Friday, January 29, 2016

Slow Ambitions: 2016 Goals

A few notes before we begin. Instead of starting with a blank canvas, I started with my focus areas from last year. Overall, I felt like they worked really well.

However, I added a couple and tweaked some (for example, I eliminated simplicity because that's sort of in line with the theme of the whole thing and I was able to put goals that would go there in other categories), but most from last year remain. I do have ten areas now, instead of eight, and I realized that had the potential to make my monthly goals lists longer and more overwhelming (I include a goal from each area, plus one or two additional and fun goals each month). I decided that first of all, most months I will draw from all ten areas and limit myself to one fun goal and one additional goal. I feel like twelve goals is still a manageable monthly list. Also, if I feel compelled, I will occasionally allow myself to omit an area for a month or so when it makes sense.

As far as the actual, specific goals, some of those are repeats as well. Some are word for word. But there a quite a few new ones as well. One thing I did a bit differently this year, in keeping with my overall them of SLOW, is that I made most of my goals pretty open-ended. I really didn't want to tie myself to specifics (e.g.
"exercise three times a week"). As we move through the year and I get a feel for how this pregnancy is going and how welcoming a new member shakes things up, I'll probably make the goals more specific in my monthly goals lists.

I wanted to have around fifty goals, spread as evenly as possible over the ten focus areas. I came out with right around that and it's relatively well distributed, I think.

Here it all is....

Focus Areas for 2016:
1. Faith
2. Family
3. Relationships
4. Health
5. Creativity/Passion
6. Education/Edification
7. Organization
8. Travel
9. Finances
10. Joy/Gratitude

I want to be reminded often of the scandal of Grace and I want to live an authentic life that points to the Gospel.
1. Pray daily.
2. Read at least one short devotion daily
3. Find a substantive but not overwhelming Bible study to commit to
4. Begin the process of joining Northside as a member
5. look for ways to serve others

I want to love those closest to me in a fierce and selfless and practical way. 
6. prioritize my relationship with Peyton
7. set specific goals for the children
8. observe my family member's unique personalities, gifts, and weaknesses and use that knowledge to serve them
9. practice patience and flexibility

I want my lifestyle to reflect my priorities- PEOPLE above activities, obligations, and things. 
10. spent time with people in ways that are meaningful and that make sense
11. be intentional about keeping connected with our close friends
12. be intentional about cultivating new-er friendships
13. prioritize people over "accomplishing things"
14. continue to make space to communicate over email
15. prioritize our children's friendships
16. challenge myself to form and cultivate friendships that are outside my comfort zone

I want to train myself in habits that will lead to a (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) healthier me in a way that is not burdensome and be practiced longterm.
17. take smalls steps toward more healthy food choices
18. exercise more frequently
19. after the baby comes, do some real work on altering my lifestyle to try to significantly decrease my headaches
20. establish patterns of silence and stillness in my day
21. daily practice some form of self-care
22. explore the things that "center" and relax me

I want to lean into and further discover the things that make me feel alive and understood and devote time and energy to those things.
23. search for, and surround myself with, inspiration
24. write more in a creative, imaginative way (rather than just documenting)
25. read more books
26. enjoy our camera more
27. think through my passions and outlets and how I make time for those

I want to be a woman who is always learning and I want to teach my children well.
28. think of ways to make school more fun and engaging for the children
29. read together (with Peyton and the children)
30. read twelve books on varying and diverse topics
31. watch twelve documentaries

I want to work on things that will help me gain mental space and free up energy in the long run.
32. back up everything on the computer and wipe it out
33. get back in the habit of organizing pictures when I upload them
34. continue to purge our house, though to a lesser degree
35. consistantly work to keep things (closets, drawers, cabinets) clean, organized, and minimal 
36. make time each week to plan activities for the coming week, plan school for the coming week, and plan meals for the coming week
37. care for the house (CLEAN) in a way that is sustainable and practical but also thorough and frequent
38. examine ways to better manage my time
39. be very discriminating in the activities we commit to and the purchases we make
These may seem counter-intuitive to the overall theme, but I want to live small and slow near home and I also want to challenge myself to be open to adventure elsewhere.
40. take friend trip to Nashville in February
41. take "babymoon" to NYC in April
42. plan small camping trips and other close, low cost, family focused excursions for the four (and later five!) of us

 I want to continue to work toward a more frugal lifestyle and push back against what the culture says is important.
43. spend the money I make in a careful and thoughtful way
44. make the most of opportunities that are free or low cost
45. appreciate the ways the Lord will use this sort of discipline to sanctify me

I want to focus my mind and heart often on the things I am grateful for and the things that bring me joy.
48. make thankful lists at times other than the month of November
49. find other specific ways to express thankfulness
50. learn how to be content without buying things
51.  be vulnerable in telling others how thankful I am for them
52. surround myself with words, music, and people that bring joy
53. challenge myself to hold things loosely

So there they are. I do plan on trying to update a bit better than I did last year!

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