“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1–8, NLT)
I’m leaving the board governance posts behind this week to share with you something that I’ve come to believe is incredibly important and something I’ve already, with a more intentional focus than ever before, begun. I’m reflecting and processing the last year of my life and setting clear goals for next year.
I love the opening verses of this blog post because they serve as a reminder to us that there are different seasons in the journey of life and there are both things that can happen to us which are out of our control (like death) and there are things that are within our control (like being quiet). I’m turtling right now. What do I mean by that? I am withdrawing from all kinds of stimuli so that I can really do some deep thinking and listening. Slowing down and being quiet is a choice that is within our control. And yes, I’m aware that it’s the Christmas season, but I can’t help but feel a longing to be prepared.
I want to be prepared this next year for what Christ wants to do in and through me. I desire to hear the longings of my soul and discover a pathway (i.e., setting goals) of how I might get there. I ache to have greater clarity about my life purpose so that I might live with deeper passion. I’m ready to tear down and throw away those things that need to go. And I’m ready to nurture and grow those things that need to stay. But I need to know what’s been working and what’s not been working and what’s next. There’s this weird tension sometimes of waiting on the Lord for direction and choosing to take steps every day towards those things that you think matter and are supposed to be part of your life.
Dan Rockwell wrote a blog post earlier this week called How to Make a Personal Plan for 2018, it can be found here. He asks some good questions that you may find helpful. I’m using something different. I purchased the workbook Your Best Life 2018 by Lisa Jacobs (found here) and I am working my way through the book. It’s likely going to take me all of December to get through my reflection and goal setting for next year, but it’s time well invested. One thing to keep in mind: tools are helpful, even if you don’t agree with everything an author has to say. Keep what’s good and in line with your values and go from there.
As we journey through this last month of the 2017 year, what matters to you? Are you preparing room for those things? What are you most proud of this year? What are some of your fondest memories of 2017? Your greatest achievements? What didn’t go so well? Have you taken time to really evaluate those experiences so you can learn from them? What do you want to accomplish in 2018? How will you get there? What matters moving forward?
Please hear my heart, I’m not talking about wishful thinking in my post. I’m hoping to encourage you to set the necessary time aside to evaluate, process, and prepare for the year that is soon to be upon us, and it would be my prayer that it’s an extraordinary year.
Blessings for an amazing day,