Creating a life map: Lesson 5

Step 5: For each vision statement, write 3-5 measurable goals for the next year.

To grow into the vision we have for ourselves 10 years down the road, we need to be taking small steps each year. This step will help you to set realistic goals that you will be able to see success in. For each statement, think of 3-5 daily/weekly goals of which you can measure success. Although I don’t love the checklist mentality of Christian living, you can not simply say, “I will be more patient with my children.” How will you become more patient? Will you have weekly accountability with another mom? Will you read a particular book on the trials of motherhood that challenges and convicts you? Will you pray with your children each day? Those kinds of goals you can look back and say, “yes, I did that this week” and can be confident that God is changing you through those things!

I am not going to share all of my goals, because some of them are personal. I also want to challenge my blog reader to brainstorm their own personal goals that fit their lifestyle and the size of their own plate.

But to show an example, I will share 1 goal from each of my vision statements:

Christian:
Read 12 books in 2013
Wife: Only travel home to Ohio 1 time/month
Motherhood: Read “Give them Grace” by Elyse Fitzpatrick to gain a framework for grace-based parenting
Finances**: I will manage the mint.com account and set the budget for each month (Kevin will look over it before it is finalized).

**Since finances is the priority I struggle with, I asked Kevin to come up with two goals for me. Feel free to ask your husband or accountability partners to choose a few goals for you so that you can challenge yourself and grow. Personal change happens in the midst of community, people!

 

Your 2013 life map is now finished! Make sure you go back to your life map often to adjust it or be reminded of the visions you have for yourself. I like to ask myself, “Is my life on a forward trajectory toward the visions I have for myself? If not, what do I need to change in my life now, or in my life map to see growth and progress?” It may also be helpful to have a friend or spouse ask you about your goals regularly. I pray that this tool blesses your life and allows God the space to change you!

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)

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Creating a life map: Lesson 4

Step 4: Write your 10-year vision statements.

This is the most meditative part of the life map process, therefore take lots of time to write these! Each statement should be written in present tense, so that in 10 years you could be describing yourself in each area and it could be a genuine description! (Thus, do not write a description of who you wish to be in 50 years! Small steps people!)

Pick your 4 bolded priorities from lesson 1. You will probably have picked your top two or three priorities and then one or two you want to grow in.

For each priority, pick a verse to meditate on and center your statement around.

Next, write your statement. Again, it should be concise, realistic, in present tense!

Here are my 4 vision statements of who I will be in 2023 in the areas of Christian, marriage, motherhood, and finances. Use these as an example, don’t let my convictions or visions for myself hinder what the Lord is molding you to be!

 

2023 Vision Statements:

Christian: Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for it righteousness were though the law, then Christ died for no purpose!”

I am a woman whose value is in Christ alone. I have surrendered my whole life and all my time talent and resources to the Lord. As a result, my priorities are Godly. The bible transforms my heart, both by reading my bible daily and studying theology. My life and understanding of God are evidently transforming in the way that I love and extend grace to my family, the church, and the lost.

 

Wife: Proverbs 31:11-12 “The heart of her husband trust in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does good to [her husband], and not harm, all the days of her life.”

I am a wife who continues to grow out of an independent, single spirit, and into oneness with my husband. I am kind in my words and patient with my husband’s sin. I do not try to lead us spiritually, but learn to encourage him in new ways. I daily pray for him, engage him in spiritual conversations, draw out of him a deeper love for Christ, and support his visions.

 

Mom: 1 Thess. 2:7-8 “But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.”

I am a mother who is nurturing and gentle toward her children. I speak kindly and with patience. My children are my first priority during my day. I am not preoccupied with my friends or my home as to make my children feel like a burden. With God’s help, I provide for all their daily needs, but also give them small graces that bring joy and pleasure to their life! Decisions about my parenting are formed by and open to the Holy Spirit’s convictions rather than pressure from opinion or trend. The heart behind my parenting flows from an understanding that God accepts me because of Jesus’ righteousness and not by my motherly-merit. Because of the joy I have in this truth, I eagerly share the gospel with my kids in my words and grace-filled actions toward them.

 

Finances: Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

The way I manage my money is a picture to the world of what I treasure and how respect my husband. I am thankful for Kevin’s provision for our family, and we make decisions together on how to spend and save our money. I trust his long-term financial convictions and am mindful of our future goals as I spend day to day. Because we view our finances as resources from God, we strive to live wisely and bless the church and others with our money. It is my responsibility to joyfully live within the budget we have created and fight impulsivity or materialism.

