Our goal for this community is to create a safe place for PowerSheets users to share their intentional goal-setting journeys. We’re honored to have our first Blog Contributor, Bailey Robert, share about her Spring Goal Refresh. Thank you, Bailey, for taking the time to share your story with us! If you haven’t yet, be sure to read Bailey’s introduction here. – Laura
April showers bring May flowers, or so the saying goes. As April comes to an end, it has become that time to curl up in a coffee shop corner on a gloriously rainy day and see what seeds were planted that just might bloom in May.
I have been a faithful user of the PowerSheets over the past three years, and my favorite update is by far the Three-Month Refresh Section. These four pages have brought such sweet relief, a place to recharge my heart, and they’ve given me permission to fine tune goals to each season. What a game changer!
At the start of 2016, I looked forward into a year full of major life transitions and unknowns looming in the distance: writing my thesis, graduating with my masters, moving back to Texas, finding a job, settling in a new community, the list goes on and on. My bubble was about to burst, and I couldn’t imagine what May was going to look like, let alone November months and months away! It was easy to become overwhelmed at all of the unanswered questions, and I panicked. Deer in the headlights, staring into the blank abyss, hot chocolate growing cold kind of panic.
How was I supposed to set goals for twelve months when I didn’t know where I would be living in six?! Would I teach? Would I work retail and audition? Would I be living at home?
Luckily, my dear friend Rachel talked some sense into me. She’s got the best “Quit talkin’ crazy, we can figure this outâ€ glance I’ve ever seen We grabbed our PowerSheets Workbooks and took over a coffee shop corner, deciding to take the year inÂ three-month segments. The segments gaveÂ ourselves a shorter distance to look so we could make what matters happen one step at a time. We planned for January, February, and March, and my heart found its peace!
Taking it a step further, we gave ourselves another pep talk and more parameters. Â Instead of worrying about what we could not control, we decided to take steps toward those things we could contribute to.
At the time I couldn’t control where I was going to live but I could contribute to making myself the best candidate possible for the job.
I couldn’t control what life was going to look like next fall, but I could contribute to my physical health by creating habits that would serve me well in the future.
These are the goals I set at the beginning of 2016, in no particular order:
January, February, March
- Cultivate heart healthy (physical) habits that are maintainable!
- Read/art journal the entire Bible.
- Cultivate contentment by participating in The Contentment Challenge.
- Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks.
- Finish grad school strong.
- Document the year creatively: Project Life and One Little Word.
- Blog/use the internet with intentionality to point others to Jesus.
- Become financially responsible.
- Contribute to the Illustrated Faith team with joy.
- Disciple my girls well.
Some of these goals would carry on into other seasons/quarters. For example, I did not expect to read the entire Bible in three months nor instantly become financially responsible. But I put them on the list to make them a priority, and to break them down into action steps over the coming weeks. Reading 52 books in 52 weeks is another that will take the entire year to accomplish.
However, some of the goals are season specific. The Contentment Challenge by Nancy Ray is three months long. Grad school lasts until May, covering close to one and a half quarters, and my contract with Illustrated Faith also lasts until May, so a few of these spill over into the second season.
When it came time to refresh these goals, I took a good hard look at what worked, what didn’t work, what was too vague, and what needed to change. The Three-Month Goal Refresh pages were SO HELPFUL! I cannot tell you how enlightening it was to really put these first ten goals to the test, and to be able to re-write them and reinvent them as needed for the second season.
While the first quarter of the year was school-soaked and packed to the brim with travels, the next quarter would be focused on launching myself into post-grad life: applications, interviews, graduation, moving. Two very different seasons that necessitated several different goals. I took the first goal from the beginning of the year “Cultivate Heart Healthy Habitsâ€ and made it a theme for the second quarter, broadening it to include almost all of the new goals, breaking it down into even more specific and practical goals than before.
After a few day’s reflection, these are the goals I set for the next season:
April, May, June
- Get physical; find what works.
- Good fuel in, keep the junk out.
- Establish new routines in key areas.
- Strengthen my heart.
- Make the transition well.
- The Contentment Challenge (â€¦for real this time)
- 52 Books in 52 Weeks
- Do more of what fires me up!
This time I only have eight goals. The last two slots stand gloriously empty, and I’ve even given myself permission to add these goals as I see fit! Is that crazy or what?!
With “Heart Healthy Habitsâ€ as the overarching theme, the goals came easily, and many of the echo what I intended to do last season only with new vision.
Instead of “cultivate heart healthy (physical) habits,â€ my goal is to actually GET physical, from zumba to holy yoga and more, to make my body move! Instead of “Read/art journal the entire Bible,â€ my goal is to strengthen my heart, leaving room for variation: illustrating my faith, trying new studies, digging into to discipleship.
The Contentment Challenge is repeated because, let’s be real, the first crack at it was a bust. I probably spent more than I had any quarter of last year, but this new season brings a fresh dose of grace and a scriptural basis for the goal this go-around. I’m still planning to read 52 books in 52 weeks, having read 15 in the first three months (and I’ve already read 10 in April!).
While documenting the year creatively was a nice goal, and I do love to scrapbook, it did not make it back onto my list for this season. If I get to it, great, but there are other things I need to prioritize, such as making the transition from grad school to post-grad and doing more of what fires me up. Documenting things creatively is something that fires me up, so it found it’s way back in, only slightly differently.
My biggest takeaway from the Three-Month Refresh was that grace, instead of guilt, is a GREAT motivator. I may not have followed all of my first quarter’s goals to perfection, but I was able to be honest with myself about my struggles and successes, letting that launch me forward into the next season instead of wading around in “what ifsâ€ or “if onlys.â€ Grace grace grace, y’all.
No matter where or how your seasons change this year, give yourself plenty of grace and take the time to reassess your goals as you go. If something needs to change or no longer fits your season, then change it! Make a mess, scratch it out, and write in whichever goal is now the right one. It could make all the difference.