I was the person who never set a New Year’s Resolution (NYR for short because that’s obnoxious typing that out every time). Or if I did set a NYR? It was to not have one. Because first thing’s first: I’m a realist. (okay, but really, perhaps pessimist at times? Still figuring that out). Alas, I never made them because I knew that within those 365 day period, if not the next following day after New Year’s, I would break my resolution. And fail. Year after year I set my NYR as “not to have one”. But then in 2016 I decided to “Be Healthier”. … Way to go Leah, that’s not vague in any capacity.
And looking back on 2016? I was healthier in some aspects, and in others? Got worse! That was until I started my essential oil business over the summer, bear with me. I am continuing to build relationships with people and discover their lives and enrich them with not only the amazing essential oils the Creator has blessed us with, but also with love, encouragement, and support for their own lives. I can’t wait for some day when it becomes my full time “job.”
I was introduced to this incredible book by a dear friend of mine called “Make it Happen” by Lara Casey.
If you haven’t read this book, it’s a must. For her? Traditional goal setting and planning wasn’t her thing. She needed a new and revolutionary way to go about it all. And that book changed my look on goals, on how to “make things happen” and how to live my life more intentionally. Whether through my essential oil business, my mental health job, my relationships with loved ones, and even my relationship with the Lord. Then a greater thing happened: I was introduced to Lara Casey’s goal-setting planner called “Powersheets”. And WHOA I did not expect “goal planning” to take more work than a treatment plan (even though it semi-is in a way, for my own life?). Flash forward a week since discovering the PowerSheets and potentially what that would make 2017 look like …. I bought my first PowerSheet planner. I wanted my life and my 2017 year to be intentional, to make a goal. To actually write it down, see it, cultivate it, and watch it grow and blossom and be achieved.
The first part of the planning process was fun. Be creative, get messy, and write down what I want to happen, what I want to see changed – Oh boy this part was easy!
And the first page semi-stumped me titled, “Getting to know me”. Ew? I want to change me and my life. I don’t want to discover what I’m like, nevertheless Identify what I look like and “words that describe me”; nonetheless what my “home/personal space is usually like..” (for those who know me, bless your souls, I can’t keep a room clean to save my life). And there I saw Problemo #1. I expect myself to be nothing less than perfect.
December 17, as I’m sitting in my apartment, I wrote out about “letting go” where Lara challenges you to write “How you feel” and then “What are you letting go of to move forward? What do you want to leave behind as you start this year?” **I even struggled to WRITE these things down because I wanted them to LOOK perfect?!?!** I would love to share with you what I wrote:
How I feel: “Afraid of not being absolutely perfect. Nervous to be different and to go where He has called me because it’s unknown. Anxious because well, anxiety. Excited because I know that the Lord will work in every inch of me. Chosen for something greater than myself. Called to love others and that excites me because I love people. I can do that.
What are you letting go of to move forward? What do you want to leave behind?
Letting go and leaving perfection behind!!! We are to be holy. Not to be unrealistically perfect. Christ was perfect for us. I am leaving fear, doubt, hesitation behind. Because He who calls me, is not a God of these things. Letting go of control and my pride that I can have control over everything. That’s not the case. Progress vs. Perfection. The end.
Progress VERSUS Perfection.
And then … the page comes to “Meet Your Fears”. I do believe in vulnerability and the beauty that it brings, but I will keep this one for me and the Lord for now – as I also respect my own privacy and that I don’t have to share every little detail of my life to be real with people. Thank you for respecting me in this manner as well! Trust me though, these fears are real and an everyday thing for me.
Then we delve into the Big Picture of what it looks like … Like how incredible?? She even asks, “where do you see yourself when you’re 80?” … Like … 80!!??!?! I don’t even know what I’m eating for breakfast tomorrow morning?? I better be winning those scooter races if my legs give out by that time or something??
But seriously… What does that look like for me? What does that look like for you? Three questions she asks and I challenge you to ask yourselves
- If you could envision your most fulfilling year yet, what would it look like?
- Why do you want to live on purpose?
- Where do you want to be when you’re 80?
For me? I want to live on purpose because that’s what I was created to do: to live beyond fears. My most fulfilling year would be one of hope, big changes, glory to God, overwhelming provision, kingdom building, unconditional love… in every aspect, personality, goals, business, work, relationships. Every aspect of my life. I want to still be living on purpose when I’m 80: full of experience, to see how the Lord worked in and through me. To have the same fervence, if not stronger fervence for the Lord… to be SO strong in Spirit and alive with His power within me to love astronomically and supernaturally.
And then it is asked: What is your definition of success?
Like WHOA. To some people? Maybe to lose some weight, or eat healthier, or to love people well, or to have money, or pay off debt.. And whatever that definition is for you, check it out, does it line up with your big picture? Because if they’re not succinct? They may need a little look over…
I thought for maybe 5 minutes about what success truly is defined for me and my life and I came up with this:
Success is obedience to God, despite the unexpected or expected outcome.
Because what I’m aiming for, what I want to hear is “well done, my good and faithful servant.” It gives me chills every time. I KNOW for a fact that God has instilled this drive, this passion into every fiber of my being. And I am so blessed to be able to share that with you in this manner. Then on the next page, we had the opportunity to create “the Big Picture” – something that draws our attention to what matters and what keeps us going… And I had some stickers that described it perfectly for me… And I hadn’t scrapbooked in a while so … This was my outcome:
Flash forward through several more pages of these powersheets, talking about this last year: what are the good things? What about the challenges? What are some questions that have been left unanswered? What about the lessons you learned? What are you saying no to? Yes to? What fires you up and keeps ya going? All of which are leading up to the page of “My Why”. Which is a pivotal part in this journey of LIFE. Why do you do what you do and say what you do and live how you do. What is your why??
My name is Leah Rachelle Longhin.
I am a (think beyond just a job title here!) chosen daughter.
In the past, I have succumbed to fears and doubt
but now I am ready to live outside of fear and doubt.
I value people, relationships, essential oils, personal relationship with Christ.
The story of where I started to where I am now, in just a few words…
Why I want to make what matters HAPPEN? Because the Lord has called me to something greater than my fears, worry, doubt, anxiety. To live beyond what’s seen in the pic above into a life of His provision and glory.
And the she asks us to write out a word for the year. What?? I have to “decide” on something that is going to define an entire 365 days. Daily. Surround my life. How am I even supposed to choose or narrow it down or WHAT?!
So here we are friends, thank you for bearing with me thus far. The reason I even started typing this book. I asked the Lord, “Lord! You know I can’t figure out a freaking word for this thing. And I can’t go into 2017 without one, because I am GOING to do this goal thingy because I don’t know what the heck I’m doing in life.” And as I took a restroom break (sorry TMI) I was like.. Ok God, by the time I return to my seat where I’m writing, I hope I have a word! And the word that I literally couldn’t get out of my mind… I just kept seeing it and hearing it play over and over in my brain was …
+future blog post in the making+
What are your thoughts? Are there things that you need to reevaluate in your life? What are you looking forward to hearing from me? I look forward to sharing with you, so stay tuned!!!