It’s crazy to me to look back on 2016 and see how different the year ended up than I ever intended or planned for it to. In some ways this was disappointing. In other ways 2016 surprised me in the sweetest ways possible. One of those sweet surprises was with the growth of my Teachers Pay Teachers business, and the start of this blog. But with that surprising growth also came even bigger dreams for what this could be, and with that some overwhelming feelings. I had ended 2015 feeling exhausted by all of my responsibilities at my school, in my ministry, and in my home, and yet I ended 2016 with all of those same responsibilities + a growing business and blog to maintain and market. How was I ever supposed to get through 2017 with all of this on my plate?
But then my dear friend who writes at Gentle Leading introduced me to PowerSheets, by Lara Casey at Cultivate What Matters. Lara has developed a specific goal planning system perfect for someone like me, who wears many hats in one day, and especially perfect for people with jobs (like teachers, stay at home moms, bloggers, etc.) that can lack clear structure and achievable rewards. Her system focuses on progress and not perfection, which is perfect for someone like me who needs a LOT of grace. Going through her process was the most therapeutic way to reflect on 2016 and dream of what 2017 could be. I am so obsessed with these and plan on doing EVERY year from now on. Here is a little tour:
Isn’t the book so pretty? I love all of the colors. They go perfectly with my lifetime supply of flair pens.
Just to get started, you are given space to just brainstorm things that you desire for the new year. This was such a sweet space for me! Note: I am not sharing all of the pages filled in with my own thoughts and goals, just because so many are very personal. But I did want to give you a sneak peak into my brain!
I love the chance to reflect on who I am and to make my goals based on what I love, what I am grateful for, and what I need to let go of. The page on the right I especially loved because it really helped me process through where I am right now and what I need to focus on moving forward in order to make the most of this new year.
I found outlining my fears to be so helpful as I moved forward and created goals that will drive me out of those fears and insecurities. It is so easy I’ve found with this blog and my store to be paralyzed by my inadequacies. It was helpful to sit and identify what I was afraid of WHY, and then to get visual about what my big picture goals for my life are so I can start working now to overcome these fears that get in the way of me living my life!
I love all of the inspirational quotes embedded throughout the book that serve as reminders of why we plan in the first place. I didn’t set these goals in order to obtain perfection in my marriage, my work, my business, or my relationships. I set these goals to be intentional in how I am choosing to approach each of these areas of my life in order to not waste this life. Such a different mindset that makes ALL of the difference!
These may be my two favorites pages from the book (I feel like I keep saying everything is my favorite…woops.) I can’t explain HOW GOOD IT FELT to look back on 2016 and to not just reflect on the CHALLENGES and what didn’t work, but also on the GOOD THINGS and what I did that was successful. Both of these areas resulted in lessons learned that are key for setting the foundation for how I wanted to approach this new year. I also love how she insists on coming up with at least 10 good things – because I was QUICK to fill in the “challenges” space, but struggled at first to think of my 10 good things (I can be a little hard on myself.)
After all of this reflecting, you then return to listing out what fires you up, and really gets you excited! This helped me so much with coming up with my “why” for the year, and specifically my word for the year that would underline all of the goals I made.
This was a fun page for me, and so good to remind me what really makes me excited, happy and joyful [clearly my husband Thomas and coffee are really important…] It also helped me to come up with my word for the year.
Isn’t the card cute? The binder comes with so many sweet things like this. I love having this hanging at my desk to remind myself for the WHY behind each of my goals. I selected the word INTENTIONAL to be my word of the year because I feel like I am prone to put the blinders on as I charge through the busyness and just miss everything that is going on around me. Or I find myself so overwhelmed by all I need to do that I don’t do anything really well, but just “kind of” attempt to do everything. That is not the way I want to live!
The next few pages walk you through making general goals and then specific and measurable action steps for achieving those goals. I made 8 goals:
To be intentional in my walk with Jesus.
To be intentional in my marriage to T.
To be intentional in my rest.
To be intentional in my job as a teacher.
To be intentional in my business/blog.
To be intentional in my ministry.
To be intentional in my relationships with others.
To be intentional in my home.
I’ll share two of them broken down for you below – my goal for intentionality in my job and in my business.
I love how you have to have your “why” for each goal. I also love that for each goal you come up with people to help you and how you will celebrate at the end of the year!
This process of completing my PowerSheets was seriously so good for me as a person, wife, mentor, friend, daughter, teacher, and business owner, and I would recommend it to ANYONE AND EVERYONE looking to set some goals and find some direction for this new year. It is NEVER TOO LATE to get started!
I purchased the 12 month plan, but you can buy 6 month plans that aren’t specifically dated to use any time of year. At the start of each month you get to reflect on your goals and choose which to focus specifically on for the month. I really love this and so I had to share with all of you!
What do you use to set goals? How do you stay organized and not overwhelmed? I’d love to hear how any of you who balance many hats make it all work in the comments below!