My 2015 Goals

Y’all, I am really excited to share my goals with you today. The process of prayerfully searching my heart and defining my goals for 2015 was an incredibly reflective, gradual, growing experience.
I began goal setting with the first steps of my PowerSheets on December 31st. If you are not familiar with this tool, it is an incredible resource created by Lara Casey to help people define goals that are rooted in what matters most. They are currently sold out but will be back in stock in March. In the meantime, I highly recommend working through the goal setting series that she has graciously shared on her blog. Early in the month, she shared that February 1st was her January 1st. I found such freedom in that because it encouraged me to really take my time in working through each step, praying for guidance and direction, and really digging down to my core to set goals that I am excited about. Last year, I never finished my PowerSheets because I was facing a lot of unknowns with my back and I lacked the maturity and wisdom to see that I could have set purposeful goals despite my obstacles. Thankfully, over the past year, God has grown me so much and I feel like He is really impressing upon my heart to step into maturity and do remarkable (my word for the year) things.

These goals have been slow-cooked, loved on, prayed over, and thoughtfully defined. As of today, I have seven goals that I feel convicted to commit to. I have saved spaces 8, 9, and 10 on my PowerSheets, because I decided to focus on the seven that God has clearly given me for now and revisit the thought of adding more later.

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13

Lara Casey Goal Setting Graphic - 2015 Goals1) Establish a stronger, more firm walk with God. Get to know Him intimately, grow a deep relationship with Him, make (and keep) Him my core, foundation, #1 priority, and necessity. Why? With God as my core, I cannot go wrong. I am whole in Him, fulfilled in Him, and find my joy in Him. He created me and I will live my best and most full life with him at the center. No other goal or pursuit has worth if I am not seeking God above everything else.

Jesus replied,  “‘You must love the  lord  your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37

I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. I praise you, O   lord ; teach me your decrees. Psalm 119:10-12

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5

I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will. John 5:30

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16

2) Get healthy, strong, and confident in myself. Why? I want to feel my very best and utilize/leverage the energy and clarity that comes from wellness to grow and cultivate my giftings, be effective, and be ready to pour out into others. I don’t want to miss opportunities out of exhaustion or weakness that can be prevented by taking complete care of myself.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. Proverbs 31:17

3) Establish solid, full-time income doing work I am crazy passionate with and for. Why? I feel called to do remarkable work. My heart is very much set on doing hard, purposeful work. My time will be invested in something I believe in and I will be providing for myself out of the use of my giftings. It’s time to be brave.

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. Psalm 138:8

For nothing will be impossible with God. Luke 1:37

4) Create and produce/establish a portfolio (or portfolio-esque) reflection of my creative heart that effectively communicates my discerning eye, passions, and giftings. Why? To open the right doors. To gain experience that will equip me to do my work well and to contribute to something meaningful.

She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. Proverbs 31:18-19

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them… Romans 12:6

5) Grow in character and step into maturity. Do not be watered-down or lukewarm. Have consistency and follow-through. Why? I am called to do so. This will make me a more effective young woman, leader, worker, friend, daughter, and will prepare me for when God calls me to marriage.

… Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Titus 2:7

6) Bring order to my resources and finances. Be a good steward or what God has given me and bless others through that. Be prayerful and obedient with spending. Why? I don’t want to be selfish or wasteful. I want to be secure and prepared for whatever God calls me to do and to not be thrown off by unexpected demands and expenses.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Proverbs 3:27

7. Cultivate and tend to community. Love on others, show people Jesus, and celebrate doing life with the people God has placed in my life. Why? We are instructed in scripture to love others and serve them. Relationships grow with tending love and care.

