Ah, a fresh new year! There’s something about the beginning of a year that makes anything feel possible. Near the end of each year, I like to reflect on how it went, give thanks to God for another year of life, and begin to make a few goals for the coming year.
Typically, I split my goals into categories with titles like “life,” “fun,” and “spiritual” and list a few things I’d like to focus on in each category. For 2016, I did some thinking. I want to keep my goals simple instead of stretching myself in 20 different directions like I tend to do. When considering 2016, my knee-jerk reaction was to make goals to learn more about photography, decorate our house, make life special in little ways, go on a mission trip, visit downtown Pittsburgh more, and go on monthly date nights with Jimmy.
Just reading that makes me feel tired. All of those ideas are wonderful, and I may do some of those things in 2016, but I know where I want to keep my focus this year.
My goal for this year:
Know what I value and keep my priorities straight.
As a Christian, God should always come first in my life. That means serving Him, learning His Word and putting it into practice, attending church, and honoring my husband and our relationship. It is incredibly easy to let work, a house, hobby, social media, or even a person become an idol.
Last year, I noticed that I said yes to a lot of unnecessary things that burnt me out and left me with little of my best self to offer God. I was often tired, stressed out, and busy with things that weren’t truly important. Did I read my Bible, serve God, and go to church? Yes. Was my heart always in it and was I always present? Most of the time, but I could have done much better.
I struggle with taking on too much because I want to “be there” for everyone. I have trouble saying no to extra things that should come after honoring my relationship with God. Do I need to host that get-together, take on three extra pet sitting jobs, work as much as possible, and attend every. single. thing. I am invited to? Nope. I want to stop doing that this year. I don’t mean to say that I am going to become a recluse and not do anything, but I am going to truly analyze each commitment I make and decide if it lines up with my priorities and values.
I plan on asking myself questions like…
-Is this commitment absolutely necessary?
-Will it take me away from things that are more important?
-Will this commitment wear me out unnecessarily?
-Do I even want to do/attend this thing/event?
-Will this commitment stand in the way of my relationship with God, my husband, or myself?
-Is this going to make a positive impact on who I am and what I do for God, or will it hinder me and become negative?
Right now, 2016 is a fairly blank slate for me. For the most part, I know that I will be working, Jimmy and I will be getting a puppy(!), and we will be involved with our church. We would love to grow another garden, I’d like to write more, and we want to spend time with our families and friends.
So, those things are going to be my focus this year. Loving God, loving people, working hard, and not doing too much of the extra things that take me away from my priorities. It sounds simple, but can be hard to stick with in the moment.
Here’s to focusing on the important things in 2016!
I think this is perfect. More isn’t always better – sometimes it’s just more. So focusing on the important stuff and not getting bogged down by all the unnecessary things that pop up is going to make you feel great through the year. Best of luck on your goal! And a puppy! Yay!
Exactly–more is sometimes just more–and that is no good for this gal! It has taken me so long to realize that life isn’t about quantity (of things I do/attend/relationships I have/posessions I own/etc) but about the quality. I hope 2016 is amazing for you, Kevin, Ava, Kiki, and Rue!!
It’s good to focus on the important stuff, isn’t it? It’s so easy to become distracted by materialism.
Ooh, a puppy! I’m so excited for you and Jimmy. 🙂 What breed are you getting?
Oh yes, it feels so right! It is way to easy to get distracted by extra everything–materials, things to do, etc! I hope 2016 is awesome for you!
This is lovely. I think it’s important to start every year with a clean slate and clean state of mind. It makes life so much less stressful.
Amen, Hollie!! I totally agree. I hope 2016 is great for you and Tim!
Love this post baby! It really helps me think of how frivolous some of my so called priorities have been in the past~ so thank you! I love you sweetie, and I’ll help keep you in check with your priorities if you’d like? ❤️😘
Thanks, mom! I am with you on frivolous priorities. They’re so easy to accumulate and then drag us down without our even realizing it. I love you too! You’re welcome to keep me in check 🙂
What a refreshing perspective! I love setting goals for the new year, but I agree 100%– God comes first! If our commitments are overshadowing that, its not worth it.
But I will say that improving photography is one of my goals too 🙂 lol!
Thanks, Brittany! Also, thanks for the comment. I’m so glad you found my blog and now I discovered your. Woo hoo! I just adore making new blog friends. I’m really excited to follow along your journey in life now.
Amen with God coming first. You’re so right in saying that when our commitments overshadow our devotion to God then they’re just not worth it. I couldn’t agree more.
Improving photography is a never ending process for me, so I totally understand making that a goal. Though by the looks of your blog, your photography is already awesome!
This is so beautiful Allie! I think that goal is something EVERYONE needs to keep in mind. It’s so universal and so important. I love that you’ve laid out a plan for how you’re going to stay accountable to it and keep checking in with yourself. Happy New Year!
Thank you, Kaila! I appreciate it :). Happy New Year to you, too! I hope 2016 is good to you, girl!
Honestly, I think this is a better idea than setting a bunch of itemized goals and resolutions… I too have said yes to things that sucked joy out of my life because sometimes it’s hard to say no or be assertive. Plus this is something that can apply to all facets of life, you know?
Amen! I couldn’t agree more. Each year I’ve had my blog, I’ve seen my list of goals for the year change, get shorter, and become more focused. I am so with you on finding it hard to be assertive with those joy-sucking engagements we say yes to way too often. Here’s to not doing that so much in 2016!
I hope this year is amazing for you and Clay. Good luck on your upcoming half marathon, too!!
I like that list of questions to ask before committing to something, I’m going to refer to that! Great post!
Aww, thanks Brittany!!
This is so funny Allie because my goal would be the opposite! I need to get out more, say yes to more things and have a biggest social life. I find I get focused on one or two things and they take up most of my time. I enjoy them, but I think I could have a richer life if I had more relationships. Often, friends get pushed aside because I am an introvert and have my hobbies. I am making a SMART goal for this year about being more social. It will happen. Pray for me girl because this is really hard for me 🙂
How fun that you have the opposite goal!! It can be tough to be a driven/focused person and balance your goals with having a social life. I think it’s something that many people struggle with. It’s like we know what we want, and we don’t want anything to “get in the way” but at the same time the things that get in the way are the things that make us better at what we do–the relationships, relaxing time, exploring, etc. It’s hard to get away from work/obligations/specific hobbies, but when we do it can be extremely refreshing!
As a fellow introvert, I know exactly what you mean, and I think it’s awesome that you’re making a smart goal about being more social. Way to go! I will definitely keep you in my prayers, Ellie! 🙂
I love this! It’s funny, because last year, I wanted to be more present in my life, but I also decided my word for the year would be “yes”, which kind of seems counterproductive! In retrospect, I needed last year to be a yes year because I was in a new place and I needed to make new friends and do new things. I STILL want to work on being present. I love social media but I am starting to hate phones in social situations! Lol
Oh girl, I am with you on being bad about saying “no”. I’ve gotten better and better every year and last year during our 30 days I really learned a lot about priorities. It’s been easier for me since then to pick and choose which things to say yes to. But then I still overbooked myself with photography, ha! So I’m definitely still learning! I look forward to hearing more about this for you this year.