Making Things Happen in 2013 - Part II

"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." Y'all, thank you for sharing such encouraging responses to my last post! I have been so inspired by this goal-setting process this week - I can't wait to apply these steps to aspects of my professional work.

I left off last time with my progress up through Step 5. Step 6 is writing out a vision for 2013, reflecting on where you see yourself in 50 years and what you consider to be your personal mission statement. Here's my vision for 2013:

Content, grateful, and present. Gracious. Saying "yes" to things that matter and basing my priorities and decisions on that. Doing more of what fires me up! Giving freely. Making love an action word. Speaking with intention. Working with passion and living a life of gratitude, love, and grace.

This was the most reflective step for me. These questions really make you stop, think, and evaluate your life in a whole new way. What is important in the long run? What kind of person do you want to be? I found I really had to quiet myself for this part of the process. What a wonderful way to prepare your heart and mind for the New Year! Steps 7 and 8 are designed to keep you accountable for living your vision this year: Make a list of things you are saying NO to this year (because they detract from your vision or keep you from being the person you want to be) and make a list of things you are saying YES to this year (because they support your vision).

This year, I am saying NO to: 1. Social media distraction 2. Selfishness in relationships 3. Greed - holding onto things we don't need, buying things we don't need 4. Worry and fear of the future 5. Not being a good listener 6. Working without passion 7. Negative influences 8. Complaining 9. Making excuses to myself 10. Judging others 11. Multi-tasking, not being fully present or focused 12. My iPhone during time with SD 13. Selfish rewards 14. Trying to live up to others' expectations 15. Carrying emotional baggage 16. Having unfair expectations of others 17. Comparison - trying to be too much like others 18. Not taking/making time to rest and be inspired 19. Talking negatively about others 20. Laziness in work, marriage, and personal life

This year, I am saying YES to: 1. More impromptu date nights with SD 2. More prayer 3. An established exercise routine 4. Giving time in service to others 5. Being grateful and counting our blessings 6. Simplifying our life 7. Giving away things we don't use or need 8. Building relationships 9. Getting up on time 10. Making healthy food choices 11. More focused, productive working hours 12. Fewer distractions when I'm home with SD 13. Becoming a better musician 14. Taking time to rest and be inspired during the week 15. More study of the Word 16. Being honest and authentic in what I do 17. Inspiring influences 18. Reading for pleasure 19. Encouraging others 20. Resting in the security of grace 21. Solitude 22. Walks 23. A balanced day 24. Living freely and giving freely 25. Letting go

Everything seemed amazingly clear to me after I made these lists - I even refined my vision statement. Have you ever taken the time to vocalize or write out the things that you want less of in your life? It's freeing, friends. Do what matters and forget the rest. I'm going to post these lists above my desk so that I can be reminded of them every day.

Step 9? Review Steps 1-8. Refine things, add to or change things on your lists, get feedback from someone close to you. Make a note of any key ideas/goals that emerge as you do this.

The final step is writing out purposeful, accessible goals. Yes! I love what Lara said about this part of the process: "The idea here is for you to SIMPLIFY your life, not to give yourself a new to-do list of random things that sound good. Be very specific and careful about what you decide to spend your time on this year." Use the following as a checklist:

1. Will this goal help my 2013 Vision? 2. Does this goal also help other people? 3. WHY would I spend my time on this goal? Write out your answer next to your goal.

I love this. I'll be sharing my progress on this last step and my list of goals for 2013 with you later this week!

Love, Ashley

// Making Things Happen in 2013 - Part I