However, change can also be amazing. Change can be enriching. Change can be life-changing.
Sometimes we need to make change in order to get where God is calling us to be, but that isn’t to say it is going to be easy. Sometimes when we are called to something, it can actually be harder to change. Obstacles, unexpected circumstances and fear get in the way and we are left discouraged and ready to quit. But we have to remember that unless we stay the course and keep up with our persistent steps toward the change, then we will not ever experience the effects of the work and the relief of having followed through with our calling. We also need to remember that if God called us to it, He will help you through it and to it. Our persistence and daily doing of following through is our act of obedience to the One who is leading us to the ultimate goal and destination.
Many times we will have a choice; this is hard and all encompassing, I don’t think I can keep going- should I quit? -or- this is difficult and I am afraid of the unknown on the other side of this mountain, do I trust and have faith- do I keep going?
Ruth Soukup, owner of and blogger at Living Well Spending Less and the creator of the Living Well Planner, calls this ‘Doing It Scared’ and it is the philosophy that she teaches her kids and that runs her business. She says, “…make no mistake, there will be times where you feel scared. There will be times where your fear of failure will override your desire to make things happen. And you need to be prepared. Dale Carnegie once said “do the thing you fear, and continue to do so. This is the quickest and surest way of all victory over fear.” Along those same lines, Eleanor Roosevelt wisely encouraged all of us to “do one thing every day that scares you.” So right here right now, your challenge is to tell yourself this: I WILL do it scared. I also want you to resolve right now to keep repeating this mantra to yourself, any time you feel fear rearing its ugly head. Your fear doesn’t have to control you. It’s okay to be afraid, but it is not okay not to try. In the words of Winston Churchill, “Failure isn’t fatal. Success isn’t final. It is Only the courage to continue that counts.”
What is it that you want to accomplish?
What changes do you need and/or want to make?
What is it that you feel you are being called to?
What is it that you may dream about doing, but that scares you so much that you are afraid to move forward?
Take your word and your motto statement and write down everything…and I mean everything that comes to mind…no matter how big…just dream big! This brain dump is what you will use to narrow down the steps you can take this year to move forward in these big dreams. Your long-term goals and Do It Scared(Courage) statement will come from this list! (I wrote more about this in a post I did last year called Goal Setting 101.)
Goals are what we do when we want and feel the need to make changes. In my last post I talked about listening and praying about the direction in your life; finding your one word and writing a motto statement about that word. (Read the post here if you want to read more and/or you missed it!) Today I wanted to talk about taking that motto statement a step further and sharing with you my Do it Scared(Courage) statement that I wrote in my Living Well Planner. (This statement is not my original idea, but that of the Living Well Spending Less website…however I have found great value in it so I am sharing it here in order to help others and to show the importance of it related to goal setting). This statement, along with the motto statement, is what will help you back on the path toward your goals when you may feel that you have lost your way; it is a guide of sorts in the beginning to writing out your long-term goals. I have already looked back on mine as a motivation to looking at breaking my long term goals down into smaller monthly goals also. It really is a great way to look back on what you intend to gain throughout the year; a purpose-driven statement to keep you on track. While the motto statement does this also, the ‘Do It Scared’ (or Courage as I like to call it as well!) statement is a little longer and more in depth with a few more details to help keep you on track.
So without further ado here is my statement-
This is the year that I will make writing a book, becoming non-mortgage debt free and family vacations/time
This is the year that I will do MORE dedicated writing time, reading, connecting with positive people, encouraging of others, connecting with my husband and kids, listening, Holy Day Masses
and LESS saying yes to things that don’t align with my priorities right now, spending money on unnecessary items, staying up late, unhealthy food choices, judgement, complaining, talking about myself only.
This is the year I will CHOOSE intention- to make my long term goals a priority, to listen to God and have the courage to do it scared
OVER putting my long term goals aside for the short term, comparing myself to others and letting fear stop me.
To do BIG things this year, I MUST DO daily reflection, time block my schedule, budget bi-weekly and follow through
to get started TODAY.
After writing this statement, along with my shorter (and more to the point) motto statement, I am ready to break down the changes I feel led to into long term goals. In my planner it says to name the top 3 changes I want to make; these are the main items I want to do or changes I want to see happen this year. And then finding goals that fit under the priority areas of my life. This new planner lists those areas for me, but they do somewhat fit into the areas that I applied last year which were Family/Motherhood, Marriage, Personal, Home/Money, Blog/Business. The planner lists the areas as Personal Growth (ways to improve my mind), Fun and Recreation (places to go, people to see), Health and Fitness (ways to nurture my body), Home Improvement (ways to improve my space), Finance Goals (telling my money where to go) and To Connect With (to reach out to). So I decided to go ahead and use the categories that were listed in the planner and then I also wrote a ‘What the ‘Year of Intention’ is to me; a page dedicated to directing me to what I can do in each area of priority to help me stay the course; reminders of how to have intention in my areas of priority, what that looks like and to keep me on track when I feel I am losing my way.
