setting goals and sticking with them

Do you love setting goals for the new year or do you find it pointless?  Goals can be a great way to give us purpose and keep us intentional with what we are doing with our time. Now I set goals for years and by summer I would have completely forgotten what they even were or I felt like I hadn’t made any progress up until this point so what were the odds I was going to actually achieve it?  Might as well give up and try again next year.  That was until I figured out what worked for ME.  In this post I’m going to share what that is and maybe it will turn out to be what works for YOU too! 

I have found that the only thing that works for me is to have a word that sums up what I want to work on for the year and then to do a checkin every 3 months. Some of the words from years past: Fit, Growth, Intention, Service. This year, my word is CLEANSE and I get excited and sigh a little sigh of relief every time I think about it.

When you look up the definition of cleanse and look at the noun description it says, “a process or period of time during which a person attempts to rid the body of substance regarded as toxic or unhealthy…” and that perfectly sums up what I want this year to look like.  I’m not just talking about cleansing my body of toxins by drinking more water, I’m talking about removing ALL toxins from my life.  The people, behaviors, habits, and lifestyle choices that I feel are having a toxic effect on my life.  Riding our house of unnecessary items that are becoming distractions or creating chaos where I want there to be only peace and beauty.

Now that I have a word and understand the main goals I hope to achieve with that word, I then like to break it down to what the first steps are going to be to get there. I break it down into 3 months because if not I feel like I’m biting off more than I can chew and it feels overwhelming to me, more like a daunting task than something that motivates and excites me because I feel like its attainable. Another key for me is to remember that there is no “end game” with these words.  It is not a goal that you can achieve and cross of your list in December and say, “Good, I did that this year, now I’m done.”  I choose words that will help me create better habits that I will continue to do throughout the rest of my life.  So when the year begins to come to an end I can reflect on how far I’ve come and look forward to continuing the journey with the word moving forward. 

Ok, so back on track to my first steps.  In these first 3 months I’m going to focus on cleansing my social media & my relationships. I’m going to do this by:

  • unfollowing/hiding people who bring feelings of contention to me as I read their post (important to point out that I’m NOT saying anyone who disagrees with my beliefs. what I am saying is ANYONE who feels the need to tear others’ views down in order to make their point…bye bye to them.  I have so far unfollowed many who have the same views as I do but they go about it in a way I disagree with and I continue to follow a handful that have different views than I do but I appreciate their approach of teaching and it helps me to see things from a different perspective, which I always LOVE and encourage)
  • following people that uplift & inspire with their post
  • saying “no” to being around people who I feel uncomfortable around (contention is again a key word for me here) or who I feel do not accept me for who I am
  • spending more time with people who bring me joy, uplift, inspire me to be better and who I can be myself with
  • less time on social media & tv and more time listening to uplifting/fun podcasts and uplifting/fun music & most importantly more INTENTIONAL time with my family

Around Easter I will have a little “checkin” with myself to see how I’m doing with these?  Have I stuck with it?  Do I still have room for improvement?  If anytime before April I feel like I’m doing well with these and want to “checkin” sooner and start adding to my list I absolutely do, but I will still spend some time around April to look over my list (which, FYI, I keep in my journal).  Also, it’s great to have an accountability partner if you can.  My husband doesn’t set goals OR have a word for the year like I do but he is a great listener so every so often when we’re on date night I fill him in with where I’m at and what I think I can continue to work on and I ask for his feedback on any progress he has seen or areas he thinks I can still improve.  So, your accountability partner doesn’t have to be someone who is willing to do this with you, just someone who cares enough about you to support you.

Some other areas I hope to CLEANSE:

  • decluttering every room of the house (this is a great year for this since we have remodeling going on)
  • negativity – less negativity and more gratitude
  • self doubt – cleansing myself from nasty self doubt and having greater faith in God’s plan for me

I will continue to add to my list things that could go under my “CLEANSE” word so if you have ideas, please comment and let me know!  Also, if you need an accountability partner guess what?  You are in luck!  I can be one!  And everyone reading this can be one.  Comment below with your word for the year and when I check back in around April you can comment again and let us know where you are at with your word.  The most important thing to remember with setting a word/goal for the year is this: its ALL about progress and intention and NOT about perfection or crossing a finish line.  You CAN do this.  You can start taking steps to a healthier, more fulfilling life and it doesn’t matter if it is January or November…you can start RIGHT NOW.


Sweet Redeemer, Rescue Me

I was in 8th grade and I felt SO alone and could not figure out how to pull myself out of such a dark and lonely place. Could I really trust to tell anyone what had happened to me? How I was feeling? How ashamed I was?
I was home alone, cutting an apple for a snack, when I looked at the knife in my hand and I had the thought that I could put an end to all the pain right then and there. I knew immediately I could never go through with it and slid to the floor uncontrollably sobbing. There are no words I have ever been able to find that can describe the feelings of hopelessness that I felt then.
As I sat on the kitchen floor I cried out, “What do I do?!” And the most beautiful experience I have ever had took place right then. I saw my Savior with His arms outstretched and me, as a little girl, running into his arms. NOTHING but pure joy and love filled the room in that moment.
I had just had a flashback of sorts. You see, when I was 6 or 7 I had that dream of me running to the Savior. Him kneeling, arms outstretched, big smile on His face. And I had woken from that dream with the same feelings of love and peace and acceptance. Here I was, 6 or 7 years later with such a vivid remembrance of that dream, like vision returning.
I knew right then, I was not alone. He wasn’t only by my side because He had to be, but because He WANTS TO BE. I could run to Him at any moment, have Him bear always. He would help get me through.
No matter what you are facing, no matter what you have done, no matter what you have experienced…He wants to be near. He wants to help. There is NOTHING that will change that. He also knows who here in Earth can help you through your dark days. Let them in. Let Him guide you and guide them. If they are reaching out, reach back, He may have sent them.


Grieving with pain seeking thy grace

Savior, oh please give me strength

Oh sweet Redeemer, rescue me,

Into thine arms my burdens ease,

cast down my fears, lay down my tears,

bid me to dwell at thy feet

-lyrics from the song Sweet Redeemer by City of Enoch