Jan 20, 2014

goal setting // time for some goals

"When a woman has a kingdom heart, she has an active understanding of what matters most to the heart of God. She lives in the balance of passion and contentment. She learns to love well, give without regard to self, and forgive without hesitation. The woman with a kingdom heart may have a duffel bag full of possessions or enough treasures to fill a mansion, but She has learned to hold them with an open hand. Hold everything with open hands. I don’t think we are ever allowed to grab hold of anything or anyone as though they matter more than the kingdom of heaven. When you hold relationships with open hands, then people come in and out of your life as gifts of grace to be cherished and enjoyed, not objects to be owned and manipulated. And then when you hold your dreams with open hands, you get to watch God resurrect what seemed dead and multiply what seemed small."  -Unknown [p.s. thanks Natalie for the quote!]


This whole goal-setting process has taken a lot longer than anticipated and I am slightly embarrassed that I am only now sharing my goals while others have posted theirs almost immediately after the ball dropped in NYC. However, this is a year I choose to not compare myself to others, and that has to include bloggers as well, so I am excited to share the goals that have been in my thoughts, prayers, and heart these last three weeks. I did not want them to be a composite of random resolutions that I would quit after January. I also did not want to give myself meaningless busy work to add to my full plate of responsibilities. In addition, I did not want to build a plan that was based only on my own desires and dreams. 

So, I prayed. I reviewed what I had written during the previous portions of the series [see them here]. And then I prayed again. I don't know about you, but I tend to hold onto my plans and schedules with a tight-clenched grip, so I intentionally took longer than I originally expected to wait for the right goals to be set. It taught me a bit of patience and humility since I am usually very eager to quickly check off and cross off things on my to-do lists. This should be different. This has to be different. This is a year I am choosing to life intentionally. It is a year I am choosing to delight rather than complain. A year full of purpose rather than apathy. 

In her goal-setting series, Lara Casey challenges goal-setters to think about the why and how of their proposed goals. This fosters introspection and purpose in goal-setting rather than frivolous goals just for the sake of writing goals. 
why should this be something I work towards this year?
how will I go about meeting this goal?

Here again is my vision that I have shared before. I constantly looked back at the overarching vision for 2014 when writing each of my goals to see if they fit within the vision.

>> my vision <<
To reflect Jesus' love, bring Him glory through joyful thanksgiving, delight in His presence and all that He has placed in my life, making the most of all the opportunities in my life, and never giving up or losing hope that the best is yet to come.

So, without further ado, here are my goals. They are not fancy; they are not mind-blowing at any rate. I am not sharing them to somehow glorify myself; the opposite, really. I am choosing to share them because I would like my close friends [near and far] to hold be accountable and ask me how I am doing with these goals. I want to share them because I know that I cannot do them in and of myself. In the end, I desire for all of them to bring the spotlight to Jesus, not myself.
 Lastly, they are fluid goals, meaning they may shift and change as the year goes on, because ultimately I want God's plans, not my own. So if they don't mesh with what He knows is best for me this year, they may look a bit different at some point, and I am wanting to be ok with that.

===> SPIRITUAL
GOAL: Go deeper in prayer and studying the Bible
WHY: Bring God glory by learning more about His character and delighting in Him; learning more about Him will help me learn to trust Him in all circumstances
HOW: 1. Memorizing more Bible [Ann Voscamp's #MemoryProject, 24 verses in 6 mo.]
            2. Bible plans to keep me focused [currently going through Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore]
            3. Reviewing sermon notes the week after I hear it at church

===> PHYSICAL
GOAL: Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well, sleeping more, and exercise 
WHY: If I am physically fit, I have more energy for all the things I need to do daily. I will also be able to be more emotionally and mentally prepared to deal with different difficulties if I am well-rested and taking care of my health.
HOW: 1. Run a 5K and a 10K
           2. Turn of electronics at 11pm and do devotions before sleeping
           3. Cook more [more crock-pot and fresh recipes]

===> EMOTIONAL/MENTAL
GOAL: Limit anxious thoughts and daily be more thankful of all I am blessed with
WHY: Hope in God's goodness; if I have a grateful heart, I am less likely to be anxious
HOW: 1. Daily write 3 "gifts" in my 1000 Gifts journal at the end of each day [using the Joy Dare]
            2. Memorizing scripture 

===> SOCIAL/RELATIONSHIPS
GOAL: Reflect Jesus' love through compassionate relationships and serving others
WHY: Build deeper, more intentional friendships, point others to Jesus, dealing with hard things together/sharing the burdens.
HOW: 1. Snail mail [contact me if you're interested in getting some!]
           2. Call/skype with a friend each month
           3. Prayer team at work: Each of us have a day to keep the clinic and families who enter in our prayers that they would be encouraged and full of hope.
          4. Big Sister Mentor: Meet monthly with my "little sis"; text her; pray for her
          5. Hang out with my younger brothers more routinely and have deeper conversations/get to know them and encourage them to be men of valor

===> INTELLECTUAL
GOAL: Grow in knowledge in different areas such as work and theology
WHY: To learn more for work/gain useful info to benefit my patients; to learn more about Jesus from Bible-focused resources
HOW: 1. Read 12 books in 1 year
           2. Review old powerpoints from my PNP coursework
           3. Expand my vocabulary [I use simple adjectives like "beautiful", "awesome", and "amazing" far too often. I need to start using words with more depth.

