One of the first things I did when I decided to become a full-time creative entrepreneur – read about that transition here – was to begin setting specific goals. I’ve always been more of a big-picture goal setter (of sorts). Surfing on the Web reveals that successful business people set specific, measurable goals. Not just big picture: I want to be a mom who is present; I want to be a wife who shows deep respect for her husband; I want to be an employee that is positive and productive. I found two resources that have been very helpful in this process.
The first being Christy Wright’s Business Boutique book which was a “You Go, Soul Sister” gift from my BFF when I made the leap to self-employment. I highly recommend it for all things business.
The second resource was Lara Casey’s Cultivate What Matters Power Sheets. I ran across her materials while reading Big Plan for the Creative Mind – also a good read to get you thinking about goal setting.
Here’s the interesting thing that I hope might help a reader or two (because that’s probably how many I have 🙂) While I did use these resources to set several specific business goals, I found the process to be even more helpful in my personal life. Oh, how I wish I had found these Power Sheets many years ago!
There were a couple of exercises in the Power Sheets that truly made a lasting impression on me. One was the Cultivated Life Evaluation where you rank how you think you are doing on a scale of 1-10 in eight categories: health, friends, spouse/significant other, family, finances, spiritual + personal growth, work and recreation. The other exercise was The Big Picture where you consider where you want to be when you are 80 years old.
I’ve been so focused on building inAWE over the last few years that my lowest rankings in the life evaluation were in friends and recreation. Apparently I’ve lost my ability to have FUN! Maybe I’ve never been very good at it, but I want to be. Each week I am making sure that I do something fun. Two weeks ago my DH and I went on a day-long motorcycle ride meandering around the outskirts of Oklahoma City. We even stopped and had ice cream along the way. This past weekend I kayaked on Lake Overholser with my DH and DD. We also spent some time browsing the bargain book section at Mardel. Because I love reading and have not been feeding that joy for the past few years. Small steps toward cultivating what matters.
As for the big picture, one HUGE thing it helped me see was that I could possibly live another 30 years. That’s a long time, people. I want to make those years count and I want them to be full of the things that matter to me. Once I hit 50, I think I lost some of my mojo and almost checked out as if the best years of my life were behind me. Well, that’s just silly. While the next 30 might look a lot different than the first 50, there is no reason why they cannot be full of purpose, passion and fun. But that will only happen if I move forward with intention. This is my BIG picture: When I am 80, I want to be strong – spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally.
Spiritually strong means having a faith in my AWEsome God that cannot be shaken; Physically strong means being healthy, flexible, and of sound mind; Emotionally strong by having solid relationship with my girls no matter where they live, a fulfilling marriage with my best bud, Jeff, and fun and meaningful relationships with other women of all ages and backgrounds; Mentally strong by still having a purpose (work) in my life.
Now I am in the process of setting specific goals in these areas to get me where I want to be when I’m 80. I’m sure I will get around to sharing those in a future post. For now, I’d like to encourage you to start with the end in mind. What do you want your life to look like when you are 80? What is your big picture?
We can ponder and dream and make plans, and I think God is okay with that. I think He encourages us to consider our path and move forward with intention. Proverbs 14:15 says, “…the prudent man (or woman) carefully considers his (or her) ways.” BUT we must also remember that it is best to hold those plans out with an open hand to God – not inside of a clenched fist; Proverbs 16:19 tells us: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” So…the plans we make may or may not come to pass. But as Jesus- Lovers, we can be okay with that because we know our God is in control and He loves us, pursues us, comforts us and is always with us NO MATTER WHAT.