making things happen.

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So I shared last week about taking charge of my own well being, and can I just say thank you so much for responding, for saying that God’s teaching you the same things, that this is encouraging and exciting and maybe even revolutionary for you? Hearing your words make blogging so much more meaningful for me.

I never check my blog stats: I honestly don’t know how many people read gentinofamily.com or where they’re from. Rather than try to grow readership, I’m much happier spending my time connecting with those of you that do stop by. I’m okay with this blog being small. If 2 people are inspired by something I write, it’s worth it to me! Thanks for being here!

I found a great quote on Pinterest: “Live less out of habit and more out of intent” (source unknown), which sums up perfectly how I’m approaching this season of life. I want to hang it over my kitchen sink. [Another quote for the kitchen sink, from Jan Karon’s Mitford books: “Live deep, not fast.”]

Recently my friend Kelly recommended I look into Lara Casey’s PowerSheets set as a way to live more intentionally. Do you remember when I posted my 2014 Goals? Well I’ve more or less kept up with them this year (although I’ll go ahead and confess right now that I gave P90X up long ago).

But 6 months into 2014, I feel the shock of another year half over, and the constant temptation to live out of habit rather than intent.

Habit is just so . . . convenient. Even when it’s not especially easy, or joyful. It’s a known. Complaining is a known. Some of us would rather be miserable than have to try something new. I’m starting to recognize how often that’s the case with me.

So I’m ready to try PowerSheets, which guide you through 6 months of priority-making and goal-setting. They come in a hard copy packet with thick glossy pages and pretty gold and black lettering (don’t ask why, but stuff like that matters to me). I bought myself a 3-ring binder from Target in soothing shades of green for my PowerSheets, and I actually enjoy that this project isn’t on a screen. It’s easier to think without having 5 tabs open on the Internet and Apartment Therapy constantly whispering my name (I know. I have a problem).

PowerSheets guide you through a series of questions about yourself and your life, what’s working for you and what isn’t. You spend time figuring out what drains you and what you’re passionate about and thinking about how to do more of what you’re passionate about.

At first glance I wanted to move straight to monthly goals and skip all the intro stuff, but now that I’ve worked my way through it, I recognize already how valuable the process is. It’s important to expose what’s currently driving me versus what I want to be driving me. If you decide to try PowerSheets, I’d recommend spreading the intro material over several different sittings because it takes awhile and you don’t want to skimp on this part.

One of my favorite questions Lara Casey asks is: “Where do you want to be when you’re 80?” Not what kind of house do I want but what do I want my life and relationships to look like when I’m 80? What kind of person do I want to be?

I’ve honestly never thought about that before, but after spending some time answering, I realized so vividly that the choices I make now matter. If I want a certain kind of life and relationships at 80, I must do the hard work of investing now.

It’s sobering but also brings a new dignity to the mundaneness of my life now: sitting on the floor playing with my kids, cooking homemade meals at the stove, repenting every single day of my selfishness, spending time being still before God, being accountable to a community of believers, asking my husband how I can be a better listener.

All of it matters. I don’t just magically snap my fingers in a few decades when I’m less tired and have more time and become a better mother, wife, friend, and Christian.

Once you work through the introduction material, which includes a video and a free e-book about setting boundaries, you make 5 goals and monthly action points for the next 6 months. You fill in the months yourself so you can begin at any point in the year; I officially start my goals in July.

I’m excited to focus in on a few areas of my life where I want to make progress. For example, one of my goals is: Stick To Our Financial Budget. Yep. That’s a tough one. But after making a plan I realize: I can do this, I can grow in this area and become a better steward of our money. I have a few very practical steps to tackle over the next months.

Now that’s it’s planned out in my PowerSheets there are no more excuses not to work on sticking to our budget. Imagine how good it will feel to have made big strides in this area by December?

In case you’re wondering, PowerSheets aren’t just for stay-at-home moms. Lara Casey, who created PowerSheets, is a mom, but also publishes a magazine, does consulting work, and uses PowerSheets for both her personal and professional life. I can see how they’d be super helpful in a business/entrepreneurial or ministry setting.

I’ll update you on how PowerSheets work for me. I’m sure it isn’t for everyone, but I encourage you to find a way to motivate yourself to live out of intent rather than habit. Be liberated!

2 thoughts on “making things happen.

  1. first- love the Mitford quote.love. (i need to re-visit Mitford. It’s been too long…)
    next- where (what, who) do you want to be when you are 80? GREAT question. I think one of the most difficult things about the transition from O to beyond was that I thought- “I want to grow old with these people.” but here’s the neat thing- I am. Not in the same way, but still, keeping relationships.
    Love these ideas, friend. keep writing (& count your audience of at least 3, with me!) 🙂

  2. This thought pattern switch has been interesting for me to mull over since your last post about it. It resonates with me. Most times I feel like I’m just a babysitter and when my kids don’t need me anymore I can get to my “real life.” I hate feeling like that. I’m interested to see how this process goes for you. May be worth a try for me.

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