===> FINANCIAL
GOAL: Become more responsible & intentional about budgeting and saving
WHY: Learn how to be a good steward of the money I have so I can use it effectively & responsibly no matter the season.
HOW: 1. Continue to use Mint to budget and manage spending
           2. Read and study Dave Ramsey's financial planning materials

===> ENTERTAINMENT/SKILLS
GOAL: Try new things I've always wanted to do and improve things I always hoped to get better at.
WHY: I have more free time now than I will in another season
HOW: 1. Learn to use the sewing machine that has been collecting dust in my closet
           2. Plant a tiny garden on my balcony this spring
           3. Learn to swing dance again
           4. Travel: In the next 6 months I will be going to Texas, California, Romania, and Cannon Beach. I am         SO excited to explore and have new adventures!
           5. Learn more about photography and how to use my Nikon J1 
           6. Start playing my violin again [it's been three years since I have played regularly]

===> { BEAUTIFUL HOPE } BLOG
GOAL: Use my blog to encourage, inspire, and uplift others while pointing to Jesus.
WHY: To use the time that people choose to spend visiting { Beautiful Hope } intentionally and purposefully, pointing to Jesus with any post that is written. 
HOW: 1. Pray before posting
            2. Plan series [coming soon: Behind the Hymn: Stories of hymn writers]
            3. Meet some of my blogger friends in person or Skype [I've already met a few and have been so blessed, so I am hoping to chat via Skype with more]

          * * * 
How about you? What are some of the goals you are praying and thinking about? What is your vision for 2014 and how are you planning on making it a reality? Let's encourage and help each other make this a year we'll always remember!

11 comments:

  1. I seriously am going to have to do this next year! This has been so awesome to see how you've formed these goals. Having read your little goal series here and after our skype conversation, I immediately thought of this quote (and I think you'll like it too):

    "When a woman has a kingdom heart, she has an active understanding of what matters most to the heart of God. She lives in the balance of passion and contentment. She learns to love well, give without regard to self, and forgive without hesitation. The woman with a kingdom heart may have a duffel bag full of possessions or enough treasures to fill a mansion, but She has learned to hold them with an open hand. Hold everything with open hands. I don’t think we are ever allowed to grab hold of anything or anyone as though they matter more than the kingdom of heaven. When you hold relationships with open hands, then people come in and out of your life as gifts of grace to be cherished and enjoyed, not objects to be owned and manipulated. And then when you hold your dreams with open hands, you get to watch God resurrect what seemed dead and multiply what seemed small." -Unknown

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    1. Thanks, Natalie! What I love about the series though, is that it is do-able at any point of the year . . . even in the summer/fall teacher's "new year" :) i LOVE that quote!! Thank you! I'll have to post that and/or put it on my mirror to remember

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  2. Love all your goals and all so beautifully written!

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    1. Thanks, Cori!! I love following along your blog and seeing your Asia trip as well as all your awesome paleo recipes!

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  3. Such great goals!! And very inspiring!

    I really like idea of turning the phone off before bed. That is something that I have been thinking about doing lately. My bedtime is 10:30 and I've been wanting to set aside time each night before I go to sleep to read. Maybe I will combine the two...starting today! :)

    Also, I see the goal of a new blog series you have, "Behind the Hymn." I am very excited to see what that entails. :)

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    1. Jess, thank you!! I used to work night shift, so my internal clock is still a bit messed up years later, so I am usually asleep by midnight on a good night, but I want to eventually teach my brain to fall asleep earlier.

      I am excited for the "Behind the Hymn" series. I need to think about a more catchy name and figure out how to make a snazzy title graphic for it because I don't have graphics apps on my computer, but hopefully I'll get it rolling by Feb!

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  4. I love your vision and I wish you the best of luck with your 2014 goals! I might steal some of them myself. =)

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    1. Thanks Mandy . . . Yes, steal them! :) Keep me posted how you accomplish them throughout the year!

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  5. My Dearest Elena,

    I LOVE your blog and blog layout/design. I am a newbie when it comes to blog design. Can you give me some tips? I'm trying to figure out how to revamp my design-- I love your "beautiful hope" title. How can I create something like that? Thank you & many blessings!

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    1. Thanks Brit! I am a newbie with design as well. A sweet blogging friend designed my blog header for me and I love it. I used http://squeesome.com/blog-freebies/ for my right-coloumn headers (the Welcome, Stay Connected, Subscribed, etc) . Also, you can search on pinterest for free blogging clipart and they will have some nice stuff to incorporate as well.
      Hope that helps a bit!

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  6. These are such thoughtful goals. I love your heart, girl! Can't wait to hear about all your travels this year and all the big things God will do through this blog! :)

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I love to hear your thoughts!

Elle Alice