Jul 11, 2014

2014 goals // six month update

 Back in late December to early January, I went through Lara Casey's goal setting series and it inspired me to make goals for 2014. I slowly and prayerfully made goals that would shape 2014 and keep my eyes fixed on priorities.  I wanted it to be a year of intentional living, giving, and loving. I decided to hold myself accountable publicly by posting monthly goals and then following up on them the next month when I made new monthly goals. I would occasionally look back at my original year goals to see if I was making progress. Little by little, short-term goal by short-term goal, I am inching towards my big goals of 2014. It is exciting to look at some of them, but also motivates me to keep moving forward. 

As a reminder, here was the vision I set forth for 2014:

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.
And my word for the year was 'delight'. At the start of the new year, I felt like 2014 would be a year I desired to take delight in the many blessings God had already given to me and to have eyes that were open to the big and little things He placed in my life that brought delight. I also wanted to focus on foremost finding my utmost delight in Him. 
Without further ado, here are the goals and my update. The ones I have not worked on are colored green while the ones I am working on or completed are blue.

Elle's 2014 Goals

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.] 
    • UPDATE: I am working on it! I only memorized 7 out of the 24 so far, but am going at my slow pace and learning a few verses from #SheReadsTruth studies (such as Ruth 1:16, Titus 3:5, Nehemiah 9:17; 8:10)
            2. Bible plans to keep me focused 
            3. Reviewing sermon notes the week after I hear it at church
    • I have been doing this the past few months as I review what I learned in the sermon over FaceTime or phone with my boyfriend.
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
    • I am able to run a 5K (finally got back up to 3 miles!) & hope to do a color run in the fall
           2. Turn off electronics at 11pm and do devotions before sleeping
    • I was great with this the first month and have slipped since then. When I do it, however, I do sleep better, so I really need to keep working on it!
           3. Cook more [more crock-pot and fresh recipes]
    • Yes!!! I started eating paleo and it is rocking my world! Check out my cooking series focusing on paleo recipes, Cooking with Elle!

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]
    • Yes! This has been helping me focus on positive things rather than only the negative about each day.
            2. Memorizing scripture 
    • Yes! Memorized around 9-10 verses so far! So helpful in times of stress. I love the screensavers from She Reads Truth (like this one!)

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 
    • Yes! I sent letters and postcards to friends, but I want to try to be more intentional about doing this.
           2. Call/skype with a friend each month
    • Yes! I have been staying in contact with friends in a variety of ways
           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.
    • This never really took off. So I pray before work for the clinic and for compassion to serve the community well.
          4. Big Sister Mentor: Meet monthly with my "little sis"; text her; pray for her
    • Yes! We hung out a few times in the last 6 months including a breakfast with other Big and Little sisters!
          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
    • Have not done this as much as I'd like, although we recently had two family vacations, so I was able to catch up with a few of my brothers in June.

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
    • I've read these so far: Open Your Eyes (my review), The Explicit Gospel (Matt Chandler), Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (James Ford), Hudson Taylor autobiography, Whispers of Hope (Beth Moore; my review), Ghost Boy (Martin Pistorius; my review), The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini), Hope Rising (Scott Todd), Sarah's Key (Tatiana de Rosnay)
           2. Review old powerpoints from my PNP coursework
    • Haven't done this as often as I wanted, but I am starting to study a bit more
           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.

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
    • Yes! Using it monthly!
           2. Read and study Dave Ramsey's financial planning materials

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
    • I had a fun morning in April catching up with a friend while figuring out how to thread and use my sewing machine. I then tailored a few bathing suits that were too large for me.
           2. Plant a tiny garden on my balcony this spring
    • Yes and no. I planted a hanging basket in March and it died one month later when I got really busy the one week it was really sunny all month. I now have a mint plant I will work harder to preserve since I love me some mint!
           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!
    • Yes! Click here for more pics on my trips to Texas, Cali, Seattle, and Portland. My Romania trip is cancelled this summer but I went to San Francisco and San Antonio in June.
           5. Learn more about photography and how to use my Nikon J1 

           6. Start playing my violin again [it's been 4 years since I have played regularly]

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 
            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]
    • Yes! Skype chats with Natalie from Heart Stirrings and breakfast with Katie from Hope Engaged 

      I am excited to see how the next six months are going to look!


I love to hear your thoughts!

Elle Alice