Creating a Life Map: Lesson 3

Step 3: Next, sketch out these two charts. Using the prep work questions from step 2, the first chart analyzes the “problems” or “obstacles” in your life. You can also add more problems as you think of them. Sometimes we have problems in life that we know we can control, and rightly so! These problems are easy to change! However, sometimes we think we can’t fix a problem in our life, that God has really given us the opportunity to steward (i.e. overwhelming college debt!) This reality should challenge us to rely on the Holy Spirit and community and CHANGE! I have been really encouraged recently as one of my friends used to feel mastered by her weight, but now is taking steps to change! Then of course there are the obstacles in life that we want so badly to control, but only God has the power to change, like our spouse’s sanctification or how the future will turn out. These areas in life God is calling us to “let go” and PRAY! Get the idea?? Get started! Here are some ideas from my list….

 

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The next chart is similar: Look at day-to-day priorities and tasks that take over your life. Some of these tasks are IMPORTANT: they get me closer to God, and are practical evidences of my life priorities from step 1. These can either be URGENT (right now!) tasks, or NOT URGENT (yet still very important!) tasks. These tasks should remain in your life and be valued/set aside time for. However, the NOT IMPORTANT tasks can sometimes feel very important! (Amen?) It doesn’t mean these tasks need to be cut all together! For example, sometimes we, like the Good Samaritan, need to stop or take a detour to aid mercy or share the Gospel! Sometimes T.V. watching is fine, and it is GOOD to help others navigate through their life problems, but they should rarely take a priority over our main priorities! Facebook or chatting on the phone should not lead me to neglect my baby or Kevin, but sometimes it does! And that’s not OK. The truth is, you can’t make everyone happy or be 20 places at once or be excellent at everything. And we don’t want to neglect the most important areas in our lives, with the marginal areas. Here are a few examples from my list…

 

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This prep work has paved the way for you to create your vision statements for the 4 priorities you want to focus on this year! Stay tuned for next week!

 

Creating a Life Map: Lesson 2

Step 2: This week you just get to think about and answer some questions! Be as specific as you want! This list of questions has been so helpful for me and Kevin to have the same expectations/goals for the future (part 1). It has also helped us know what changes need to be made in problem areas of our day-to-day lives (part 2). Again, this list is adapted from The Biblical Man worksheet, by Mark Driscoll.

10 Years from now:

What will the state of my health be?

What will Sabbath, vacations, and holidays look like?

Where will we live?

What furniture/appliances will we have acquired or gotten rid of?

What will our budget/debt look like?

What will our marriage look like (fellowship, friendship, intimacy at home, stirring affections, service/ministry)?

Family (# of children, relationship with each):

What will relationships with extended family look like?

What will I have studied deeply?

What will be my ministry outside the home?

 

Make changes now:

 

What 3 things do I want to drop that are draining time?

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2.

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What 3 life changes would make the biggest difference?

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2.

3.

What 3 things do I need the most to make my life easier and free up time and energy?

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2.

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What are 3 obstacles that keep me from living by my convictions or goals?

1.

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3.

Creating a Life Map- Lesson 1

Life mapping is a crucial exercise I use to plan, evaluate, and define the priorities I have in my life, and the visions I have for myself. The concept was introduced to me at Sojourn, first when Kevin prepared one in Pastor’s school, and later when I was challenged to create one in Women’s school. I also drew ideas from Mark Driscoll’s “Act like Men” worksheet. After finding the most helpful formula to come up with my life map, I stuck with it! Now my life map is something I look at often to evaluate how my life is lining up with how I want it to look. A lot of people have been asking me how to put together a life map, so I thought I would share what I do! Feel free to adjust my process to better suit your life!

If you choose to write a life map, you will be planning the next ten years of your life! Since it is a lengthy process (as it should be!), I will be breaking up the process and will post a new step each week. That way, if you want to follow along in the midst of your busy life, it will be less pressure!

Here we go! Happy 2013!

 

Step 1: 2013 Priorities

Pick a large chunk of time to get away, uninterrupted. This is crucial for all steps of the life map process. The first time I wrote one, I was rushed and distracted, and because of that, my work was not thought out or helpful.

Next, make a list of your current 2013 priorities in the order you want them to be. Obviously a thriving relationship with God should be first. But then, what are the priorities that you come face to face with everyday? For instance, if you are a student, school should be a priority. If you live with your parents, family should be a higher priority. If you work a job…you get the idea…

There is an example of how my priorities fall:

Relationship with God: 5
Marriage: 6
Children: 7
Friendships: 8
Self-development/learning: 7
Finances: 5
Health: 7
Recreation: 8
Extended Family: 5

Next, the numbers represent how I am doing on a scale of 1-10 in each of these areas. Be honest. Jot down little notes next to help you determine why you are the number you rated yourself as. Obviously we want to be a 10 in every area, so we will always be growing!

Next, BOLD 4 areas you want to focus on for this year. Maybe pick 2 or 3 that are the most important since you will be living out those areas of life most often, and then pick 1 or 2 that you want to grow in for the upcoming year. (You will do something with these 4 areas in a later exercise.)

 

That’s all for today! Happy life mapping!