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:24

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10

Friends, I am ready to roll up my sleeves and take purposeful action this year. I feel so good about 2015!

kylamarymonogramImage courtesy of Lara Casey


What I’m Saying “Yes” to in 2015

As I work through Lara Casey’s 2015 Goal Setting Series, I am sharing pieces of my progress and my heart for the year ahead with y’all. Each time I have sat down with my PowerSheets, I have met resistance in the form of self-doubt and fear of what I might be called to do. I have big huge dreams on my heart and I am trying to hold onto them loosely so that I can keep my hands open to whatever God may call me to because His plans might be different than my own. On Saturday morning, I grabbed my pen and began working on the list of things I am saying “yes” and “no” to in 2015. It was tough, but I tried to remember that I am not doing this alone and I envisioned God working on the list with me. As soon as I put pen to paper, the thoughts started to flow. I’m so thankful for the way that He kneels down closely to me in those moments, guiding me and revealing things I wouldn’t see on my own. I am sharing the “yes” list with you and doing a happy dance for making it this far on the road to setting solid, prayerful goals for the year. Yay!

Daily, carved-out, set-aside, protected time with God

Eating for energy, wellness, and nourishment

Listening to and encouraging others

Being brave and taking leaps of faith

Consistency with blogging

Prioritizing saving instead of spending

Seizing opportunities instead of letting them slip

Continual, incremental, patient growth

Temporary discomfort in favor of good change

Remembering that if God leads me to something, He will equip me for it

Being genuine, authentic, and real always

Doing the good work that’s laid out for me

Real rest

Having a grateful heart and practicing gratitude

Regular, heart-pumping exercise

Lots of prayer

Discipline in favor of growth

Listening to God instead of talking at Him

Scheduling regular time to recharge

Order, simplicity, and good stewardship of the spaces I have been given

Breaking down walls instead of living in their shadows

Stepping into maturity

Part one | Part two


If I Could Hug Y’all In Person

December 30th. One year ago today I clicked ‘publish’ for the very first time. I was scared to put myself out there, but I had wanted to start my own blog for a while. I started to read more blogs each day and to leave comments on posts when I found something I really liked. There were patches of time this year where I doubted if I should continue blogging, and times when I wondered if there was some ‘commenting ettiquette’ that I needed to be aware of. There were months where I posted and interacted often and then months where I lacked consistency with it.
In November, in a hotel room in North Carolina, a switch flipped and I was spurred on toward making something of this blog, even if only for myself. Since then I have been posting more frequently and I just bought the domain and began hosting my site independently over the weekend. I am now working on updating the design and working with a web developer to create a space that suits me. It’s exciting and a huge learning experience for me and I’m enjoying it quite a bit!

If I have learned anything from my year of being interactive on the web, it has been that it doesn’t have to be distant and impersonal. Community can be found there. It is really fun for me to find content that encourages me and then to learn more about the heart behind it. People get vulnerable on the internet, sharing their stories, advice, struggles, and hopes. There is an endless supply of free inspiration and guidance online. It is really important to me to thank people for the work they do and the pieces of themselves that they are sharing. This year I took some time to reach out to bloggers and professionals whom I genuinely respect and admire. At first I felt hesitant, wondering if I would seem strange or it was appropriate to contact people directly. Then I put myself in their shoes and I decided that it meant a lot to me to let them know how they are making a positive impact in my life. Over the past year, God has introduced me to the hearts of these women and used them to help teach me, shape me, inspire me, and grow me. Through emails, love notes, and a few delightful in-person conversations, I feel like I have been able to treat some of my favorite bloggers and professionals the way I treat my in-person friends. It has been rewarding and a real blessing to me this year. As 2015 rapidly approaches, I want to share some of my favorites with you, too. If I could hug them all in person, I would. They have wonderful hearts, missions, words, and inspiration that have helped me immensely. Enjoy!

LaraLara Casey // this post, this series, her new bookthis podcast, this page, this company, and this opportunity


Jess Connolly // this class, this book, this, thisthis and this post


Nancy Ray // this class, and this series


Gina Zeidler // this, this, this and this post, and this


Valerie Woerner // this instagram post, this, this, and this post, and this product


Emily Thomas // this series, this post, this behind the scenes look, and this work


Emily Ley // this and this post


Amber Housley // this podcast, this beautiful Pinterest account


Rhiannon Bosse // this story, this and this post


Hayley Morgan // this post, this class and this class


Katie Hilbert // this and this post, this book

Photos: Lara, Jess, Nancy, Gina, ValerieEmilyEmilyHayleyKatie, Rhiannon, Amber