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Goals.  They are one of the best and worst parts of the new year, every year.  It’s amazing to think of the possibilities.  Discouraging when we predictably fall short of our high hopes.

So this year, long and lofty goals are out.  Short and simple goals are in.  At least for me.

Since I married my ultra-goal oriented husband, my scatterbrained, free-spirit life has been admittedly more focused and fruitful.  God knew I needed him.  I used to be allergic to goals- feeling like they squeezed the life out of me and took away my freedom.  Goal-challenged, as I now call it.

I’ve learned that creating and focusing on very specific goals has been a huge part of our ability to do the things we feel compelled and designed to do.  A huge part of thriving in life. 

But I will also be honest with you.  After I write long lists of goals, I usually break the cardinal rule – I fail to look at them as often as I should.  Mostly, because I get overwhelmed with the monstrous lists I created.  Those long lists don’t fit into my daily life.

(hint: to actually see goals become a reality, you need to keep them in front of you, and read them on a very regular basis – the more you look at them, the more likely you are to fulfill them.)

Creativity is the key.-5

So if you are a busy person, keeping goals in front of you in order to accomplish them needs to look different than before.  No more long lists.

Envision less, in order to do more.  –> click to tweet.

Because when it really boils down to it, you were made on purpose, for a purpose.  

After years of focusing wide and trying to figure out what I really want, this year, I am taking it a step further and focusing small.  I am focusing on less, in order to achieve more.  

And I believe the results will be the very things I long for:

Simplicity.  Focus.  Productivity.  Rest.

So what does this “goal simplicity” look like, for a goal-challenged person like me (and maybe you too?)?

~ It’s creating a simple phrase that is short enough to say (and do) everyday in the key areas of your life.

(I write my simple phrase for the in the side column of my daily planner, and make sure I work those elements into my life everyday.)

~ Its creating a meaningful “WHY” that backs up your simple phrase.  

(Periodically when you feel discouraged,  revisit your meaningful “why” and be spurred onward.)

For the sake of example, in bold are my daily goals for this year, and in italics you’ll see my meaningful “why”: 

1. For my spiritual life: Enjoy Philippians.

My why: My aim is to memorize the book over the course of 2014.  Daily, I will dive in and enjoy it!  I’ve learned that as I memorize God’s word, I am filled, strengthen and inspired for every other spiritual aspiration I have.  Delighting in Philippians reminds me that His word is what fills me and empowers me to walk in transforming truth and power.  And that excites me to live fully engaged with God.

2. For my wifely role: Encourage daily.

My why: I want to be the most encouraging person in my husbands life.  When I asked him what would be the most loving thing I could do this year as a wife- this was his answer.  Following through with specific encouragement will help him achieve his goals and will lead to a more fulfilled marriage.

3. For my mothering: Get on the floor.

My why: When I busy myself and forget to enjoy, engage and interact my kids as individuals, I miss what motherhood is all about.  When I sit on the floor, I engage my kids in a way that really matters- I see them, hear them, connect with them and enjoy them.  Those are my mommy priorities…no matter what tasks I have to accomplish.

4. For my healthYoutube 10.

My why: I am almost 20 weeks pregnant- so a simple (and free) youtube prenatal workout video is easy and makes me feel great afterward – the more I work-out, the better I eat, and the better I eat, the more I want to work out- its a simple cycle of wellness.  And if I can make time for 10 minutes 95% of the time, I’ll do more.  But still, 10 minutes at this stage of life is a win.

5. For my writing: Pray 500.

My why: When I put my hands on the keyboard, I stop and pray.  I ask God to move in my heart and out of my fingers.  And if I tap out 500 words a day from a place of prayer, I will likely continue writing more.  But if I don’t have time to do more than 500, it’s the consistency with small things that counts for me and keeps me on track with my calling and passions.

So how about you?  

What are one-word/one phrase goals that will inspire you to a greater level of rest, while living at a high level of productivity and focus?  Simple enough to write and apply to life everyday.

Can you create a “why” behind your one simple phrase?