Making 2016 Happen, Part I

Friday, January 1, 2016
Ahhhhhhhhh. Smell that?! That is the glorious aroma of a brand new year! Or maybe just my favorite Volcano candle, but who can tell? ;) Both bring me so much joy and fill me with expectancy that has me bouncing on the tips of my toes! This year holds a lot of unknowns with a dash (or twelve) of major life changes, but I have this feeling deep in my soul that something BIG is going to happen. 

I have to be honest that this was the toughest time I have EVER had setting goals for the new year. Usually I can pin them down and post them with ease, sitting back at my desk with a sigh of content, but this year was wild in its own way. 

A few weeks ago, Rachel and I got together at a coffee shop in Kansas and started our PowerSheets, wanting to prep for the year well in advance. It was then that I came face to face with just how overwhelmed I was feeling with all of the hanging, unanswered questions that would come up in 2016. That girl has a way of looking at me and asking "No really, how are you feeling?" that brings both the waterworks and the truth tumbling out! Praise the Lord for Rach!

Chatting through our goals out loud and via text has been so helpful, and our biggest reminder has been to focus less on what we cannot control and more on what we can contribute to. I may not be able to control where I am going to move or what my fall looks like just yet, but I can contribute to finishing grad school well and my other goals by making intentional daily choices.

We also decided to give ourselves permission (and a whole lot of grace!) to change our thinking about the new year, looking at 2016 in four parts. These parts coordinate with the seasons and with the breakdown in our PowerSheets workbook. At the end of each season we will reassess our goals, change them if need be, and plan for the next allotted amount of time. The first, which I will be addressing today, is January, February, and March.

2016 Goals
January - March

1. Cultivate heart healthy habits. **** When considering my goals, this one kept taking the top spot. This year I want to make physical health (and mental health about the topic!) a priority. I want to make healthier eating choices into habits, get active daily, and cultivate a sustainable lifestyle that will carry me into the future. Revelation Wellness and Holy Yoga are two ways that I will be doing this.
2. Read the entire Bible. **** I have been wanting to do this for a while, so I'm super exited to work my way through it this year! I received a new journaling Bible for Christmas, which I'll use for daily study, and I will start a study which will take me through the entire Bible at the end of February when my interleaved journaling Bible arrives!
3. The Contentment Challenge. * Yep. It's back. Again. Third fourth fifth time's the charm right? A shopping freeze, making meals at home, and recording all my spending in a journal should help. Hannah Brencher's doing it, too. Care to join us?
4. Read 52 books in 52 weeks. **** If you caught one of my last posts, you saw that I read 27 books and started 19 more. This year I want to knock out 52 books in 52 weeks! Reading list soon to come ;) Follow the adventures with #baileyjeanreads on Instagram and join the Brave Love Book Club with our first read: Restless by Jennie Allen.
5. Finish grad school strong. **  AHHH. This is about as close to thinking about graduation as I can get. And in this quarter finishing strong means completing my thesis writing, re-directing Almost, Maine for the main stage, and doing well in classes. Let's do this!
6. Document the year creatively. **** I epically failed at Project Life last year (mini recap album to be shared soon!) so the plan is to do better in 2016. I am also joining in Ali Edwards One Little Word again with my word of the year: BELIEVE! Going along with the contentment challenges, I hope to only use supplies I already have or what comes in my monthly subscription boxes/Illustrated Faith creative team goodies. No more Hobby Lobby spending sprees.
7. Use the internet with intentionality. **** This encompasses blogging and social media. It is a beautiful space for creativity, collaboration, and community, but I need to keep my heart in check when I am falling into the comparison trap or scrolling endlessly before bed. I want to be intentional with what I share, when I'm online, and encouraging others by pointing them to Jesus. I also want to give social media free weekends a chance. We'll see how that goes!
8. Become financially responsible. **** This goes in tandem with several other goals, and the contentment challenge is directly linked. I want to put money in savings before graduation and stop spending excessively, getting ready to be financially independent in coming months.
9. Contribute faithfully to the Illustrated Faith Creative Team. **(**) AH! I just love being on this team so much! This goal is to be a dedicated contributing member, trying new things with my supplies, posting regularly and supporting Illustrated Faith/Shanna however I can. I also hope to do a page a day (or close to it!) in 2016. Woohoo!
10. Disciple my people well. * I have the honor of meeting regularly with a handful of beautiful gals her in Oklahoma and I want to be super intentional with what we are studying, learning, and putting back out into the world. The Lord has us here at this time for a reason and I don't want to miss one bit of it! I also heard a blogger once talk about social media and blogging as discipleship, and I LOVED that perspective! So what if you have 30 or 300 followers? Think about intentionally discipling/mentoring 30 women! What a challenge and charge from the Lord!

*The number of asterisks indicates how many seasons/quarters I expect this goal to repeat in! For example, The Contentment Challenge is a three month shopping freeze, so only the first quarter (as of now), and I want to read the entire Bible over the course of the year so that includes all four. I am on the Illustrated Faith Creative Team through May but I hope to apply and remain on it, so that could be all four if I'm selected!

There you have it, folks! My focus for the first three months of 2016. Some of these will carry on throughout the year, but it has been so helpful just to look at small pieces going forward. I'll keep you updated with monthly goals as I break each of these down into specifics, and January's will be up on Monday.

Happy New Year, y'all!
What are YOU going to make happen in 2016?!
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