filed under:

Intentionality in 2018

January 1, 2018

Happy New Year, friends! Can you believe that it’s 2018 already?!

I wrote a grand total of THREE blog posts in 2017. Three. Almost exactly one year ago I was sharing my goals for 2017 and anticipating big things for the coming year. 2017 was by far one of the most difficult years our family has had to date. Aside from welcoming our first daughter and third little one in October, the majority of our year was pretty rocky. Financially, we struggled in a big way as it felt like everything that could break or tear up or go wrong, did. We have family who struggled both physically, mentally/emotionally and financially this year as well. We experienced highs and lows in our marriage and watched dreams fall apart and by the wayside.

All of that said…2017 was a year of insurmountable growth.

2018 PowerSheets CollectionDespite the financial hardships that we endured, the Lord was faithful and never once did He fail us. Not once did we do without. Despite a struggling business, the Lord reminded me and showed me that my focus was off. My mentality became more about profit over people and that in and of itself led me to strap myself mentally and overworking when I should have been trusting the Lord to lead and direct my path and my business. I could really write an entire novel on all of the ways that I lost sight of what mattered in 2017 and how I lost my focus and my vision for my life. That will come, I’m sure, at another time. If anything, 2017 led me to more intentionally plan my year, prioritize my goals and pray for my future and the future of my family.

If you’ve followed my site for long you’ll know that I am a big fan of Lara Casey’s Powersheets. I have used them for three years and they’ve really helped me identify my good goals and think through the things that matter most in my life. This year I spent about two weeks working on my set and laying the foundation for my 2018 goals. I’m sharing them here in hopes that it will force me to be more accountable and pursue these with as much gusto and gumption as I had when I wrote them out.

Goal One: Read the entire Bible in one year. I’m going to be following the chronological reading plan put together by She Works HIS Way this year. You can download the plan for free here. I’ve read a large majority of the Word, but never the entire thing (much less from start to finish). I’m looking forward to reading and journaling my way through this year. Want to join me?!

Why? To not only say that I have, in fact, done it but to show my children how important it is to be in the Word on a daily basis. I want to align my entire life with the Lord and draw closer to Him and His will for my life.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: It will make me a better wife, mother, and individual by rooting myself in the Word.

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Accomplished. Grounded. Faith-filled. Hopefully stronger spiritually. Disciplined.

Starting steps:

  1. Download the SWHW reading plan.
  2. Crack open the Word…mark it up!
  3. Find an accountability partner and/or group to keep me going when I struggle to keep at it.

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will have a very well loved, worn and journaled in Bible…filled with prayers and notes from my year in Study.

Encouraging words: “The decision to be in God’s word daily will positively affect every other decision you make.” -Pat Cooper

How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: A new journaling bible…because I won’t have room to add anything else to the one I’ll be using for 2018!

Goal Two: Daily Intentional Prayer for my Husband and my Children. I want to pray specifically…intentionally…purposefully for my family. Not just the quick “Lord, bless and keep them” kind of prayers. Intentional and focused prayer. The kind that will move the mountains and have a profound effect on their lives.

Why? Because my family has been entrusted to me. If I don’t pray for them, who will?

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: My prayers could make a difference in a way that I will never know. I’ve seen the power of prayer at work and I wholeheartedly want to support my family in that same way.

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Disciplined. Strong. Faithful and determined.

Starting steps:

  1. Pray through The Power of a Praying Mom and The Power of a Praying Wife again and again (using the prompts within them to write my own prayers and give me direction on which areas to focus on).
  2. Create individual prayer journals for each child. I read an article on praying for your children on Lifeway’s website and I loved the idea of a prayer journal for each child. What a treasure to pass on to them someday!
  3. Set aside time each week with Josh to purposefully pray for our children, our marriage and each other.

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: Praying will become more natural, like second nature. The evidence of God at work will be obvious.

Encouraging words: “It’s the small choices no one sees that result in the BIG impact everyone wants.” -Craig Groeschel

How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: With praise and thanksgiving for all that God has done throughout the year!

Goal Three: Write Monthly letters to each child. One of my most prized possessions is a letter that my grandmother wrote my when I was in 8th grade. She typed it up and made it fancy (using Microsoft Word and designer printer paper). I have it framed and it reminds me that even though she is gone, the impact she had on my life is never ignored.

Why? One day I won’t be here anymore and I want my children to have a record of their childhood through my eyes. I am a sentimental person at heart and I love the idea of leaving behind a legacy of letters to my children.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: My kids will have handwritten letters documenting their lives as I see them as I watch them grow up.

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Sentimental.

Starting steps:

  1. Purchase each child a journal.
  2. Make notes on my calendar each month to remind myself to stop and write them.
  3. Set a google calendar reminder so that it’s emailed to me (because…three kids. I forget things…).

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will have a journal that is slowly filling with notes and letters.

Encouraging words: “Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones.”

How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Not sure yet. Any ideas?

Goal Four: Read 26 Books. I absolutely love to read. The problem is, I haven’t taken the time to do enough of it in the last couple of years. By choosing to read 26 books, that gives me two weeks to read each book. Surely I can find time somewhere to get that done.

Why? We are working to teach Noah to love books and love to get lost in a story. By seeing us read, he will be more likely to catch that habit. Plus a well-read person is a well-written person.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: Noah and Jonah may both fall in love with the written word. By choosing to read over get lost in social media, I will be doing something much more productive in the long run.

