Monday, January 1, 2018

A Launch-Yourself-Forward Worksheet

We humans keep brainstorming 
options and plans,
but God's purpose prevails.
Proverbs 19:21
{The Message}

We're up and running, ready to roll right into a brand new year.  And when it comes to making grand resolutions, setting big goals, or choosing the perfect One Word, our collective enthusiasm is soaring higher than a kite.

{By the way, click here to find out why One Word doesn't work for me, but loosely held plans usually pan out well.}

Yet, all our good intentions can easily wane and soon get lost in the shuffle of daily schedules and unexpected challenges, our once golden dreams lying in a pile gathering dust in some corner somewhere.

Did we miss the boat on what we thought God wanted?  Did we even consult Him to begin with?  Or did fear of missing out push us into some kind of half-hearted action without our own enthusiastic personal buy-in?




I'm happy to present this little fill-in-the-blank worksheet with 6 prompts to help you clarify your hopes and dreams for 2018:

My resolution / goal / One Word is ...




I'm aiming for this because ...




My biggest challenge in follow-through will be ...




The motivation that will propel me is ...




Here's what I'm putting in place so I'll succeed ...




God is whispering these words to my willing heart ...





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51 comments:

  1. happy new year my friend!!! Hope 2018 is wonderful to you! <3 - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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    1. Looking forward to your beautiful photos along the way!

      Happy New Year, Gingi ...

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  2. Beautiful colors and brushes...makes me think I could stay home and do something fun instead of braving the arctic temps to go to work. Stay warm!!

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    1. Oh it's so frigid here this New England morning, isn't it, friend. Stay warm and toasty in your travels!

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  3. -9 here this morning. i think it said "feels like -19" or something like that. Does it really matter? Cold is cold. What is a degree or two? :) Looking forward to moving forward with you in 2018 Linda.

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    1. I'm absolutely with you. When it's cold, it's cold. I walked around in -20 degree temps over the weekend and it feels just as raw today at 20 degrees.

      Go figure.

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  4. Love these phrases you've given us here, Linda. Thanks for encouraging us to think about our goals/hopes/dreams for 2018.
    Happy New Year!

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    1. Phrases, questions, considerations? Yep, we all need these kind of aids sooner or later.

      ;-}

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  5. This sounds similar to where my thoughts have been Linda. Thanks for the clarity you so often have in your posts.

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    1. Clarity sheds some needed illumination, doesn't it. Sometimes it's just too foggy to make our way forward.

      I guess that's where faith comes in, doesn't it ...

      P.S. Florida must be nice right about now!

      ;-}

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  6. I have learned loosely held plans work better for me, too, Linda. I do enjoy reading the various One Word posts though, the why and the how they chose it. I love the three contemplative questions to ask ourselves. The ones directly above the colorful paintbrush pic. Such good questions to always keep in mind as we make decisions this year. Have a Blessed 2018! Love and hugs!

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    1. Isn't it fun to follow someone through the year and they share how their Word unfolded as the months go by?

      I applaud them. Maybe if I was a bit more serious about looking ahead I could do the same ...

      ;-}

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  7. Happy New Year, Linda, and I love the worksheet.

    My Word for 2018 was going to be a phrae - "The good die young, but badass lives forever" - but events of the last few days, thinks like pneumonia and an absolutely terrifying not-being-able-to-breathe episode a couple of hours ago (the proverbial elephant on one's chest), I think 'Deguello' might be more appropriate.

    The Deguello was a Spanish bugle call (by way of the Moors) most famously used by Santa Ana at The Alamo; it literally means 'to cut the throat' and indicates that quarter will not be given.

    I hear the doom-notes on the smoky air around me, and can only brace myself for what is to come. It's going to hurt, but I'll fight as long as I can.

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    1. Praying for you, right now, Andrew.

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    2. Yep, you're a fighter, an overcomer, a victor, my friend. I know that Betsy's not the only one around here who'll join in praying for you.

      You know I don't lob Scripture verses, especially at the wounded. But as I read your words today, my Mom's favorite verse came to mind ...

