I have been thinking about this “Goals” post for at least 3 months. You see, I have not done goal setting in a few years, and my life has gotten a little out of whack.
I know that I am not the only one who struggles with trying to do too much and not having the right priorities. However, my being too busy is nobody’s fault but my own. You see, I can’t use the excuse that I’m too busy, for everybody has their own many hats that they are wearing. I also know that God will not give me anything that I cannot bear without His help. Therefore, if I am overwhelmed, then I am doing more than what He planned for me to do.
So, I need to prioritize. I knew that, and so I asked who wanted to do posts about their goals once a month in 2014 and help each other stay accountable. Several said they were on board; so we started our own facebook group, and this is our first post! I know not everyone that reads my posts has their own blog, but if you would like to join us, then I challenge you to also write your goals (or your personal priorities) and come and comment once a month about how you are doing. I know I would love the encouragement and prayers of my friends–real and cyber–to hold me up this year in doing what is really important. If you are a blogger, then feel free to link up; and if you want to be part of our awesome little group, then leave me a comment or email me and I can add you!
That facebook group was the start, but then something really great happened. A fellow blogger (From the Burbs to the Boonies) told a blogging group that I am in about the opportunity to “apply” to read Crystal Paine’s (Money Saving Mom) new book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, and to help promote it. I’ve had such high respect for Crystal for many years and how she has so many balls to juggle yet she does it all gracefully with God’s evident leading on her life. I applied, and prayed that if it was God’s will for me to be part of that group, that I would get in. And I did! I was so excited, and this book has been just what I needed in this initial phase of goal setting. I have read it entirely almost once, and now I am going back through the book and applying Crystal Paine’s steps and ideas in making my own goals.
One of the first ideas that Crystal suggests everybody does in goal setting–or to determine what is most important so that you can stop surviving and start thriving–is to create your own Personal Priorities List. She says to ask the following questions to figure out what you want on this list. So I got out a yellow legal pad and wrote these questions (based off her book) at the top to keep me focused:
What is most important to me?
Where do I see myself in 25 years?
At the end of my life, what do I want to look back on and have accomplished?
Doesn’t that boil down everything to the nitty-gritty, and help you see what is fluff and what is really important? I know it did for me!
Under those questions I put the following 5 categories, and started listing some ideas under those categories that answered those questions above. So here we go–I’m going to share with you my personal priorities in light of what is important to me long term, and then I’ll set littler goals under those personal priorities. I’ll have to come back at the end of the month to flesh out the goals in fuller detail, but I wanted to take the time to really set up my personal priorities and write them down as I know I will have to keep going back to these personal priorities to ask myself, “Do these activities help or hinder my personal priorities?” And if they are a hindrance, then they will have to be reevaluated and maybe even cut!
Here are my five main personal priorities with some comments underneath (broad goals) and some remarks about how this needs to happen if I am going to accomplish what I want to accomplish in 25 years!
- Spiritual priorities:
- To study (not just read) God’s Word consistently
- To memorize some verses about staying on track, being diligent, being a good mom and wife
- To find more time for prayer and meditation
- I want to hear God say “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” when I meet Him in heaven.
- I want to have God’s blessing on my life now, and I need His strength and leading every day.
- Family priorities
- To show my husband respect, love, and faithfulness.
- To be a godly example to my children in spiritual disciplines and in being a good housewife and mommy
- To have my children know that I love to spend time with them.
- I want to have my husband as my best friend my whole life so that when our children our grown and gone, we will still love being together.
- Many times, a relationship with God is caught–not taught. Yes, my kids will have to make the decision to follow Christ themselves, but why would they if I am a hypocrite?
- I want my kids to look forward to coming back “home” to visit me when they are grown. I want them to love talking (or maybe texting :)) on the phone with me.
- Personal priorities
- Exercise more frequently and regularly and eat healthier. Lose some weight.
- I want to be able to still enjoy activities in 25 years when my kids have flown out of our nest. I want to be able to do fun things with my husband.
- I want to be able to be around, Lord-willing, to be a grandma to some grandkids!
- I don’t want to have to take medicines if I can avoid it.
- Mental priorities
- Read books that sharpen me.
- This is harder for me as I love to read, but I love to read fiction. However, I have not had time to read anything lately–except for Say Goodbye to Survival Mode and for a book that I received to review. (There’s a giveaway going on for 7 Years Younger: The Anti-Aging Breakthrough Diet going on right now if you want a book that helps you with forming new eating and exercise habits.) Say Goodbye to Survival Mode has definitely sharpened me, and I just bought Amy Lynn Andrews’ book Tell Your Time to help me with goal setting too. (This is an affiliate link–but I truly love Amy Lynn Andrews blog and bought her book myself.) I need to work up a more thorough list of books to read by the end of this month.
- I want to be learning and growing. Many books can encourage my walk with the Lord and help me to be a better mom, wife, daughter, and even blogger! We have all these tools at our disposal. I want to use them wisely.
- Read books that sharpen me.
- Career (blogging) priorities:
- This is another hard priority as it is important to me, but I do not like making hard and fast goals for myself in this realm as I really don’t know what God’s plans are for my blogging. I would love for this blog to be a help to others; I would love for it to help supplement our income (eventually), but this is the lowest of my priorities as I KNOW God wants me doing the other priorities. When I see this in the view of, “At the end of my life, what do I want to look back on and have accomplished?” then I say that it would be NICE to have a successful blog–but it is not NEEDFUL. What is NEEDFUL is that I brought up my children to love and fear God, that I was a good wife to my husband and did him good and not evil all the days of my life, that I had a relationship with God that was preeminent in every area of my life.
- Therefore, I will continue to blog to share with my family that is in far-flung corners of the world, I will use it to preserve our family’s memories and recipes, I will use it to encourage my Bible study and accountability of my goals, and I pray that God will use it to encourage others and to be a light for Him. That His name will be glorified through this blog. And as long as He continues to open the door, I will walk through it. When He closes it, I pray that I will be sensitive to His leading.
Well, this was much longer than I originally planned–and I only scratched the surface! Thanks for reading and listening to me pour out my heart for what I think God wants me to do this next year. Please come back on Thursday, January 2 as other bloggers join me in sharing our “goals” that line up with our personal priorities. I want to use the following principle that Crystal also talked about in her book: How to set up SMART goals!