Ever since we rang in the new year I've been mulling the idea of creating a new set of goals for 2014...and considering it's the 7th as I write this, that means I've been mulling for 7 days...which is why I'm late to the 2014 new years resolutions party that's going on in blogland.
Truth be told, I was really never a goal-setter before, and I've only started dabbling in setting goals since last spring when Nate and I went through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University (FPU) and we learned the importance of setting goals.
"If you take a trip with no destination, how do you know when you arrive?"
"If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time."
For a while, I really loved aiming at nothing, because that means there'd be no let-down if I didn't achieve whatever I set out to do. If I aimed at something, and missed, I usually came down hard on myself and became so discouraged that any future goal setting was out of the question.
I'd preferred to wallow rather than set a new goal and keep moving forward.
But after doing some growing last year, and giving myself some grace, I've learned that the world is not ending if I don't do everything I say I'm gonna do, I've come to enjoy setting goals and creating a road map with my destinations clearly defined.
For 2014 I've indeed set some tangible goals. Things I can schedule. Things I can mark off a checklist.
And then I read this blog post by Ann Voskamp, who created a list of intangible goals; a "sanity manifesto" that's "not a law, but a scaffolding for the shaky, struggling days."
...And I loved it so much I wanted to make one of my own.
A grace plan. A doable life-change plan. A manifesto for my 2014.
I included some of Ann's because they spoke to me and my life, and then I tried to come up with my own that sounded just as lovely, and graceful, and poetic as those that she came up with... cause Ann has a way with words, and is one of those writers I wish I could be like.
My 25 for Sanity Manifesto
1.) Begin with the end in mind
2.) One bite at a time
One year when Nate was coaching lacrosse, his team was in a huddle and I heard one of the coaches ask the team "How do you eat an elephant?" to which they emphatically responded,
"One bite at a time!" It's stuck with me ever since.
Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with a task and everything it involves, or how long it will take, that I get discouraged and don't even start. The only way to complete a challenge, or a big project, or a lifestyle change is to do it one step at a time. One bite at a time.
3.) Dream some dreams
Guys, I thought about making this a blog post in itself, which I may eventually do, but I have a confession to make: I don't have any dreams.
Sure, I'd love to win the lottery and live a vacation for the rest of my life, but odds are that probably won't happen. When I start to "dream," per say, I just always assume it would never work out anyway, and I come back to earth and accept the realities of the real world. For example, I would love to write for a living. I'd love to be a freelancer. I'd love to be an author. The odds are probably slim. In 2014 I don't want to dwell on what probably won't happen, I want to dwell on what could happen...and then put in the work to make that happen...one bite at a time.
4.) All the lambs roared like lions
Matt Maher has a song in which there's a lyric that reads, "And all the lambs roared like lions."
I'm a lamb.
Somehow, some way, and I'm not sure why, over the last five years or so there's a timidity that's overcome me that I never had before. I don't speak up when I know I have the right answer. I don't solicit my opinion. I don't correct the server who got my order wrong. Eye contact makes me uncomfortable. If I thought I was passive before, I'm even more so now. In 2014 I want to get over that and I want to speak up, make my presence known, and roar like a lion. ...ignore how cliche that sounded.
5.) Be a doer
More doing, less planning. Less doing nothing.
Usually when I get home from work I plop myself down on the couch and begin checking my various social media outlets while I try and decide what I'm going to do for the night (e.g., workout, dishes, laundry, walk the dogs, etc.). Before I know it, I look at the time at it's 6:30 - no longer light outside to take the dogs for a walk, it's time to start making dinner, which leaves no time for a workout, and I have no clean pants for tomorrow.
If I don't purposefully spend my time, if I'm not intentional with my actions and activities, time literally passes right by me. It's been happening too often lately. In 2014 I want to be more effective with my free time.
*7.) First Things First: work in, work out, work plan
"Open your eyes every morning and just do three first:
Word in: Get into God's Word and let it get into you
Work out: Work out. Move.
Work plan: write out the workplan, and then work the plan"
*8.) Stay in the pool
Michael Phelps said it in an interview: 'You've just got to stay in the pool longer than others.'
Set the timer. Get in the pool. Stay in the pool. Do your work. Don't get distracted. Don't flit from one thing to another and back. Don't get out of the pool, don't leave your work, until the timer goes. The way to win is to stay in the pool."
*9.) Clean a space = clear headspace
"Keeping the workspace clean, clears your headspace to think."
Soak in life. Each season. Let it get under your skin. Revel in now.
*11.) Every day, not every now and then
"Random acts of greatness pale in comparison to habitual acts of faithfulness. It's not what you do every now and then, but what you do everyday, that changes everything."
Contentment, commitment, confidence.
These three. Improve them. In every aspect of life.
13.) Do what you ought to do
I read The Happiness Project last year and she made mention of this phrase. The word 'ought' is friendlier than the word 'should,' it's more inviting, more welcoming, more motivating. 'Ought' smiles at me and politely suggests what I ought to be doing, whereas 'should' shakes it's finger at me when I'm not doing something I should be.
...and that was weird, but that's how I have it in my head.
14.) Feel the fear, and do it anyway
Remember #4 above? This goes with that.
15.) Like a gazelle
As I briefly mentioned earlier, Nate and I completed Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course last spring (go here and find a class in your area! It will rock your world!!). Every chance I get to talk about it, I do, because it was literally the best thing we could've done for ourselves and for our financials. One of my favorite lessons was on "dumping debt." Proverbs 6:1-5 says: "Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, and like a bird from the hand of the fowler."
We learned that you can wander into debt, but you can't wander out. Rather, you must have gazelle-like intensity to get out of debt and get out of debt fast!! 2014 is the year we're going to get things paid off and get started on my student loans!
16.) Fail to plan, plan to fail
*17.) Work on your wall
"Like Nehemiah who worked on rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, build your wall, building whatever God has uniquely called you to - a particular work project, a creative project, a ministry, etc. Work on your wall, laying down stones. If you don't intentionally work on your wall, the tyranny of the urgent can make your life a rubble heap."
*18.) Ebenezers for the efforts
An ebenezer is a commemoration of divine assistance.
"Mark little milestones! Celebrate! The little things!"
19.) Be present
20.) No thieves
"Comparison is the thief of joy" - Theodore Roosevelt
Comparison is truly the thief of my joy. And I hate it. And I hate that I compare myself to others. This has to stop in 2014. It just has to. This is a "sanity" manifesto for a reason.
21.) Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else
22.) Carissa + ness
I hate to say it, but I totally took this from the movie You, Me, and Dupre. It wasn't even that good of a movie, I just loved this concept. In 2014 I want to embrace my "ness." The things that make me, me. My Carissaness.
23.) No excuses
If you wanna be a poop, go lay in the yard.
24.) Outside the box
Get out of my comfort zone. Try new things. Things that are outside my box.
*25.) The holy, happiness habit
"All research says that giving thanks is guaranteed to make you 25% happier. Who. Doesn't. Want. That.? Write down three things a day you are grateful for. Hunt for His glory. Look for the beauty. Count 1000 gifts."
And there it is. My 2014 manifesto. Long, and lacking pictures, but I think it's OK on this one.
And I feel pretty good about it.