Since it’s still January I think I can still say “Happy New Year!” to you all! I’ve had a blog post about goals floating around in my head for quite awhile but life has thrown us one curve after another the last few months and we completely fell off the wagon. However, I don’t think that “fresh starts” are only for January 1st. And thank goodness too, otherwise it would be really depressing if we had to wait for a new year to reevaulate our goals and start new.
I’ve tried the “word of the year” thing a couple of times but never really stuck with one. This year though, the word consistent, keeps coming to me. The last several months I have struggled with being consistent in our schooling, activities, and time spent on my relationships. As I was working on my goals last month, I realized that almost all of my goals had to do with consistentcy and self-discipline. Since the end of December, I have been trying to choose one or two habits or areas to start working on each week. Slowly incorporating new habits into my routine and our family routine makes it less overwhelming. When we jump all in and change everything at once, we tend to quit everything rather quickly.
Since it is the first month of the year, I wanted to share how Lance and I write our goals. It has taken us several years to figure out a process that works for us. What works for us may not work for you but I thought I would share it anyway.
Lance and I write individual goals, as well as family goals together. We focus on the areas of realtionships, spiritual, personal (health/habits), and financial/business. We also have several large, long term goals for our family. These smaller goals are the steps we need to take to achieve our long term goals.
If you haven’t written out any goals yet, I encourage you to take some time to prayerfully consider what areas you need to work on. If you are married, have a date night and dream big about what you want the future to look like for your family. Dreaming big can be scary and if you’ve never done it, don’t be surprised if it takes awhile for you and your spouse to figure out what you want for your family. It took us a couple of years of dreaming and talking before we came up with a clear vision. Now we know what we want and are taking the steps needed to get there. It might take several months to figure out what you both want. The most important part though is that you are both on the same page otherwise you won’t get anywhere.
Keep in mind there will still be hard times, even when you are trying to do everything right. It is inevitable that we will experience one hit after another, just when you think you are finally on the right path and getting ahead. Don’t give up though. Take some time to reaccess, pray about it, and keep moving forward. A quote from one of the books I’m reading has stuck with me over the last week, “the only way out is through.” I’ve been telling myself this when I have to drain the hose in the belowing freezing temps too 😉
The last few months of 2022 were challenging for us however, even as all of our other goals were falling apart towards the end of 2022, Lance and I stayed consistent with our date nights. Regular date nights, at home or out, have been one of the biggest blessings to our marriage. We can take time to talk and refocus on what our next steps need to be. Plus, spending some uninterrupted time together is important. If we hadn’t kept up with this, the last few months would have been even harder.
I also encourage you to never stop learning or educating yourself. There will always be more to learn on a topic. Read the same books over and over, something new will stand out everytime. Lance and I are trying to read or listen to some of the same books so we can discuss them. I will admit, it takes me much longer to get through an audiobook than it does Lance. As an insurance agent, he has a lot more time in the car to listen to books. I try to get in a little bit while I’m folding laudry or walking. Take classes or join coaching groups if reading isn’t your thing. Just don’t stop learning.
As we move through 2023, don’t be afraid to stop and reevalute if something isn’t working. It might just be a season or it might mean you are on the wrong path. Make time for prayer and your loved ones everyday. Consistent habits and self-discipline will help you reach big goals.
I’ll end today’s post with a quote from Ann Voskamp, “Just small things done consistently make the biggest change.”