      'Thou art my God, my times are in Thy hands' - Psalm 31:15.

      The verse has given this gentle, valiant warrior great sustenance and peace in the midst of her own storms. I claim that for you this afternoon ...

      Peace.

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    3. Betsy, thank you...and Linda, that's a perfect Scripture for the circumstance. I don't want to ie, but I now that I am, indeed, in the Hands of God.

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    4. There are certain things we can call the shots on. And certain things that we can't.

      This is one of those times where what happens is truly in His hands. And when all is said and done, there's nowhere else I'd rather be.

      There's a time to fight, there's a time to be still. You'll know when to do each.

      Bless you, friend ...

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  8. Linda, I like your thought-provoking questions here. I also am thinking one word doesn't do it for me. (If I had to choose, it would be "loved.") But I'm going to go with a list of 12 verbs Ann Voskamp has on her site. January is "Embrace." I'm going to embrace smallness.

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    1. Oh, I love Ann Voskamp! I'll be checking out her verbs.

      Fascinating.

      And thanks for reaching out to Andrew. This is what community's all about. I so appreciate your tender compassion ...

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  9. I went back and read your "One Word" post and found myself nodding. I checked to see if I had commented then, and I had, so I won't say it all again here. :) I don't make resolutions any more because, like you said, they too often fizzle out sooner than later, but also because that kind of evaluation and course correction is supposed to be taking place all through the year, not just at the beginning. But if someone is going to have a word or resolution, it does need a plan of action beyond the initial choosing, and your worksheet is great for thinking about how to implement those changes.

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    1. I like what you're saying about evaluation and course correction going on through the year, Barbara. That's why I so appreciate when people share their One Word journey along the way ...

      That stick-to-it-tiveness is so inspirational.

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  10. Happy New Year, Linda! Thanks for sharing these reflection questions. I have a word for the year, and some idea of where it will take me, but I have also found the last two years' words have led me in directions I didn't expect, so I am open to what God will do. I especially like the questions about the challenges in following through and the things that will motivate us to get through those. I need to give some thought to those. Hope 2018 is great for you!

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    1. Lesley - happy new year to you! Interesting how God takes us in unexpected directions, isn't it ... I look forward to seeing how that plays out for you in '18.

      I hope the questions prove to be helpful as you move ahead.

      Blessings ...

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  11. I have never made resolutions. I figure I need to resolve to live right each day. I cringe when I hear the directive to state 3 of your goals. My boss just asked me to do that for my performance appraisal. I gave her 3 goals BUT they were what her 3 goals were for me...not mine. My one goal might be to retire soon but I didn’t think she wanted to hear that LOL.

    I guess my ongoing “goal” has been to hear God in each day and walk in His plan-one day at a time. Staying open and hearing is the challenge.

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    1. Don't you hate when others have pre-determined goals for you?

      ;-{

      You mentioned stating 3 goals ... but actually I was thinking of a resolution OR a goal OR a One Word. Time has helped me learn that aiming for multiple targets leaves me frazzled and undone.

      Right now? Just a few pounds off the scale, please ...

      ;-}

      I'm glad you're back again!

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  12. What a great worksheet Linda! I especially like that it lists the motivation so we don't forget the why we chose to make that resolution/word at this time. I do have a word I chose but already was running with it prior to New Year's. I like to be flexible in when I start and move on from my word than the having to pick a new one on a certain yearly day!

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  13. Thought provoking, My Friend!
    Blessings!

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  14. Hi Linda,
    Even though I've been a little MIA lately with blogging, I've read your Advent posts and have been praying for abundant blessings for you in 2018. I love how one word doesn't really work for you (me too!) and the idea of a worksheet to get out thoughts for the new year to be more intentional is great! I'm hoping you had a lovely holiday with your family and as we walk together into these new days of a brand new year, I'm praying our focus is on the one we can trust with the next 365 days, feeling his great love for us! xoxo

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    1. Oh, Valerie, it's so good to see you out and about again! I read through your post this morning and saw so much that touched me deeply ... I will be heading back when things calm a bit so I can allow God to use your tender words to speak to my soul.

