Did you have a great, mediocre or rough 2016? Has 2016 prepared you to charge into 2017 like a force to be reckoned with? Or are you hesitant about what this new year will bring?
Now is the time to get down to business and do some reflecting on 2016 and some dreaming about 2017!
Some of my goals for 2016 were:
- Be more business-minded and business savvy this year. Go after what I want instead of waiting or hoping for it to come to me. (As the year progressed, this ended up being split into two separate goals!)
- Spiritual growth.
In 2016, for the first time in a long time, I set goals for the new year. Little did I know how much would happen last year as a result of those goals. Had I seen all of those changes coming I might’ve panicked and stressed out but, thankfully, the Lord knows and sees way more than I do and He brought about all of those things in His timing. (And His timing is best.)
Now, let’s talk about how those goals came to fruition…
2016 was scary, challenging, intimidating, and painful at times but then it was also awesome, exciting, and joyful. Many tears were shed: some of them painful and others were happy (Matthew 7:11). I’d never before started out a year with so much intention and then to go and have it turn out to be such a productive year (aka the most productive and growth-filled year I’ve ever had)? That’s made me want to make new goals every year because I want to keep growing. I don’t want to become stagnate. I’ve started to realize that I’d rather have to deal with pain if it meant I was at least growing instead of remaining stagnate.
But what 2016 all boiled down to was learning how to trust God. I had to learn to trust Him with my finances, relationships, and career. I thought I’d already learned my lesson about trusting Him but last year took that to a whole other level. I learned I have to put everything in His hands and how fruitless it is to worry about situations, jobs, money, etc… Worrying is not beneficial to anyone!
Now, it’s easy for me to write, “Don’t worry!” but this is an area in me that God’s still working on. I am not, by any means, worry-free. But I’m learning to be more conscious of those worry-filled thoughts or moments and trying to take those thoughts captive and make them obedient to Jesus.
Business-minded/Go after what I want:
I took a business class to help me figure out what direction I wanted to go with my photography business and how best to manage my business. It was about a 5-week course and it definitely opened my eyes to new perspectives on running a photography business.
The other half of that goal was to “go after what I want instead of waiting or hoping for it to come to me”. So, that entailed me going on some job interviews! I knew I wanted a financial change that would help supplement my photography income and thanks to some prodding (that’s a nice way of putting it. Haha) from a couple of friends I put myself out there a little bit and went on my first job interviews in a long, long time. The third interview proved the “3rd time’s a charm” rule.
As soon as I saw the job listing for docent at a historic home I knew I wanted to at least try and interview for it. I felt unqualified for the position but at the same time, I felt hope! I was afraid of another rejection but was excited at the prospect of getting a part-time job doing something I actually enjoyed instead of something that was mind-numbing! I got that job—this is where the happy tears I mentioned earlier came in—and it has literally been a Godsend. Each week, I look forward to showing people around the house and telling them stories about the families that have lived there. I also love getting to gross people out with tales of 19th-century hygiene. ;)
So while I started the year off trying to build my photography business I ended the year with God having built me instead. I’m in awe sometimes at the amount of time God has spent growing and molding me (and I’m pretty much always amazed at how patient He is with me).
So where does that leave 2017? Well, my cynical side can’t help but wonder if this year will be a wee bit less rosy than last year but I am trying to take comfort in the knowledge that no matter what happens—no matter what happens—God is in control and He sees, knows and loves me. (And He sees, knows, and loves you.)
That said, the successes of last year have kind of made me a bit gung-ho about 2017. So much so that I have about four times the amount of goals this year! (I should probably whittle that list down a bit. O_O)
Here are just some of my goals for 2017:
- Spiritual—Make quality time with God a priority. No more being half-asleep while I’m trying to do a devotional or pray. I want to be alert and awake and not put a limit on time with God.
- Personal—Don’t be ruled by fear. I feel as though this one is a long-term goal because fear is so deeply rooted in me it’s gonna take an excavator to remove it! Last year , I started kicking fear in the butt and this year I plan to knock it OUT. No more of that mess. There is a unique kind of freedom and confidence that comes from facing fears. And while sometimes, in the midst of a fear, it’s terrifying, you have to remember that freedom and confidence that await you on the other side!
- Business—Be better at putting money aside for my business savings. I hope Dave Ramsey would be proud of that one.
Admittedly, one of my 2017 goals should be to write more but I already have about 20 goals for this year and I really need to K.I.S.S. I shouldn’t admit this, but I fully expect to be a reliably unreliable blogger this year. ;)
At the heart of all of these goals is that, at the end of my life, I want to be more proud of who I’ve become rather than what career I had. I want God to have His way in my life and to help me use the passions He’s given me to fulfill my purpose. I want 2017 to be another year of growth. So bring it, 2017!
For those that had a great 2016, I want to hear some of your victories. For those who had a mediocre year, I want to hear some of your hopes for 2017. And for those that had a rough 2016, what are some things I can pray with you about?