Happy New Year! ?
How are you feeling about 2020? Excited? Apprehensive? Hopeful? Determined? Ready to leave 2019 behind? Like this is going to be your best year yet?
I am super excited to write this post today—mainly because I feel so inspired right now and I can’t wait to share it with YOU! Before I do that, though, you might want to grab a hot drink and settle in because this post is gonna be longer than normal. I need to give you context about my current season and share what God’s been saying to me and it’s gonna take some words to do that.
First, anyone who knows me well will tell you this about me:
I LOVE dreaming.
Along with dreaming about my own life, helping other people dream about their lives and what’s possible for them is incredibly exciting to me.
In fact, offering inspiration to empower you to live your dreams is one of the main reasons I write these posts in the first place.
As we enter a new year AND new decade, I feel an extra boost of anticipation and focus as I look at both the short term (2020) and long term picture (the 2020’s) and because of that, I’ve spent a considerable number of hours praying, seeking God for vision, and pondering what the best use of my time looks like for me in the coming year.
The other day, I was writing out my top goals for 2020 when the Holy Spirit very clearly interrupted my thoughts and asked me the following questions:
What if you viewed 2020 as the foundational year for the next ten? What if, instead of simply setting goals for 2020, you asked yourself what positive habits you could form over the next 365 days that, if they became second nature to you this year, would set you up for WILD success in the next ten years? What if 2020 was the foundation upon which the next nine years would build upon? What would it be worth to you to take some time in the short term to create lifestyle changes that would bear fruit for many years to come?
When I heard this, I actually had to stop writing for a minute to let it all sink in.
What if this year was more about HABITS than outcomes?
I mean, the outcomes of our lives are directly linked to our habits anyway, but what if my chief focus this year was on the life-giving habits I could form that would eventually become second-nature and then naturally propel me towards the longer term outcomes I so deeply desire?
I knew there was wisdom in this statement, but I also felt challenged.
I mean, I’m a big dreamer and I love taking action to make dreams come true, but many of my dreams have been dependent on short term bursts of energy. For me, this looks like working really hard on something for a few months (maybe 6-12) in order to pull off a goal I’ve set for myself.
The above questions felt like an invitation to step into my long term dreams.
They felt more behind-the-scenes.
Perhaps a bit less glamorous.
But definitely full of wisdom.
I could feel Holy Spirit asking me to take a step back, zoom out, and look at 2020 in light of the bigger picture for my life—in light of the dreams that will leave a legacy for generations to come.
The ones that take me WAY past my comfort zone.
And those dreams need more than just a 3- or 6- or 9-month burst of energy. These dreams need sustainable lifestyle choices that will carry me throughout the rest of my life.
I’ve never looked at another decade in quite the same light as I’m looking at the 2020’s.
Perhaps it’s just because I’m a ‘grown up’ now (haha!) and I’m aware that time is so precious. But I also sense that this coming decade in its entirety is significant. That I’m not supposed to just look at it as 2020, then 2021, then 2022, etc.
I feel there is something God is wanting to build in and through us in this next decade that requires we look at it in BOTH macro and micro terms.
Both as individual days, weeks, months, and years AS WELL AS a ten year block.
We will build differently if we look beyond just today. We will build differently if we look beyond just this year.
If I were to say to you, “This next ten years of your life is extremely significant for the plans and purposes of God for you life. Build in such a way that you can sustain momentum for the long haul!” how would that affect the way you plan this year?
For me, as un-glamorous as forming life-giving, sustainable habits in my life this year feels, it’s actually what I need to do. The farmer has to plow the ground before he can plant his new crops.
This is what I believe God wants to say to all of us as we enter 2020:
This next year is one of preparation, of laying a foundation. The way you sow this year is going to affect how you will harvest in the future. As you sow this year, you will eat the fruit from previous seasons that you’ve sown into. Your previous seasons of sowing are going to sustain you as you enter this season of preparation. These next ten years matter! They matter a lot. Not only because of what God is doing through women in this season on the earth, but because of what YOU, dear friend, are called to do.
I see a picture of an orchard next to a field. There is a farmer plowing a field (symbolic of us as we prepare the ground in this season) and the orchard is healthy and green and has fruit on the trees. The farmer can go to the orchard and eat of the fruit there whenever she needs to (that’s us eating from the harvest of previous seasons) but I also see a pruning taking place. Just as Jesus speaks in John 15 about the Father pruning the vine in order that we may bear MORE fruit,? I see the forming of better, healthier habits in this season as a pruning of sorts. When we are taking time and energy to form good habits, it doesn’t always look fancy or flashy. It looks and feels like hard work. But I feel the Father saying to us that not only is He proud of what we’ve cultivated so far (our current orchard) but it’s BECAUSE we’ve tended our current orchard so well that we are even able to step into this season of pruning and tilling the new field. The invitation to sow into a new field is BECAUSE we’ve stewarded well what we already have.
There’s an invitation here. ?
One that is coming from the Father to His beloved children.
He delights in you. He delights in the way you have stewarded the things He’s entrusted you with. He wants to build with you, co-create with you, dream with you.
I believe the invitation to use 2020 as a foundational, habit-forming year is one that will set you up for success, not just for the 2020s, but for the rest of your life.
Please hear this: what I’m NOT saying is that you shouldn’t have dreams or goals as well for 2020. If you want to run your first marathon in 2020, GO FOR IT! But rather than just training hard out for six months and then reverting back to the way you lived before you set that goal, train in such a way that you bring some of the key habits FORWARD into the rest of your life.
Think both short AND long term.
Sure, you may not always run 10 miles a day because you won’t always be training for a marathon, but there will be other habits you’ll have to adopt (ex. higher water consumption, healthier food choices, an active lifestyle, etc.) that you can continue to implement into your life even after the short term goal has been reached.
If you’ve read this far, bravo!
Now, I want you to ask yourself this question:
What is one habit that, if you implemented it this year, would have a significant positive impact on your life?
How are you going to implement that habit—and any others that feel important in this season—into your daily routine?
UPDATE (May 2020): Wanna build that habit into your life in a fun, empowering way? I’m starting a FREE Facebook Group called Change your habits, change your life—2020 Habits Challenge where I’ll be posting weekly inspiration, videos, and other fun stuff. Come join a supportive community of people who are leveling up their lives together. We’d love to have you!
Here’s to 2020 being satisfying in truly unexpected ways. May our eyes be opened to seeing our Papa’s handiwork throughout every aspect of our lives.
He’s in all the details if we just have eyes to see.
I believe in you!
P.S. Join my Habits Facebook group here!