If you’ve known me for a while, you know that each year I try to put together a collage of sorts with images from the Web – which I call my Goals Poster.  It’s just a visual depiction of the major things I want to do in my life that year, and it helps me to boldly put my hopes and dreams and ambitions “out there” instead of just keeping them in my head.  And if I ever find myself floundering, or wasting my days or weeks, I can come back to it for clarity and direction.  And I thought maybe some people might care to see it and hear why certain images were included.  And I know it’s the middle of September, and I probably should have shared this in January, but I was on a long blogging hiatus.  And now that I’m back, I figure that it’s as good a time as any!  So, let’s get to it….

After praying about it, I felt like God wanted me to name 2015 as “The Year of New Beginnings.”  I know it’s sounds a bit cliché, but I was definitely entering a new season of my life this year since I was getting married in the summer.  And then I prayed about a verse that I could keep in the forefront of my mind throughout the year – a verse that I wanted to build my life upon.  And I was thinking that I really wanted to be in the Word so much more, since it has the daily wisdom that I desperately need.  And I was also thinking a lot about healing, and health, and physical restoration, and God’s blessings in those areas.  And I stumbled upon this verse from Proverbs 4:20-22:

My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.

And I was like – YES.  That is it.  That is perfection.  And that is what I want.  So I set it in place as the centerpiece scripture for my year.

Okay, so moving clockwise from the top left, let’s go over the pictures I selected.  First, the hands clasped in formal attire signify my wedding – which was unbelievably wonderful and could not have gone better (thank you God!).  Next, my family and I continue to care deeply about the clean water problem in India, and work to build wells there every year.  We have to keep doing that.  Their lives are as important as our own.  Third, I want to enjoy citrus fruits with my wife more often!  Just kidding.  Well, not really, but that photo is just there to remind me what a cutie she is, and how much I love her big blue eyes, and that I want to prioritize quality time with her this year – and not neglect her in the slightest (hopefully ever).  The guitar reminds me to keep up my practicing so I can keep getting better, and the keyboard/notepad/blog image is there to inspire me to keep writing.  I hoped to keep speaking at TEDx, and did again this year – so that was a goal accomplished and pretty awesome (even though writing and preparing a talk take tens and tens of hours!).

It’s just a visual depiction of the major things I want to do in my life that year, and it helps me to boldly put my hopes and dreams and ambitions “out there” instead of just keeping them in my head.

The bottom right is a picture of the cliffs of Ireland – where Rachel and I initially wanted to honeymoon.  That did not work out this year, but I aim to take her as soon as I possibly can.  Continuing clockwise around the collage, the gallon jug is there to motivate me to drink more water than normal.  I would love to tell you I am pounding 64 ounces every day, but I can’t say that.  I wish I was.  Some days, yes.  Most days, no.  I’ve gotten there probably around 40% for the year – and I am going to just try hard for the remainder of 2015 to do it more regularly.  It’s hard.  Water is pretty boring.  You get it.  But I know it’s good for me.  Okay – the penultimate picture represents my desire to swim more to improve my cardiovascular health.  However, I flat out have not done it this year.  I had all of these good intentions to do it, and before marriage we went to the lap pool a handful of times, and it was almost becoming a habit, but then we just stopped prioritizing it.  And now the weather is about to get cooler.  That’s just how it goes.  I failed in making that goal happen, but it’s okay, and I can always try again next year.  Finally, I really wanted to lift more for strength gains.  And I have stayed faithful with fitness, and going to the gym, and working out, but I’m not seeing more mass on me.  And I’m not throwing up heavier weights with more ease.  And that’s okay too.  Maybe I need to mix up my routine more, or maybe I need to push myself harder.  It is important to me, and I aim to figure it out one of these days.

That’s it.  That what I set my mind to do back in early January of this year.  I’ll create one for 2016 in a few months and share it with you all then.  If you end up making one for yourself, I would really love to see it and cheer you on as you work towards making your own dreams happen.  Keep me updated!!!