(I need to preface before you read my goals that many of these things are areas that I have been working on, but feel the need to be more intentional with at this point…some of the habits are somewhat in place, but again I need to be more intentional with…also these are more broad and all encompassing because they are long term…I will break them down and focus more on a few at a time when I get to the monthly goals.) 🙂
So with that being said here are my long term goals~
BIG Three (major goals to accomplish this year)-
- Be non-mortgage debt free and move to the next baby step in the Dave Ramsey plan
- Start writing a book (seriously this is one I really have a hard time sharing with you all, but I want to be completely honest about my goals…notice the word- ‘start’ in this goal)
- Be present and focus on my family.
Personal Growth (ways to improve my mind)
- Gratitude journal/Reflection time (starting a journal again and my time every morning)
- Create more; learn to hand-letter and start a sewing project
- Read 15+ books
Fun and Recreation (places to go, people to see)
- Dates! Consistent family time/dates, date nights out, and one on one time with kids
- Vacations! Anniversary trip (10 years!) and family trip
- Holy Day Masses (for sure the required holy days and possibly a few more!)
Health and Fitness (ways to nurture my body)
- Exercise every week (4+ days/week)
- Plan ALL my meals every week…focus on the healthy, more clean eating
- Go to bed early
Home Improvement (ways to improve my space)
- Finish office space (decorate and organize) and organize basement area
- Follow through with a more consistent cleaning schedule
- New vinyl siding on our house
Finance (telling my money where to go)
- Pay off our car by May, 2017 (our last non mortgage debt!)
- Start Baby Step 3- building up our emergency fund
- Plans for vinyl siding and vacations- pay for all with cash
To Connect With (to reach out to)
- Seth- exclusive marriage devotional time each week
- Readers- through my blog and writing
- Other Moms- reach out to at least one person per month/ start a Mom’s book club
The Year of Intention Is….
*putting the phone down/being present
*Putting them first/spending time together/planning special times-vacations
*communicating well/listening well
*reading a devotional together
*one on one time
*learning something new/reading often
*consistent exercise and healthy eating
*daily reflection/attending mass
*connecting with others
*stepping out to make new friends
*learning to listen more
Home and Money~
*keeping it de-cluttered/picking up/cleaning schedule
*paying off all non mortgage debt
*making improvements as money will allow
*praying about purpose and direction/listening
*encouraging others/reaching out to readers/not giving up-keep going
I hope this helps you to develop and narrow down your word and motto statement into your own long term goals and other statements that help to motivate and encourage you along they way. Instead of these ideas floating around in your head and you wishing that they might come true, you can actually narrow it down into actionable pieces in order to move forward. The long term goals and ‘courage’ statements are the second step in the process…stay tuned for another post about taking these long term goals and breaking them down further into monthly goals. This is where the meat is, because this is where the plan is put into place and you start to see progress and gain momentum. As Dave Ramsey says, “A goal without a plan is just a dream.”
This process is all about taking your big ideas and larger scope for your life based on God’s calling and narrowing it down into statements for motivation and goals for various time frames that help you to get the job done; determining the direction and path of your life. It isn’t necessarily about controlling your life or making it perfect, but in following the journey you are led to complete and setting out goals, benchmarks and plans in order to get there.
Sometimes the journey is not complete and changes are not made in just one year and that is ok. God sometimes leads you to certain paths for reasons that we are unaware of at the time, but I promise you there is a reason for it; lessons to learn, people to reach and/or realizations to come to. I feel that two important components of this whole goal setting process are grace and faith.
We are not made to be perfect, but we are made to follow and glorify a God that has a plan beyond what we can imagine for our lives.
Faith can get us to a place we could not get to on our own; a place where we put trust in His plan for our life and the courage to live it out as well, along with the grace to pick ourselves up when we fall.
This is being the best versions of ourselves; this is being children of God.
(Some links in this post are affiliate links…see our disclosure policy here.)
This was Part 2 in this Series! Check out the other posts in this series-
Other posts to check out on the blog-
Books to check out by Ruth Soukup on Living Well-
I want to hear from you in the comments! What are your Big 3 this year? Or maybe you have just one goal you want to share with me? I would love to read it…let me know in the comments below!!