I haven't set monthly goals in what seems like forever - maybe because I've been focused on just getting to work, feeding my family, and surviving nights of broken sleep (thank you, my darling one-year-old - but seriously, why aren't you sleeping through the night yet?!).
And let me tell you, I have felt the effects of unfocused, reactive living.
I have struggled to keep my eyes on the Big Picture - passions, priorities and projects that keep my soul on fire and my eyes on Jesus and my heart soft towards others. I have spent time with the Lord erratically, struggling to get out of bed in time for work, let alone in time to even spend 5 minutes with Him. I have reacted to my circumstances instead of taking steps to put myself in a healthier place emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
And let's take honesty one more step - I find it much easier to turn off my brain and flick through Facebook than to sit down and write out my heart struggles and wrestle with how God's word speaks to my mundane moments.
So my goal for April is simple: 15 minutes in the right direction.
Wake up 15 minutes earlier.
Spend 15 minutes with Jesus.
Write for 15 minutes.
Why 15 minutes? It's small; it's doable; it doesn't overwhelm me. I have found that if I don't get up and do what's important first thing in the day, it won't happen. And that kills me. I hate waking up early! I love sleeping and crave a good 9 hours every night. And I know that rest is very, very necessary. But lately, I have succumbed to laziness. I have taken the easy route of avoiding self-discipline - and it is killing me more than not getting 9 hours of sleep.
If I hit the snooze button every morning, that extra 15 minutes of laying around with my eyes closed doesn't actually benefit me that much. What if I actually got out of bed when my alarm went off - or even set it 15 minutes earlier? And used that time to pray and study his Word and put my own thoughts down on paper?
It sounds so easy - and it is - but my body is so weak. I have ideas and ambitions, but when I get to the end of the day, I lack the willpower and energy to take the necessary steps towards making those dreams a reality.
But if it's important to me, I'll make it happen. It doesn't matter what my mouth says; if I don't follow through, it's all hollow talk.
And how will I actually make all this happen? By recognizing that it's Jesus working in me, giving me the desire and the ability to follow through. I know I need these three simple things - time alone, time with Jesus, and time writing - to live the life God has asked of me.
Side note: I read The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica Turner last month. Her words gave me permission to admit my deep need for activities that make my soul come alive. And it also challenged me to take steps to make it a reality. If this sounds a bit self-centered, or if you think there's no way you even have 5 minutes to spare on yourself, read her book. It's not gospel, but it's very helpful in equipping you and motivating you to move towards a richer life.
So those are my goals for this month. It's nothing revolutionary or challenging or exciting. But they are foundational habits I need to build so I can thrive in this season in life. And when I get my 2015 Powersheets in the mail in (hopefully!) the next week or so, I can keep refining those priorities and giving myself permission to let go of all the extra unnecessary fluff in my life.
It's all about the baby steps. What are some seemingly small goals you've made that ended up being big stepping stones? Have you made any goals for April?
P.S. I'm sending out my monthly newsletter this week (maybe?). I'd love it if you signed up to get it here. No spam - just more stories from my quirky life and encouragement from all over the web.
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