From 2015 into 2016: Looking Forward (Part 3)

In moving forward throughout this series, I've looked back at what goals I set for 2015. I have to say I was originally a bit disappointed because it didn't look like I had accomplished as many as I would have hoped. My love for check lists is pretty well known among my friends and my staff, so the lack of strike throughs was disheartening. But a LOT of my 2015 goals were overly ambitious, and others are simply never going to be complete; instead, they'll be ongoing projects for as long as I decide to focus on them. My hope is that as I continue to reflect and think about the coming year I'll be able to choose goals that are a bit more attainable. 

Anyway, here's part 3 of Lara's goal setting process, and what I came up with!

  • Step 7: For me, I’m super visual, so I read through the steps that I have scrawled out in my chicken scratch and and circled and illustrated everything with my colorful pens. I have to say, it really helped me bring these steps to life.
  • Step 8: What am I saying YES to this year? Taking risks; adventures; more spontaneity; making decisions; being comfortable in my own skin; community; trying new things; Jesus, prayer, the word and church; asking God and seeking His advice; HOPE; occasionally putting me first and feeling okay about doing so; writing more, whether that be poetry or more blog posts; healthier living. What am I saying NO to this year? Worry and anxiety; materialism; pride; not asking for help; giving up; FEAR; rushing through all of the good stuff; spending as much (time, money, energy, etc.) on things that don’t matter; isolation; comparison; attempting to be perfect; disbelief; doing things like everyone else; control; wasted time and effort looking for peace and true joy in all the wrong places.
  • Step 9: My core word (or one word) for 2015 is fortitude! Fortitude: mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously // My #oneword for 2015 was “dare.” This word played itself out in a lot of big ways. Graduating with my Master’s, leaving a state that was home for a number of years, relocating to SC where I didn’t know anyone to start my first big kid job, and adopting Sawyer were just the headlines, but my word played itself out in little ways as well, every day. I’m hoping to see my word show up in both big and small ways. Now that I’ve made all of these daring changes in life, I’m hoping to continue moving forward.

Part 4 of this series is the actual uncovering of what my goals will be for this upcoming year. Those are still cooking, but once I've figured those out they'll be published on a page that will replace my 2015 goals page so that they're easy to revisit and remind myself of when my focus starts to wander.

From 2015 into 2016: Looking Forward (Part 2)

I've been taking this reflection series slowly leading into this upcoming week. Tomorrow the spring semester kicks off here at CCU for us Res Life folks, and I've been really intentional about getting into a good frame of mind as I reenter the world of Student Affairs. Something Lara Casey says very frequently is that there's nothing magical about January 1st, and I have to say that I agree. As my new year doesn't REALLY kick off until tomorrow, I'm perfectly okay with taking this reflection process slowly. That being said, here are my thoughts for part 2 of Lara Casey's goal setting series.

  • Step 4: If I stopped chasing "perfect," how will my life change? I will listen more, slow down, be less PRIDEFUL (gosh, wouldn't that be wonderful?!), savor all of the good stuff that matters, do more with less, spend more time in the quiet moments that He's provided me, have less clutter, and find myself back in and involved with a church. That last one is the biggest part for me. I absolutely loved the church I found during college (It was my home church, and the staff and people and community and overall feel of that wonderful space felt like home. It's where I found Jesus and was baptized, too!), and it's been really hard for me to find anything that has felt like that perfect of a fit again. I found a church that I enjoyed in grad school, but it wasn't quite as great as the community I had gotten involved with in college, so it never truly felt like home. Since moving to SC, I've felt really separated from the community that results from His presence, and because of this I haven’t tried as hard as I should to find a church. After working all week, I never seem to be able to find the energy to get out of bed on Sunday mornings to go try out a different church. However, if I stopped chasing “perfect” I would be way less exhausted, and not only would I have the energy to go church searching, I would also look forward to doing so again. That makes this a priority for me!
  • Step 5: What hasn’t worked in 2015? Not making connections and isolating myself. As an introvert, it’s really hard for me to go out of my way to meet new people and interject myself into new surroundings. Since moving, I haven’t put myself out there as much. Also, not talking about my feelings, comparison, and worrying… about everything were also some things that didn’t work so well this year. I’ve also had a lack of faith this year, particularly in His grace. It’s HARD to accept something that you haven’t earned.
  • Step 6: Who helped cultivate what matters this past year? My mother! Also my Daddy-o. Madeline, Christine, and Mandy, three of my most favorite people from college. Kaitlyn and Elaine and LaFarin and Gabe from grad school. Jay and Rocken here in South Carolina. And last but certainly not least, SAWYER! My adorable and precious pup who makes everything in life seem a bit brighter. :)

Once I get the next part of my reflections in some semblance of coherent thought, I will post those as well. Because accountability and authenticity and all of that other fun stuff. However, if you want to jump ahead to Lara's 3rd part of the series, feel free to here!