Why I Choose A Word Of The Year & Why You May Want To

There's not one specific New Year's resolution' I can point to and say ' I did that.' For the majority of us, New Year's resolutions fall to the wayside by mid-Febrauary. That's how it works (for everyone!).
We make New Year's Eve resolutions on a whim, openly hold ourselves accountable to every person we know and then? And then, those resolutions we made on a whim fly out the window.
Friends, these resolutions had no root in your life and no chance of being fruitful!

But if we take a 360 view of the year behind & ahead and choose an overarching goal, our hearts & heads feel more capable to grasp that big-picture notion and put it into action. One word. Just one. A small but mighty goal/emotion/mission that will fill the year to come with a life rich in what matters most.
Over the last few years I've put into practice choosing a 'word of the year' instead of 'resolutions.' And now, as we sit on the cusp of 2015, I glance down at the words that covered our family for the last two years: inspired, intentional, and 2015's word of the year TBA January 1.
The seed sown with each word of the year takes me back to my closest family, friends, trials, teachings & hopes. I can see how God used those words, the time spent in prayer choosing those words, and spun their goodness into our years.
From month to month days are still sticky, some goals (resolutions) are put on the sideline, but our overarching word of the year keeps me grounded, coming back to what matters most for me and my family.
Take some time to think through your 2014. What worked? What didn't work? What do you want to have lived when you sit in this seat December of 2015? Where is God calling you? Dig deep and dream big!

Never is a woman so fulfilled as when she chooses to underwhelm her schedule so she can let God overwhelm her soul. -Lysa TerKeurst

Unrush yourself, friend. Let Him overwhelm your soul, encourage yourself to underwhelm your schedule and focus in on what matters most. 

Year in Review. Be Honest. Dig Deep. Dream Big.

As we come down from the Holiday high, our hearts fizzle from the anticipation of Christmas Day. But friends, this is my favorite part of it ALL! The anticipation of Christmas is special, but it doesn't stop there, in fact it's just the beginning. 
We pray and gather and silence ourselves in the weeks before the celebration of Christmas and that's great, but I think it's the potential filled in the days immediately following that we're missing out on!  
He is here! Now what? Take down Christmas decorations and move on? No!
It's time to seek Him, friends. 
Don't lead yourself into the new year without first preparing yourself for the days ahead. Seek Him. Ask for clarity on what you've learned in the last year. Ask for guidance as you charge into the new year. Praise. Repentance. Prayer. However you do it, just do it. 
It's not about being the perfect you. It's about accepting that some things worked this year, some things didn't and that's all okay because His promises are still true
I'm a fan of the big-picture look at a year and thought I'd share a free Year in Review worksheet with y'all today!
What didn't work? What did work? What did you learn? Top three takeaways? 
Friends, I want this to be your best year yet. I want you to see the goodness in your days and the Hope He provides. Click the image below to get the printable version of the Year in Review worksheet.
A few friendly guidelines for filling out your worksheet:
  • Don't overthink it! You can print it multiple times. Write out whatever is on your heart!
  • There are no wrong answers. 
  • It's a fresh year, a fresh start. Be honest. Dig deep. Dream big. 
Here's a snippet of what my worksheet lists look like:
What didn't work:
  • social media distractions
  • playing into the comparison game
  • missing days in His Word
  • procrastination
What did work:
  • putting Jesus at the center
  • putting fear on the sideline
  • making & executing smaller, more attainable goals
  • stepping out of comfort zones
  • building community
What I learned:
  • I need set hours each day to disconnect from my phone and social media.
  • I will never be someone else. My story is mine and it is worthy. 
  • Open the Bible every day.
Top Three Takeaways
  • It's all for His glory. 
  • He is always good. 
  • Joy doesn't just happen for me. And? It's okay to need to take intentional steps to cultivate joy.

How Are You Today?

It's the day after Christmas. My heart is a bustle, my house a tornado zone.
Friends, it has been a busier Holiday than expected. You too?
Emotions are overflowing as we slide out of the Christmas season. On one hand, I'm an exhausted, over-worked mama. On the other hand, I rejoice in His coming and know I am made full in Him. I'm hopeful for what's to come & grateful for the days that filled this year. 
At times I feel the flood of life, but am constantly clinging to my Anchor. A fire has been set in my soul this year and I'm prepared to fan that flame through continued surrender. 

More of Him, less of me. That's what I keep coming back to. 
I want to live this life for Him, not me. I want to serve where He calls me. I want to love those who fill my community. I want to love myself the way He loves me. 

“For from His fullness we have all received grace upon grace. ”
— John 1:16
How are you today? Share with us in the comments. We'd love to encourage you in your week.

The flame lit in my heart this year has me set to cultivate an intentional life of joy, a life focused on building His Kingdom, seeking His heart. Join me here in the coming year as we wade through the thick of it together.
In the coming weeks, we'll dive into the new year with open hearts, vision casting, tips to cultivate a life of joy, tools to simplify, and our hope in growing in community rather than comparison. You can find the blog here on our site or follow our feed through Bloglovin'
Friends, from my little family to yours, Merry Christmas. I hope you were surrounded by loved ones making memories of a life rich in love and grace. 

Goal Setting & December Goals

I began the year with an intentional goal setting spree. This wasn't just a 'let's choose some resolutions to share on Facebook' goal. This was digging deep, asking why, what didn't work, what fires me up & where do I see the end of my days. Whoosh! Talk about a game-changer, friends!
I was determined to cultivate joy in 2014, and knew it was going to take sincere effort on my part.  

Through breaking down my goals into smaller attainable steps, I've made what matters most happen this year. We're meant to live life on purpose, and if we're ever going to get to the good stuff it's going to take a little planning :)
Each month I'll be sharing my monthly goals on the blog. This is an opportunity to gain insight on setting attainable action steps & necessary white space.  AND, for us to hold one another accountable in making those big dreams happen.
Intentional time with goal setting has been huge in my mission to cultivate joy.  Your dreams don't have to be scary. Creating margin is absolutely attainable. Let's be brave together, friends.

December Goals:

  • Host a no-fuss Christmas for our family
  • Send Christmas cards to loved ones
  • Clear some clutter
  • Be present in community
  • Love on my people
  • Read along with She Reads Truth Advent plan
  • Disconnect from my phone for 2 hours every day