Whether we call it goal setting, planning, vision casting or just plain dreaming, the beginning of a new year always finds us thinking about things we want.
There are a lot of things I want for my business in 2017.
I want to bring a Christian perspective to the hyperbolic online marketing advice that hits our inbox. You know … the kind filled with words like skyrocket, EXPLODE!!! and mindblowing.
I want to help lots of you find clarity, focus and confidence in your online ministry through the More Than A Blog course.
I want to create a community of bloggers, writers, ministry leaders and business owners who bring their faith message to the world intentionally through the Pray Plan Prepare monthly workshops.
And I want all of us to do new things that expand our reach to proclaim the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ.
But what do I NEED in 2017? Other than, of course, the favor and presence of God alongside me, I need one thing.
I need simplicity.
It’s all gotten too complicated for me. That became crystal clear this past week as I took the week off of work.
See, I’ve always assumed things seem complicated because I don’t have enough time. I thought if I didn’t have to go to work, I could get everything done, plus take on more. But even with a whole week off, most of it to myself, I still have a long list of un-done things.
So the problem is not too little time. It’s too many things. Or things that take too long.
As I went looking for a scripture to inspire me towards simplicity this year, something interesting came to light.
The Greek word translated as “simplicity” in this verse:
For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. 2 Cor. 1:12 (ESV)
is also translated as “liberality” in this verse:
Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all. 2 Cor. 9:13 (NASB)
If simplicity means “less” and liberality means “more”, how can that be? The answer lies in this verse, where the same word is translated “sincerity.”
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Colossians 3:22 (NIV)
For me, simplicity means living with sincerity of heart … with integrity. It means giving liberally of my gifts, but not complicating things by trying to be something I am not. In this next year, we can embrace simplicity in three ways.
Focus on our passions
With the “content is king” pressure to post consistently, engage on social media and live-stream our thoughts, we are often grasping at meaningful things to say. Quantity overshadows quality and we end up saying things we don’t really care about, or spending hours on research so we sound credible.
This year, I’ll focus on what I know and what I’m passionate about … helping creative people create processes and systems to be more productive. Showing you how to break down your big idea into manageable pieces. Gathering intentional, purposeful Jesus-girls with a life-giving message to encourage and support each other. I hope you’ll be part of this community.
Put our money where it works
As I looked back at 2016, I found that I spent a lot of money on courses, resources and tools that I never used, or that just gave me more to do. I’m guessing the same happened to you.
In some twisted mental gymnastics, we think spending money on something will motivate us to make time to use it. But in reality, it only adds to the stress and feeling of inadequacy as it sits there mocking our inability to create time where it doesn’t exist.
In the last few days, I’ve cancelled subscriptions to software and courses and removed myself from the Facebook groups associated with them. But I’ve doubled down on the ones that will be truly helpful to me … the money I was wasting on a monthly subscription to Photoshop (I’ll never climb that learning curve) will now be spent on Canva, which I will use multiple times every week.
Boss our time around
I’m tired of time ruling me. My decisions are made more based on what I have time for and what I don’t, than on what I’m passionate about and what God has called me to do. I want to tell my time what to do instead of it telling me.
We often spend our time doing the things people … “experts” … tell us we must do. We aren’t doing it with sincerity of heart and we suspect it is not giving us the results we expect. We need to be more analytical to understand what is working and what is not. It’s not about letting numbers drive our behavior, but about listening to what the numbers tell us about our audience and ourselves, and then investing our time where it really matters.
If we are doing what really matters, we’ll be more effective, satisfied and impactful. Sounds simple, right?
Do you have a word, verse or focus for your year? Share it here! If you’ve written a Word or Verse of the Year post, link it up or feel free to drop your link in the Comments!