose "moment" because at the end of December I took vacation days and was refreshed by the peacefulness of each moment; I savored each one whether it was active or still. I wanted to carry that through 2016. Then my nephew gave me a necklace with a pendant of a key and it clarified for me that God is the key to me walking in the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit in each moment.

    1. Haha!

      Love your word for the year! He is the only key to a full and fruitful life!!


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