July 2017 PowerSheets Goals + Summer Sabbatical Update
On one hand, the summer has just started but on the other, it feels like it’s halfway over -- how is that possible?! The transitions of the seasons and months remind me how important it is to spend time on the things and people that matter. That is why we must be mindful of how we're spending our time, and that's what this summer sabbatical has been teaching me.
It’s easy to get caught up in doing the things that seem productive when in reality those things are just eating up our time. I’ve always said that there’s a difference between being busy and productive and lately, I’ve been realizing just how busy I was.
The distinguishing factor between busyness and productivity is purpose, and for so long I’ve been concentrating on busy things instead of purposeful ones. We become busy when we focus on doing all the things, and that’s a very easy trap to fall into when you’re an entrepreneur and a solopreneur at that. I’ve been striving so hard to make things happen in my life and business that I was stretching myself too thin: working, then coming home trying to blog 3 times a week, schedule social for 3+ hours, not even getting around to do the things that were actually going to grow and further my business. I was busy but not productive, busy but not purposeful. And that’s not to say that those things weren't important, but they weren't directly moving the needle forward on my goals. So lately, I’ve been focusing on replacing busy activities for purposeful priorities by asking myself, “Is this activity forwarding me in my God-given goals?” If you’ve been struggling with busyness and productivity too, here are some questions that will help you to determine your purposeful priorities:
Is this something that I’ve prayed or checked-in with God about?
Does this activity create a purposeful outcome?
Does this activity forward me in God-given goal/purpose?
Is this activity life-giving or based on striving?
Your answers should always align with what God is calling you to do, not your anxiety, fear, or people pleasing tendencies. I’ve found that these questions have been helping to re-direct me to what matters. They’ve been helping me to exchange busyness and anxiety for rest and the unforced rhythms of His grace. This is where I find true peace and rest.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me -- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” - Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
- Intentional date night with Justin. I love how we were so intentional with our relationship in June. We didn’t have any extravagant, well planned out date nights. Everything was very organic and spontaneous, which was exactly what I needed. We spent a couple nights after work trying out a few new restaurants in Atlanta, and any time good food and drinks are involved, I’m a happy girl.
Fill out the Fruitful Friendships Workbook. I am about halfway through filling out the Cultivate What Matters Fruitful Friendships Workbook. I fell behind in following along with Lara and Jess on Facebook Live as they walked us through filling it out. I plan on finishing the rest of the workbook in July.
Complete Business Boutique Business Plan. Not only did I complete my Business Boutique Business, I planned out the 3rd quarter of the year. Now all that is left to do is to execute those plans.
Find a graceful, new rhythm with my new schedule. I feel like this goal is ever evolving, and I’m making progress each day. Now more than ever, especially during this sabbatical, I’ve been learning to daily surrender my plans and schedule over to God. For so long I’ve felt the burden of having to make things happen every day. Now I’m learning what it looks like to surrender to the unforced rhythms of grace and be still.
Cultivate new/old friendships. I wasn’t able to do connect in person with too many friends this month, but I have been learning non-traditional ways to make sure that I’m staying in touch. A few months back, my friend introduced me to the app, Marco Polo, which is basically a video messaging app, where you can leave messages or watch them live. I’ve been using the app to catch up with friends who I haven’t spoken to in months. It’s definitely been my saving grace in the friendships arena. I’ll share more of how I’m cultivating friendships in my July goals.
Spend time with Alma & T.O. before they leave. My boyfriend and I were extremely intentional about this goal. These two people have been so influential and supportive in our lives, so it was hard to see them go. We made sure that we spent any time we could with them before they left. It’s always bittersweet when friends move to new cities and transition into new seasons of life, but we are extremely grateful to have shared some pretty sweet moments with them, and thankfully they are a fairly short drive away.
Pay federal taxes. I actually switched this goal out to pay the registration and property taxes on my car. Now that my car taxes are paid, I can resume working on this goal. I’m about a third of the way there.
Have a city adventure. I didn’t get around to planning this out, but my boyfriend and I did try out some new restaurants this month in different parts of the city, so does that count? I definitely want to make this happen in July before the summer is over.
1) Summer date night with Justin *
2) Pursue peace and contentment during this season of hustle
Although I’m technically on a summer sabbatical, it’s still been a lot of work, just a different kind. I have some pretty aggressive goals and numbers to hit by the end of the year, and to be honest with you, it’s been hard on me mentally. I’m definitely in the agitation/frustration season when it comes to visioneering (engineering a God-given vision). I know that God is calling me higher and deeper and I feel like His promises are so close, but yet still far away, and that can be a very frustrating process. Therefore, I’m focusing on pursuing peace and reminding myself to be content with what God is doing right now.
3) Create a Postable account to stay connected with friends
I have never been the best at maintaining long distant friendships (which is horrible because I left my home state over 6 years ago), so I’m letting go of that friendship guilt to nurture my old friendships and cultivate new ones. With that being said, these tools have been my saving grace:
- Cultivate What Matters Fruitful Friendships Workbook
- Marco Polo
- Postable -- Postable is basically an online address book that allows you to store addresses and birthdays, and get this: you can set it up to automatically send out gift cards and regular cards for birthdays or other special events! Since the majority of my friends are scattered throughout the eastern half of the country, this is a great way for me to be intentional in remembering birthdays and appreciating them with gifts and other happy mail.
4) Pay off federal taxes*
5) Stick to monthly budget
One of my goals this year is to build a strong financial foundation, so I’ve recently redone my budget using Mint. For the next few months, I’ll be tracking my spending to get a more realistic idea of what my budget will look like. I’m definitely going to be flexible and gracious toward myself concerning this goal.
6) Register for True Talk
Another one of my goals this year is to get more involved with my new church so with this one, I’m blending this goal and my goal of cultivating friendships together. True Talk is essentially a night of worship and panel discussion for the women of my church. There will be food trucks, selfie stations, and other fun things going on throughout the night, so I plan on inviting a few of my friends to attend.
7) Register for True Conference
I’m so excited for this year’s True Conference. It will be my first one and Lisa Bevere and Valorie Burton will be there, so I’m super excited! Valorie Burton is a Christian life coach as well, so I am honored to have the opportunity to hear her coaching and teaching in person. The conference doesn’t happen until September, but I plan on registering this month.
8) Set up a girls' night with younger cousins
Between work, business, and figuring out an in-person relationship after being long distance for four years, I haven’t made any time to connect with my younger cousins since moving to Atlanta. So before my youngest one starts her junior year of high school this fall, I want to make sure that I spend some time connecting and pouring into her and my other younger cousin.
9) Read Cultivate
I’m only two chapters into Lara Casey’s newest book Cultivate and it’s giving me all the LIFE! If you are an impatient striver like me, you HAVE to read this book. It’s all about giving up striving and planning to plant and grow an intentional life. Click here to grab your copy!
10) Finish Fruitful Friendships Workbook*
1) Call & connect with family/friends*
2) Workout 3x a week*
3) Attend Fusion*
4) Review budget & finances*
5) Pray through Val Marie Paper Journal*
1) Move for 15 mins +*
2) No sugar*
3) No fried foods*
4) Drink 94 oz of water*
5) No mindless spending*
6) Be still*
*= Goals from last month or recurring goals.
What are your monthly goals? Share them with me in the comments below!
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