2016 Goals

bluebarn-blackberry-102
image by Blue Barn Photography

Happy 2016, friends! I’m not quite sure where 2015 went, but the new year is definitely here! I adore the sense of possibility and newness that a new year brings. I hope you’re excited to kick off another year – I know I’m excited about what’s in store, and I can’t wait to see where God takes me (and you!) throughout the upcoming days, months, and year!

I have always loved making goals (daily, monthly, yearly, etc), though many of them are habits and practices I’ve tried to maintain throughout my life. I’ve been sharing my yearly and monthly goals for several years now on this blog! When I read back on my goals for 2015 and think about my goals for 2016, many of my goals carry across from one year to the next. At their core, so many of my goals are habits I try to tend to daily, and those don’t change much from year to year. A lot of the details (and my business goals) have certainly changed and evolved, but it’s fun to see how my overarching personal goals are rather similar to last year!

2016 Goals

  • More Jesus; less me
  • Love family & friends more intentionally (especially since so many live far away!)
  • Have a better work/life balance
  • Continue to expand Stephanie Scholl Events (oh I have big goals for this!!)
  • Continuously be learning, attend a workshop or conference, learn something new, invest in myself & my business
  • Travel someplace new & travel abroad (I hope!)
  • Write & send even more handwritten letters to connect with family & friends better
  • Cook at home more, try new healthy recipes, and host more dinner parties
  • Limit social media browsing
  • Foster genuine community in the area
  • Volunteer regularly – at church and in the community
  • Be a better steward of my money – spend less on myself, give more generously, and save more
  • Continue to grow in my faith: study/read my Bible + Jesus Calling daily; write in my gratitude journal + prayer journal daily; join a small group in Raleigh
  • Read 26 books (including more business books, faith books, non-fiction, and classics)
  • Be more intentional about scheduling time to exercise regularly, ride my bike, play tennis, run, and get outside frequently
  • Laugh more, find joy in everything, be deeply grateful, & love deeper
bluebarn-stephanie-home-tour-23
image by Blue Barn Photography

My verse for the year is:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 3:14

What about you? If you’ve written down your goals for the new year, I would love to check them out & cheer you on! What are you most excited about for 2016?

Open

bluebarn-stephanie-home-tour-27
photo by Blue Barn Photography

This blog is such a fun record of life, and I was just re-reading my 2015 Goals post from a year ago. I can’t wait to talk about how 2015 went + look forward to 2016, but I was struck by the very end of this blog post. Each year, I like to choose a Bible verse and a word of the year, and this is what I wrote a year ago:

My word for the year is “open”

Open heart; open arms. Open to new adventures, new opportunities, change, growth, love, and serving others. Open to whatever it is that the Lord wants for my life. Open to serving Him faithfully, loving Him more, and loving others more. And ultimately, I have no idea what this year has in store for me (really, there is a lot up in the air!), and I want to be open to that!

Wow. Reading that is a little mind-blowing when I think back to how 2015 unfolded. It was unlike anything I expected, but it was also better than I ever imagined. God’s plans are always better than my own, and I’m just blown away when I really stop to think about just how much has changed — and how open to change I was. I was talking about this exact thing with a couple dear friends when I was home for Christmas, and it all really leaves me in awe. Throughout the entire year, I tried my best to really listen to the Lord, to keep Him first and foremost, and to be willing to go where He led. I wasn’t even close to perfect, by any means, but my how I tried! I had an inkling that I would move, but I wasn’t positive where – or what for. I trusted, kept my heart & arms open, and waited in expectation.

I would definitely say that 2015 was one of the biggest years of change in my (admittedly young!) life, and it’s hard to fathom just how much has changed since I wrote my 2015 Goals blog post one year ago. I continued wedding planning, decided to take my part-time business full-time + essentially worked two full-time jobs once that happened, traveled a ton and had a lot of amazing adventures, met the most incredible & encouraging people, spent lots of time with the best family & friends, finished out the school year at my full-time job, resigned and took Stephanie Scholl Events full-time in July, moved from my home in DC (for six years) to Raleigh, NC in August, planned & designed a million styled shoots, continued planning weddings for the best couples, met countless wedding industry friends, met the sweetest boy in a most unexpected way several months ago… goodness. It has been a full, full year. Not all of it has been good (of course!), and there were some incredibly hard moments, but for the whole, I am reminded time and time again how blessed and happy I am. You just never know what the Lord’s plans are + how much can change in a year, especially if you surrender to Him.