All in a Matter of Time

Thoughts on goal-setting and more purposeful living...

The New Year always brings about a fresh motivation for change and growth. Resolutions I've never been so keen on, instead I usually like to pick general themes for the year. Last year I focused on patience and gratefulness, which yielded a lot of personal growth in areas I never imagined being stretched.

My theme for 2012 is the all encompassing phrase "Live more intentionally", which covers quite a bit. Personally, I thrive on goal-setting. It kinda goes hand-in-hand with my incessant list-making. Every few months I try to sit down and reanalyze life and my own priorities. Shortly after we moved into our house last April I sat down to create my 'Home-Making Journal', which has pretty much become my catch-all for any and every to do list, shopping list, menu plans, list of goals, and just about everything else. On the front page I jotted down my life verse: (Psalm 73:25,26)

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever."

as well as one of my favorite Elisabeth Elliot quotes:

"One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime."

I then jotted down a few very broad life goals for this stage in my life:

Live more purposefully.
Keep a clean, simple, organized home.
Manage my time effectively.
Cultivate calmness and patience.
Workout regularly.
Remain on top of Menu Planning.
Be more 'in tune' w/ God and what His will is for my life in this season.
"Wear out" every day.

I then created a list of priorities, followed by a list of questions to ask myself in preparation for each week. Depending on my current life season these priorities and questions will change:

Priorities for this season:
1.) My relationship w/ God.
2.) My family. Steve and baby, followed by the rest of our family.
3.) Making our home a calm, peaceful place to live.
4.) Ministry and cultivating relationships. "Doing life" with our friends. Encouraging and upflifting others.
5.) Work, doing everything joyfully and for the Glory of the Lord.

Weekly questions:
1.) How is my walk with God? How can I grow in godliness this week?
2.) How can I bless Steve this week? What can I do to prepare to become a mother?
3.) What is one thing I can do to make my home a better place this week?
4.) Who can I minister to/encourage this week?
5.) How can I best serve God at work this week?

My hope with these goals is to do a weekly analysis and plan for the following week every Sunday night with prayerful, thoughtful, intention. Using these questions as guidelines my weekly to-do list might look something like this:

1.) Stay consistent w/ Bible reading plan. Spend time in one-on-one worship.
2.) Pray for Steve every morning. Plan a fun date night. Continue sorting/organizing baby clothes.
3.) Do the dishes every night. Try my hand at making home-made bread. Clean out fridge.
4.) Send an encouraging note to a friend. Make time to have coffee with my sister.
5.) Work on having a joyful attitude, no matter how tired I may be. "Do everything without complaining."

I have come to realize that most of what I want out of life won't just 'happen'. Most of the habits I hope to break and the new ones I want to create will take time, effort and a plan. I am never going to be a very rigid planner, but with a few simple goals and more thoughtful preparation I hope to greatly improve on this, starting with baby steps of course.