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Lessons learned in 2013

Continuing from yesterday’s post on making things happen in 2014, the next step is to figure out what the biggest lessons are from my lists of what worked and what didn’t work in 2013.

(Make sure you pop over to Lara Casey’s blog to read her lists and get some more inspiration on this journey. )

lara casey goal setting 2014

I learned a lot in 2013, but if I had to break down what I learned into three succinct points it would go as follows –

  • Taking just 15-20 minutes one day a week to plan out the week ahead actually does work. In other words, stop staring at my planner and actually use it. Don’t be afraid to make it messy, to write stuff down, to actually get something done. The planning helped me see where there holes in my routines, where there was time I could recover (or redirect), where I needed to fit more family/friend time in… it helped me be accountable for our budgeting, and to stay on top of bill paying. It just made me more efficient in general. Who knew planning out the week ahead really makes such a huge difference? I think you know the answer to that question.
  • Some of the scariest decisions require the biggest amounts of faith but also carry the biggest payoffs. Selling a house, coming out upside down at closing and needing to cover that huge gap PLUS move PLUS keep saving for a new home PLUS just live in general. Test of faith if I’ve ever had one.
  • Saying “yes” from a place of openness and not obligation brings richness to life. So many times in the past I’ve said yes to things out of guilt, or fear or obligation – all negative places. But when I gave myself permission to say “no” to those things that I knew in my heart weren’t right for me I suddenly had the energy and time to devote to those things I knew I wanted to do. And that resulted in so many great things that happened to me and my family this year. Yes from a place of openness is what it’s all about.


lara casey goal setting

  • I can’t be everything to everyone. It’s exhausting and not worth the drain. Plus, if I’m busy trying to please everyone else, I get nothing done, right? Right.
  • Worry and being controlling drives me apart from my husband and closes me up from God.
  • Time passes so quickly and – as cliche as it sounds – not treasuring the days and working as hard as I can to accomplish my goals is a sad waste.


lara casey goal setting

Just a few of the many things –

  • Yarn
  • New knitting patterns
  • My family
  • Seeing Ezra’s face in the morning
  • Hearing Ezra’s laugh
  • Dates with Alex
  • Seeing Alex succeed
  • Seeing Ezra finally figure something out he’s been working so hard on
  • Spending time with my friends
  • Talking with people about what matters most to them
  • Seeing others get so excited about their passions
  • Church
  • Amazing worship music
  • Time spent in prayer and studying the bible
  • Knitting
  • A new boutique, cafe, restaurant in my town
  • An amazing latte (these are surprisingly hard to find!)
  • Spring and fall
  • Snowy Christmases
  • My little Pom prancing around because he’s proud of himself
  • My cat wanting to snuggle (if you have a cat, you know how big of a deal it is when they actually choose to be beside you ;))
  • Finding the perfect “something,” whether it’s a book, a sweater or knitting needles
  • Beautiful photographs
  • Watching my family spend time together
  • Alone time

I could go on…. but you get the idea. The point isn’t to make a list as long as Rt. 66. It’s to remember what’s at your core – what makes you excited? And then take those things and go do them. Regularly.

See how making the things on your list happen starts to shape your life — and most importantly — the lives of everyone around you.  God gave us talents and gifts that are meant to be used to shine His glory brightly to the world — and He gave us sunsets and the roaring ocean likely to leave us in awe of His goodness. Note to self and everyone: It’s hard to do and see those things hiding behind a computer screen : )

Lara Casey

Between the exercises here and what I posted the other day, I feel like I have a good picture of what I can take away from 2013 and what I can throw away. It’s really difficult to make plans going ahead if you don’t know where you’ve come from. Definitely take the time to do these steps if you’re jumping in on the Making Things Happen brigade (which I hope you are). Then share them and own them and get started thinking about what’s next.