Friends, friends, friends! It's been a while. To be honest, this past year has been spiritually tough for me. Is that safe to admit here? I sure hope so, since none of us can claim life is always a highlight. I've always admired the arrival of a new year and the transformation vibe it instills in us. It brings us to a place of reflection, where we can admit our shortcomings and our goals to ourselves and to each other.
It's the end of January, but still January, so hopefully it's still relevant to talk about new beginnings, reflections, and goals. I actually just purchased and cracked into a new planner, and I'm going to tell you about it and how it's helped me so much this past week! If you like what I say, you can purchase one still (actually, now is a great time to buy a planner since it most likely will be on sale- given 2019 has already started!)
Let me tell you what I'm discovering.
First of all, I purchased a goal-setting planner from Mary Square. A friend of mine recommended it, so I thought I'd give it a shot. When it came in the mail, it sat pleasantly on my counter-top for three weeks, blaring the phrase "she believed she could so she did" across the cover. It was inspiring and I liked it every time I passed, yet the thought of setting intentional goals for 2019 felt intimidating. So it lay there gathering dust, until this week. Finally I said, "Okay, I need goals. Let's do this!"
The planner begins by having you reflect on the past year, so in this case, I began by reflecting on 2018. As I just shared with you, the past year has felt somewhat draining and stagnant for me. So I got to reflect on that, which wasn't super fun to be honest. However, the planner then prompts you to start thinking about the year ahead. First, you choose a new word for 2019, as well as a verse to go along with it (if you don't believe in the Bible you could start with a favorite quote!). I chose "discernment" specifically with boundaries, and Proverbs 3:5-6. These aren't groundbreaking habits to get into for a new year, but there was something that felt transforming about writing these down in one place! The next page prompts you to write down words that describe the person you want to be, followed by the question: "What can I do this year to be more like her?"
Another question includes: "What are five things I will do to make a lasting impact for my community, family, friends and world?" I'm going to stop here. I promise you this is wonderful. There's so much more to follow in this planner! I was compelled to write this post because this planner helped invigorate my soul to put in the work to reflect, and to dream, and to be motivated to become a better version of myself- the woman who God actually already says I am- I just have to come to that conclusion myself and help myself really truly live her out to others.
My words for 2019 that describe the woman I want to be are gentle and kindhearted (even when faced with critique or push back), engaged and energetic, organized, discerning, strong-willed in the Spirit, compassionate, empathetic, and hopeful. What are yours?
Friends, my encouragement through this article is to share with you that there is always an opportunity to start again. His mercies are new every morning. We can reflect on the past to help us prepare for the future. We can set goals for the future to help us stay accountable and set realistic smaller goals that will help us grow intentionally and purposefully. I'm in this with you! If you need help starting today (especially if you're like me and couldn't start on January 1st *giggles*) maybe this planner can help guide you to get started!
Also, I had already purchased a 2019 planner before finding out about this "goal-setting" one. I re-purposed my standard planner to be a bible reading guide, which in return, is helping me to be more spiritually fulfilled! Every day I write down a chapter from a book of the Bible that I want to read- and that is helping me stay accountable to reading a chapter a day :)
I hope this helps in some way to someone. And as always, we are in this thing together.