Fresh Start // 1.3.20

As my girl, Lara Casey, says, “There isn’t anything magical about January 1st.” And I believe it. I do.

But…

There is something a little wild about going to bed in one year and waking up in a new one. It’s like a boost of momentum and determination without even trying…just waking up and thinking, “Oh, hey, new year. I see you. Let’s make some good things happen!”

Last Sunday, our worship leader asked our church family:
“Who here makes New Years resolutions?” and one person raised their hand and it blew my mind a little.

I’ll be honest – I don’t do resolutions. Being surrounded by a pretty big circle of creative entrepreneurs, I feel like most of the people I know aren’t just waiting for January 1st to set some goals – they’re doing it throughout the year. When it comes to stepping in to a new year, though, goal setting looks differently for different people. I have friends who choose a word of the year, friends who declare intentions for the year, and others who dive into their Powersheets and dig deep to discover what really matters in their big picture.

There’s really something to be said for sitting down and doing the work to excavate what’s in your heart. Where do you want to be in 6 months? Next year? 5 years? When you’re 80? What really matters in the big picture of what you want your legacy to be and what you want your life to stand for?

In The Lettered Grace Book Club this month, we’re reading through Rhythms of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons. In chapter 1, she talks about the process of taking inventory and I love how she describes it with one question: “Is the life I lead the life that longs to live in me?” She also says that taking inventory is “the important practice of evaluating my life and redefining priorities to ensure I’m living it well.”

Isn’t that what we all really want? To know that we’re living our lives well? I know I do and I bet you do, too.

I’m a Powersheets and Word of the Year kind of girl. I like doing the hard and challenging work of taking inventory through the prep work in my Powersheets and then choosing a word to focus on for the months ahead. Some years, I do great. Others, not so much. 2020 feels like a year that’s going to be full of intention and growth – not because I have some magic up my sleeve, but because I really think this is the first year that I’m looking ahead, content to grow slow and steady and to cling to Christ in where He leads. I’m taking a step forward with a quiet confidence and a peace that it’s all for my good and His glory and I’m ready to do my part.

So, what’s my word? Simplicity.

Back in November at the Creative Founders Conference, my friend Kelsey Baldwin mentioned a quote by Pat Flynn during her session. I don’t think there’s any possible way she could’ve known how deeply it would resonate with so many in that room – myself included:

“What would it look like if it were simple?”

Insert like, 20 mind-blown emoji here. Of course, I immediately mentally applied it to aspects of my business, but after getting home, I started thinking of everything with this question as the foundation and quickly discovered how much I was craving simplicity in my life: Routines. Meals. Cleaning. Clothes. Toys. Clutter. Schedules. So it was pretty easy for me to choose my word this year – thanks, Kesley!

While a lot of my overarching goals for the year are very specific in simplifying business and home, I also set some that are just things I want to improve and work on.

At the top of that list? Writing.

I’ve always enjoying writing and reading and I love helping others find their words when they feel stuck – specifically, those creative entrepreneur friends I mentioned earlier. I also felt convicted while I was at Conference this year about how I was not writing. I was doing a little internal assessment about the progress I’d made in the 12 months since Conference 2018 and it hit me like a ton of bricks that, even though I knew God was calling me to share words and specifically write a book/devotional, I let fear, doubt, and uncertainty keep me from actually doing the work. My big picture goal looks like a life lived in obedience to Christ, serving others well, and doing it for His glory. I can’t do that if I’m not putting in the work – even if (maybe especially if) it means getting out of my comfort zone and trusting that the One who calls me is faithful.

After reading Emily Ley’s When Less Becomes More, I’m all about the less/more mindset, so I’m both excited and terrified to say that 2020 is less waiting, more writing. I’m SO done waiting for my doubt and fear to subside to make a move. I’m trusting that God called me to do this because His plan is bigger than anything I can imagine or see for myself and that if I have words to share, it’s because He will use them to encourage someone else and draw them nearer to His heart, too.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a big, ol’ dream-sharing, goal-setting meeting and then encourage each other all year? Then, I could say “Hey, one of my goals is to write a weekly blog post!” and you could say, “My goal is to read the Bible every day!” and then someone else would chime in, “I want to declutter my home this year!” and we could all check in and give each other a pep talk each month?

When it comes to 2020, I’m ready. God has a plan and I’m anxious to see Him move in and through and around us. Nothing is impossible – I’m stepping into this year with confidence and determination, ready to do the uncomfortable work of slow and steady growth in obedience. To be present and connected, to set big goals, to dream bigger, and to fight the doubt and fear that’s held me back longer than I care to admit.

How about you?

Whatever your resolutions, goals, or word of the year is, my prayer for us today is that this year is the one that we see the good change we’re craving. That we celebrate our success and let our failures teach us without defeating us.

There may be nothing magical about January 1st when it comes to starting or setting goals, but goodness gracious, it’s nearly bursting at the seams with potential and hope and the opportunity to live this new year really, really well.

Let’s do it together.

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