Thursday, January 3, 2013

52 & 7 (and Happy New Year)

For the past couple of years, I have spent the later half of December re-evaluating the previous year and setting my personal goals for the following year.  The goals are always well thought out, and pertain to long term dreams/goals, but to be realistic, they are often focused on where my life is in that particular moment. 
For some reason, I did not do that toward the end of 2012.  I blamed some of it on my year feeling like a failure (notice I said feeling).  I didn't really reach any of my goals for 2102, and to be honest, when I look at the surface, it seems like my life has actually digressed instead of progressed.  And that in and of itself was depressing enough to make me not want to look any further, and discouraged me from setting any new goals. 
Then came Jon Acuff.  If you don't know (of) him, you should get to know (of) him!  He is an author and blogger, and the master behind "Stuff Christians Like" (, and one of my favorite books Quitter (  In any given day, this man and his writing make me laugh so hard I (often) choke on whatever I'm drinking - and inspire me to be better and do better.  So, naturally, something he wrote this week set the tone for my next 52 days - and hopefully all of 2013!  You can read his post here - but the premise is that you take seven core areas of your life, and set goals for them for the next 52 days.  52 days is so much more doable than 365 - at least in my mind! And its makes so much sense - because as he says
"In January, you have no idea what July holds or what September will be like or what
 storm will rock your shores in November. But you press on, and make
your biggest decisions when you have the least information at the start of the year."
 I can do this! And I'm excited about it! So my first 52&7 (which goes Jan 1 - Feb 21) looks like this:
Bring lunch to work 4 out of 5 days
No new clothes/accessories
No new golf equipment (this will be the hardest, trust me!)
30 min of physical activity 4x week (not including golf)
Yoga at least once a week
Send 1 encouraging note/card a week
Return friend's phone calls within 24 hours
"Be present" - wherever I am, whomever I am with, be in that moment and not playing on my phone, etc.
Limit TV to 1 show a night
Write more
Complete Level 2 of HH PRO Certification
Respond to all work related emails within 24 hours
Spend one day each with Sadie & Andrew
"Be present"
Complete daily readings of "Jesus Calling"
Follow along with my church on the Season of Prayer readings
Complete personal study of Isaiah
The great thing about setting goals 52 days at a time? They're not as lofty and feel much more realistic.  I read a lot every day, and come across numerous great ideas - but I don't follow through on them.  I read this one as soon as I got to work yesterday, and it was so fitting, because you see, as I was driving to work yesterday, I was thinking and praying about the year ahead and how I am jealous that others have said they had a word or scripture for 2012 and were able to see God move in that particular way for them that year.  As I was driving, the words INTENTIONAL DISCIPLINE came to me.  If you know me, the intentional part is par for the course; the discipline thing....scares me crazy! So Intentional Discipline it is for 2013.  The scripture part, I'm still working on.  I'm excited to see what God does in the next 52 days and throughout 2013, and I'm excited (ok, and a little apprehensive) to see what Intentional Discipline brings. 

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