      Meanwhile, thanks for letting me know you were here for Advent. That meant much ...

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  15. I cannot limit myself to just one word because there are such a magnificent multitude of words all spinning and whirling in my mind and all seeking personal attention when in effect every one of them is as important and of no greater nor lesser importance than any of the others that to choose just one of them would be doing a great disservice to all the others who for no rhyme nor reason nor any fault of their own have not been chosen as the special word for the year.

    God bless.

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    1. As always, no one speaks it better than you, Victor!

      ;-}

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  16. Goals are good. I'm praying now, searching the Lord for His 2018 plans. Glad to see you're helping us to balance life well, my friend.

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    1. I like how you put that, Kristi ... 'searching' the Lord for His plans. They often end up quite different than our own, don't they!

      A joyful new year as you wait ...

      ;-}

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  17. Linda, you ask some GREAT questions on your worksheet! No matter how we decide to begin a new year, these questions can give us great insight and direction for proceeding into our year. Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. I'd rather have someone ask me questions than tell me what to do, ya' know?

      ;-}

      Happy new year ... it's so good to see you out and about again!

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  18. Linda,
    Great worksheet. I do choose a word each year and try to revisit it periodically throughout the year, otherwise what's the use. In terms of goals, I've learned I can't bite off a whole year - that's often more than I can chew. Instead I try to take each day (with its new mercies) and begin anew one day at a time. Thanks for these thoughts to ponder.
    Happy New Year,
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Ah, Bev ... your heart resonates with Carol's {8 comments previous} ... one day at a time.

      'The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.' - Lamentations 3:22-23.

      Thanks for bringing Lamentations with you this morning, friend. That chapter is one of my all time favorites ... what a comfort.

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  19. Happy New Year, Linda! Prayers for a safe (and warm) few days as the storm rages overhead - yikes!

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    1. Brrr ... it's been frigid in these parts ... and oh the wind and flooding. But little snow ...

      How 'bout where you live? I'm guessing you've been gathering some beautiful shots.

      ;-}

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  20. Linda that's a great worksheet. I do some of it - especially the one word. I go back and review to see how I am progressing. I have goals that are sometimes unmet, but that's what they are just goals and I'm willing to stop and reevaluate knowing God is in control and I may need to re-prioritize.

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    1. I like what you're saying about reviewing and reevaluating and reprioritizing. I'm guessing those are the golden keys to success!

      Glad you're here sharing with us ...

      ;-}

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  21. So, so good, Linda. And, perfect for me, as I'm still praying about God's plans for me this year. Thank you for this reflection. I'm going to write these prompts down as soon as I finish typing this. Happy New Year, friend. ♥

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    1. I'm still praying, too, Brenda. I think we're not the only ones ...

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  22. Nice! Such an awesome way to make 2018 more epic. Happy New Year!

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    1. Epic. Now there's a word that's worth a 2nd thought!


      ;-}

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  23. Hi Linda! I think your question, "Did we even consult him to begin with" is such a stunner. So important, but I think I often make decisions without consulting the Lord.
    Choosing a word for the year is a wonderful way for me to focus, but I'm just back from vacation, so I think I'll take some time this week to ask God what he wants me to focus on this year!

    Happy New Year to you and yours,
    Ceil

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    1. Sadly, there's probably far too many of those scenarios in the lives of those of us who love the Lord.

      It's a wake up call for sure, isn't it.

      I'm so happy to welcome you back from your holiday siesta, Ceil. You continue to model for us bloggers how to pace yourself, how to do this blogging thing in a way that's healthy and sane.

      ;-}

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  24. I love this resource you've provided, Linda! It truly helps those of us who choose a one word to anchor it more deeply in our hearts and minds. Happy New Year, girlfriend! I hope you are staying warm and filling your days with God's meaningful purposes. I see it being poured out here for sure!

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    1. Happy New Year to you, too! Welcome back to the writing world, friend. I hope your weeks off were filled with joy and delight ... and rest.

      Bless you ...

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda