Proverbs 3:5-6 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
5 Trust the Lord completely, and don’t depend on your own knowledge. 6 With every step you take, think about what he wants, and he will help you go the right way.
If you are like me, you want to live intentionally in 2020, but you just can’t get yourself to write down one goal. As soon as I set a goal, I feel trepidation. What if I fizzle out? What if I gain weight rather than lose it? What if I tell everyone my plans but then become the poster child (more like the older woman) for how not to reach your goals?
The problem with goals and resolutions, is that, for me, they take God out of the equation. Everything becomes all about achieving my goals. Then I become obsessive about tracking them, whether it be standing on a scale every single morning or glancing at my Fitbit every other minute. How many more steps do I need before the hour is up?
So how do I live an intentional life without setting goals and resolutions?
I have decided that creating a values-based vision board is my solution. Focusing on my values will help me live from the inside out, or another way to say this, to live from my heart rather than my head. I don’t want to tell God all the great things I’m going to do. Rather, I’m going to stay true to my values and then stand in awe of the opportunities God will present to me this year.
I have identified six core values that will be my motivation for living the best life I can live.
Each value has…
a belief statement
a theme Bible verse
and a brief summary of how I will live out the value.
Below is a breakdown of my six core values shown on my vision board. The pictures represent some of the tools I will use to live out my values.
Core Value #1: My Emotional and Spiritual Connection with God
Belief: Emotional health and spiritual maturity are inseparable.
The way I will live by this value is never allow my accomplishments and pursuits to become more important than the condition of my heart before God. I won’t sacrifice my closeness with God in order to achieve a goal. Participating in spiritual activities will be coupled with putting in the work it requires of me to be emotionally mature.
My theme Bible verse for this core value is: Matthew 4:10
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”
I will say this verse every time I’m tempted to gain approval from others rather than God or rely on my talents to feel good about myself.
The tools that are on my vision board that will help me live by this value are:
- My Simply Big Life Planner. Sarah Dalton created this unique planner for actions to be focused on values and intentions. The format is perfect for framing how I want to plan my day around my six core values.
- The Emotionally Healthy Spirituality books. I’m working my way through these books written by Peter & Geri Scazzero. This program helps me to process unhealthy emotions that I’m tempted to bury.
- My Bible and coffee. Every morning from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. you’ll find me sitting in my red armchair in my bedroom looking out the window at Roxy Ann Peak enjoying a cup of coffee while I’m reading the Bible. This is my time to hear the voice of God and to pray.
- My Journal. I like a big journal that is filled with thick artist paper. I use a black felt tip pen and write down my convictions and reflections from what I’m reading in the Bible and the Emotional Healthy Spirituality books. I have color pencils for shading key words, and I like to diagram my thoughts.
- My favorite quote. “Don’t let anyone rent a space in your head unless they are a good tenant.”
Core Value: #2: My Healthy Lifestyle
Belief: God provides me food so that my body will run well and stay healthy.
The way I will live by this value is choosing to eat whole organic foods and plan my meals each week using the Newlife Promise program by Isabel D. Price. I will wear my Fitbit to help me track how much I’m moving during the day.
My theme Bible verse for this core value is: 1 Corinthians 10:31
So Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
This verse reminds me that eating is a spiritual activity that can bring glory to God when I choose to eat the way he has designed me to eat.
The tools that are on my vision board that I’ll use to help me live out this value are:
- My Newlife Promise book by Isabel D. Price. This is a faith-based eating program that relies on the goodness of God and all the good foods he provides for us in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It has lots of information about basic nutrition and it provides a one-month plan for cooking healthy recipes. On Sunday afternoons I buy all the ingredients listed for 21 meals to be prepared over a 7-day period. Since I work from home, I can easily do this program.
- My Fitbit. I will wear it every day so that I can stay on track with how much I am moving. I get very focused when I’m working at my desk that I forget to get up and move. I like to walk 2 miles during my lunch break each day.
Core Value #3 My Reading and Writing Endeavors
Belief: Investing my time in reading and writing helps me enjoy and savor life.
The way I will live by this value is to read two or more books each month that will help me grow intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. I will write in one of my two blogs at least once per month to share what I’ve been learning with others. I will start the process of writing a devotional book called, “Being Present in the Presence of God.” (I’ve been wanting to write a book for a long time now).
My theme Bible verse for this core value is in Ecclesiastes 3:12:
I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
This verse reminds me that God wants me to be happy and to do good while I live. Reading and writing make me happy.
The tools that are on my vision board that I’ll use to help me live out this value are:
- My Blogs: Feetongroundheartinheaven.com and DianeMarieMitchell.com
- Books I plan to read. I have pictures of some of the books I would like to read this year. Some of the sub-titles are: A Neurosurgeon’s look at Faith, Doubt and the things we think we know; My life with the First Ladies; Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World; The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt etc.
Core Value #4 My Financial Well Being
Belief: Financial wellbeing requires discipline.
The way I will live by this value is to budget according to my take home pay (which is what is left after a significant amount is taken out for my 401k, health insurance and taxes), to not carry credit card debt and use my savings for emergencies only. I will track my expenses every week in an Excel worksheet. I will be an excellent employee at BOC.
My theme Bible verse for this core value is in Luke 14:28. Jesus said:
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”
This verse reminds me how important it is to keep a budget so that I will have enough for my retirement.
The tool that helps me live this value is:
- Excel Spreadsheet: I itemize my expenses for each pay period and daily track my expenses to the balance in my checking account. This helps me to know if I am going over or under my budget. My plan is to not rely on my savings to supplement my budget.
Core Value #5: My Friendships
Belief: Friendships require time and nurturing in order to grow in love and unity.
The way I will live by this value is to cherish my daughter and my friendships in Christ by praying for them and with them, spending quality time with them and worshipping God with them. I will speak the truth in love rather than avoid conflict. I will set boundaries in my relationships so that I don’t over extend myself for the purpose of pleasing others or gaining their approval.
My theme Bible verse for this core value is Ephesians 4:15
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
This verse reminds me that speaking the truth in love with my friends is God’s way for friendships to grown in love and loyalty. If I avoid conflict or dismiss my feelings in a relationship, then I open myself up for resentment and not being authentic.
Core Value #6: My Travel Plans
Belief: Traveling is good for my mental health because it allows me to step away from what is familiar and be able to gain new experiences and perspectives.
The way I will live by this value is travel to Orlando, Florida in the beginning of July 2020 to attend the 2020 World Discipleship Summit. My daughter and I will spend a week in Boston at the end of July 2020 and go to the Taylor Swift concert at the Gillette Stadium. I would also like to visit a town on the Oregon coast that I haven’t been to yet.
My theme Bible verse for this core value is Acts 17:28.
For in him we live and move and have our being.
This verse reminds me that God gives me the ability and freedom to explore the world around me and to enjoy it. Without God, I would not be able to live and move and exist.
I hope this blog post gives you some ideas of how to frame your core values and let them guide and motivate your attitudes and actions. If you would like to discuss this process with me, please feel free to contact me by writing a comment in this blog or using the contact form or sending me a text if you know my cell phone number.
Happy 2020 and I hope your vision sparks happiness in you.