I am so glad that my kiddos learned to ski when they were little. It’s so much easier to learn when you are cute, daring, and oblivious to danger. Ansley did end up in SICK and SAD a couple of times since she preferred watching Dora the Explorer with hot cocoa to braving the cold winds of the Eldora Ski Resort, but she still learned. While we don’t ski much anymore I am relieved that my children have mastered those skills so they can use them in their future.
Me, that is another story. I learned to ski when I was in my 20s and maybe a bit of a control freak. Skiing was terrifying because I had no muscle memory to fall back on, so I didn’t have much (read ANY) control over where I went and with what speed I traveled there. I was always afraid that I would kill someone out there and end up on the 5 o’ clock news, so I took some lessons and they helped a great deal. Today I’m a solid blue skier and when I’m feeling feisty I can even handle a black run with no moguls.
But those ski lessons weren’t easy. Whenever we’d approach a run that looked steeper than I my comfort zone would have liked, my poor instructors would have to remind me again and again, “Lean forward Dale, lean forward.” Are you kidding? When someone lunges at you with a knife, you don’t lean forward to get closer to the weapon. When a rabid pit bull comes barreling down the street at you, you don’t lean in to get closer to his bared teeth. So I ask you, why in the world, when facing a very steep and dangerous incline, would I, a reasonable woman who likes safety, lean forward?
Because skiing is for crazy people. And because as all you experienced skiers know, leaning forward is the only way to maintain balance and gain the control needed to turn, manage your speed and ultimately stop. But for us novices leaning forward seems counterintuitive because it’s human nature to want to protect ourselves, minimize the risk, and to play it safe. But if we live like that, we will never learn and grow and we will miss out on so much fun and adventure.
And the same holds true for life. Leaning forward is the way to go.
So this is my visual for this year:
I want to lean into this new year with courage and conviction and see where God takes me. I want to “take advantage of every opportunity” and as some versions say “redeeming the time” (Ephesians 5:16) so that I can live 2016 with meaning and purpose. I want to live with forward momentum instead of a static stance.
As a life coach, I know that one of the best ways to lean into the next twelve months is by setting year-long goals. This is the work that I’m doing with most of my clients right now but I also the work that I do for myself. I have seven categories that I create goal lists for:
- financial goals
- career goals
- social goals
- family & parenting goals
- health goals
- spiritual & personal growth goals
- physical environment goals
I have goals for saving, tithing, and investing, some that are already in place and some are going to require that I schedule in the future. This keeps me leaning into the year. I have a goal that covers two categories (family and health-don’t you love to multitask?): to run a half-marathon with my 15 year old daughter, Caroline. We chose a race in August and will start training soon. We are excited and we’re finding that we are leaning into this year because of what we have planned. This winter I want to snowshoe 3-4 times per month which helps me lean into cold weather, something that is getting much harder as I age. No wonder everyone moves to Florida when they hit the golden years. And this summer I plan to learn how to paddleboard so I’m leaning into the thought of warmer weather with a fun new activity.
Goals pull you into your future in a very positive way. They give you hope and allow you to anticipate what is out ahead. Goals provide the direction and vision that so many of us are lacking in our lives. All we need to do is lean forward and press on.
How about you? Have you set goals for this year? Are you leaning into the possibilities for new adventures, new connections, and new accomplishments?
Or are you sitting back and hoping 2016 goes well? While sitting back can be a more instinctual reaction to novelty, it is not a posture that will allow you to live out your calling, get unstuck, improve a relationship, start your own business or get a promotion. But leaning forward and upward has the potential to do all those things.
What if this year you challenged yourself, got intentional, and leaned into the year with list of goals? Goals that pulled you out of your comfort zone and pushed you to attempt new things? And what if you accomplished a number of them? What if today you simply decided to trust and lean forward?
I’d love to help you craft your own set of goals for 2016 AND then help you reach them. If you’d like to try a 30 minute free life coaching session, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.