It's about the time of the New Year that the slump begins to set in.
Everyone has been back to work for awhile, it's freezing outside, and the novelty of new habits are beginning to just feel like daily to-do's.
For teachers, I know February is generally one of the most demoralizing months, and I can feel it rearing it's ugly head around the corner. Maybe it's because we start to feel that ever-familiar, so-close-yet-so-far sensation. I blame the students! Their restlessness tends to rub off when you're around them long enough.
This is why I wholeheartedly believe in setting Wholehearted Goals rather than making New Year's Resolutions.
Maybe it's my propensity toward a futuristic mindset (Futuristic is #1 on my StrengthsFinder Assessment), but rather than resolving to do certain things or create certain habits, I've been asking myself questions like, Who do I want to be when I'm 80? What do I value? Does my everyday life match up with these things?
As I asked myself those questions over the break, I realized what I focused on in the daily moments was not what seemed would get me to that confident, meaningful-memory-filled, content 80-year-old. (Isn't that funny to picture?)
My goals for the year are centered around that quest--attempting to make the daily, seemingly-minute things in my life point to the purpose, the long-term, The Kingdom. This has helped greatly with the January's-almost-over slump, and I'm hoping it will help with the 3-month, 6-month, and all the other slumps I may face.
When your goals have a heartbeat, you can feel the reminders of the life they breathe into your heart and soul, rather than just seeing another box to check off on the race to perfection.
I don't want to share my goals with everyone, just yet. They feel too--BIG. Life-altering, but simple at the same time. They probably are focused on things that may surprise some of you. But instead of sharing what I have down, I want to share the resources that helped me reach these Wholehearted Goals, in the hopes that you will be able to reach your own.
Lara Casey's Powersheets: I started using Powersheets in 2014, way back when they were still loose-leaf pages! I took the year off of using them in 2017, and in November I found myself craving more focus in how to move forward. In starting the Powersheets process, the deep, wholehearted goal setting can feel overwhelming. But it's always amazing to me what happens after I commit to the process. Lara's steps take you through evaluating what matters, and I always come out on the other end with goals that surprise me, challenge me, and have me super pumped to both get started and keep going. It doesn't hurt that they're gorgeous, but they are so integral to helping me commit to creating the life I want to live instead of letting life just happen to me. I have the 6-month undated version, and they still have those in stock! They also typically restock in the summer as well.
If you don't want to buy the Powersheets, but you're interested in Lara's process, head over to her Goal Setting Series!
Val Marie Paper's Prayer Journal: I bought a prayer journal this summer, and immediately bought one for my brother and sister-in-law for their wedding, while recommending the journal to everyone I knew. We all say we want to "get better at prayer," or "develop a prayer life," and Val's journals provide a simple, but calculated way to truly commit to that.
Cultivate by Lara Casey: I've been reading bits and pieces of Lara's latest book to support the decisions I make this year. Lara says, "It's okay to grow slow," and reminds us that we can't have too many things growing, or they will strangle themselves! I love Lara's approach to cultivating what matters, and I've also loved watching her journey from hardcore achievement to joy in the moment. I want to be her best friend, basically.
Things I am using to support my journey toward wholehearted living, and choosing what is right for me in each moment:
YouVersion Bible App: As I search for what will define my version of success, I'm clinging to The Word like never before. I'm currently working through the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs plan for the year. What are your favorite plans on YouVersion? (NT, PS, PRO in One Year).
Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist: This book. You guys. I know if you follow me on Instagram, you're probably tired of hearing me say this, but it's changed things for me. One of the hardest things to do is to define your own success, but that is what I'm hoping to do in the coming year. You with me? Read this book!
The Simplified Life by Emily Ley: I haven't yet read this, but I just ordered it for my Kindle because my friend Lindsay is OBSESSED. She's been raving about this book as I've been raving about Shauna's, and I think I'm going to start this one next! I'm hoping to bank on my new-found hippie nature, and minimize as much as possible!
What are your favorite goal-setting tools and resources? What are you doing to combat the January slump?