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Excited! I have slacked in a big way on the book front.

Starting steps:

  1. Choose my first book for 2018.
  2. Pick 25 others! (I have 19 of the 25 so far…I need your recommendations!)
  3. Set aside a time on my daily agenda to devote to reading without distractions.

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will have fewer books on my shelf. I will acquire new thoughts and ideas. I will have given away books I enjoy to others who may need their message.

Encouraging words: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…”

How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Another new book to start all over again!

Goal Five: Live a Healthier Lifestyle. I had my third baby in 2017. While I gained less weight with her than I did with my boys, I am still carrying 25 extra pounds that I need to get rid of.

Why? My family needs me to be mentally, spiritually, emotionally and PHYSICALLY healthy to give them my best. The women in my family have proven to live shorter lives and struggle with obesity and weight-related health problems. I want to raise my daughter to be proud of her body and take care of the one that she has been given. I will feel better, sleep better and live a longer and healthier life!

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: I will feel better overall! No more exhaustion (well…at least not from an unhealthy lifestyle). I will have more energy. I’ll be better equipped to take care of my children. My clothes will fit better. I will feel more confident!

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Disciplined. Strong. Healthy. Energetic. Proud of the hard work that I’ve done.

Starting steps:

  1. Renew my gym membership.
  2. Take part in the 40 Day Sugar Fast with Wendy Speake.
  3. Set a schedule with Josh to ensure Gym time DAILY for myself.

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: This is fourfold- Physically I will see weight loss and better fitting clothes; Spiritually I will find myself reaching for Christ instead of reaching for food; Mentally I will have more focus and more energy, and Emotionally I will have more confidence and self-esteem in the way that I look.

Encouraging words: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…” -1 Corinthians 6:19

How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: A shopping spree for new, better fitting clothes!

Goal Six: Financial Freedom. Like I mentioned, 2017 caused us some strain financially. We are determined to step closer than ever to full financial freedom in 2018!

Why? Being debt free will allow us to GIVE more freely, SAVE more intentionally, and live without the stress and strain of financial burdens hanging over our head.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: We will be able to bless others in bigger ways. We will also be setting ourselves up to change the financial legacy for our children.

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Relief at the burden of debt we won’t be carrying!

Starting steps:

  1. Put a MINIMUM of $1000 back in our Emergency Fund.
  2. Create an “Every Dollar Budget” using Mint.com to keep track of where our money goes and when.
  3. Cut out unnecessary expenses and subscriptions!

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: Our debt/income ratio will decrease. We will have significantly more in our savings account. We will be able to give more generously. Our bills will stay caught up and we will be closer to being completely DEBT FREE!

Encouraging words: “It is more blessed to GIVE than to receive…” -Acts 20:35

How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Paying CASH for a family vacation!

Goal Seven: Prayerfully Seek to mentor someone else and find a Mentor for myself. I admire (and am slightly jealous of) those women who have strong spiritual mentors to meet with and pray with. My heart cry is that God would bring someone alongside of me to be that person in my life.

Why? Titus 2 tells us that we are to mentor and BE mentored. There is always something to learn from someone else; always spiritual wisdom to impart.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: I will grow spiritually alongside of other women who can shed light on my life and influence me in my faith and in my relationships. In doing so, I hopefully will influence them in some way.

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Blessed.

Starting steps:

  1. Pray diligently for God’s provision.
  2. Open my eyes and my heart to who God would lead me to.
  3. Be still and be aware of God’s calling.

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: Thankful for the newfound friendship and spiritual relationship that I have been given.

Encouraging words: “You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” -Titus 2:1-5

How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Maybe an in-person gathering if my mentor isn’t local?

Goal Eight: Write! Write! Write some more! The written word has always, always been where my passion lies. My biggest dream…the one that has long stuck with me has been to write and publish a book.

Why? God has long placed the dream of writing in my heart. Even when I pray for God to take away the things that aren’t of Him, the desire and love for writing has remained. I have run from my dream for a long time…convincing myself that I am not good enough or don’t have what it takes. This is the year that I make that dream happen.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: I could potentially be used by the Lord to write something that may change someone’s life or lead them to Him. My kids will see me passionately and faithfully pursuing a dream.

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Honored to have been used by God in whatever way he deems fit.

Starting steps:

  1. Pray daily for God’s guidance.
  2. Keep a notebook with me at all times to make notes of ideas and to have access to write no matter where I am.
  3. Set designated writing hours.

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will see more blog posts going up monthly on my site. Potentially finally submitting that book proposal I have long dreamed of submitting!

Encouraging words: “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.” -Jeremiah 1:6-8

How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Still not sure on this one…thinking!


Whew! There you go! My goals for 2018! What is on your heart for this upcoming year? Share them with me in the comments! I can’t wait to see what this year brings for all of us! Happy New Year, friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Best of

The Blog

Browse

Every session is full of emotion, laughter, and authentic relationships.

explore my photography services ⟼

copyright 2020 courtney kirkland  |  brand identity + design by with grace & gold

Courtney Kirkland is a Southeast Alabama photography and design business. Since 2008, Courtney has passionately provided beautiful, meaningful documentary-style photography and intentional, high-quality design.  Value and celebrate the beautiful, messy, and uniquely-special moments of everyday living.