Every December I work on my list of goals for the next year. Every year they are monetary and very numbers based. As in, I want to make $X this year so I need to book X number of weddings at $X each to reach this goal. Then I break it down to how many I need to book per month, per week, etc. I work very well this way and this works for me because I can easily track my progress and make for sure I stay on track.
But this year, in a major departure from my norm, I didn’t make any monetary goals! The thing is, realistically, I know how much I need to make to pay my bills, save for the future, and for the other “extras” that I want. Most people don’t. But I do. So this year I decided to take a different approach and set my goals based on the way that I wanted my year to go, instead of dollars and cents. My goals this year aren’t even quantifiable. Gasp!
Last year wasn’t much fun – and I want this year to be different. Don’t get me wrong. Last year was amazing. We surpassed all of our goals and then some. We even added “international speaker” to our list of accomplishments. It was a great year. But we never breathed! There was no opportunity to “take in the moment”. We just went like crazy. And I vow that this year will be different.
My goals this year?
1.) Love on people, for no reason!
I think our friends thought we hated them last year (or that maybe we moved away). We were definitely absent from life. And I know we missed some opportunities to show people the love of God, because our priorities were clearly elsewhere.
This year we will go to lunch with friends for no reason. We will arrange outings, go camping with friends, and anything else we want to do – just because. And that goes for strangers too.
2.) Embrace new experiences!
Last year we had the great opportunity to go to Trinidad for a speaking engagement and spend several days experiencing the country. What actually happened? We spent one afternoon at the beach. We spent one day at the wedding convention for the speaking engagement. We spent about 4 days asleep in out hotel room. We were exhausted! And we didn’t even realize how the year had taken its toll on us. So we ended up across an ocean for a week of fun that turned into a week of sleep!
That ends now! We are going to have fun this year, enjoying new experiences. Whether we like it or not (just kidding).
January 31st has now come and gone. We’re officially a month in to 2014. Did we actually follow our new goals? You decide!
Here’s how the last 31 days have gone:
1.) Shea and I auditioned and were cast as extras on a TV show (look for us soon on an upcoming episode of Revolution). They filmed on the coldest day in Austin, Texas in over 40 years. We were supposed to act like we were enjoying a spring day – no coats or warm coverings. It sucked. I thought I was going to lose my toes. We made $58 each. Yes, I embraced a new experience. No, I will not do this ever again – in winter.
2.) I was at the grocery store when I realized that the lady with her kiddo in front of me was having to put back groceries because she didn’t have the money to pay for them – so I paid for them for her. I think it made me happier that it made them. I love loving on people for no reason – this is a “definitely repeat” for sure.
3.) The night before sudden freezing temperatures in our area we went out and gave sleeping bags to the homeless in our area. I ran through a ton of traffic to get to the guys. It was probably a dangerous choice but they were under a bridge. There was no other way to get to them. There’s more to the story but let’s just say that after this experience, I will do this more often.
4.) I offered to donate one of my kidney’s to my friends husband. This was both a terrifying and happy decision, at the same time. This was my 13 year old daughter’s comment when I asked her how she felt about me doing this – “if you have something that could save someone’s life and keep him here to raise his daughter, then it’s an obvious yes mom”. Ummm, how’d she get so damn smart?
I ended up not needing to give my kidney. He was on the transplant list and miraculously received a double organ transplant from another donor. He’s in the hospital still but showing great progress! I still have all my organs. It would do it again though.
5.) And if that last one wasn’t terrifying enough, my photographer friend is switching her business focus to boudoir photography only, and needed a model that would give their okay to having their images published (as in, blasted all over the Internet) – and I said yes! Ha! Clearly I’ve embraced this whole non monetary goals thing and now I’ve gone completely overboard. And to add to it, I’m going to post them here before she gets a chance to do so on her own blog. (There’s is a screaming panicking voice inside my head right now!)
You get not one, but two embarrassing pictures!
This is what momma looks like when she’s being momma (as in – the clay that “my team” got to mold) –
And here is the end result (The Grand Reveal) –
This is when momma turns into Hot Momma!
Credit for these pictures goes to Kara at Click Chick Boudoir
I kid you not that I felt equally nauseated with the prospect of undergoing surgery to remove a kidney and knowing that I’m going to be half naked for the world to see. Maybe that makes me a bad person – and I’m willing to accept that. But neither scenario was more or less frightening to me than the other! Losing an organ or being publicly exposed = same feeling of terror!
Side note – Turns out, It was awesome!!! I have never felt so amazing, ever!
As for those “real” goals? In the midst of all of the above, we managed to book about 5 months worth of business in the first 3 weeks of 2014. Hello 2014, and welcome! Maybe I should have changed up this whole goal setting thing years ago. In just a month I’ve already learned that I can let go and enjoy my life a little – and it’s not all going to fall apart around me.
Have you done something radically different with your goals this year? What has been the result? We want to hear about it….
jennifer Weems says
So give us a call when you are ready to hang with friends! LOVE the sexy momma shot….in the sweats. Your expression is priceless.
Charlotte Blanch says
Ha! I love this post. I know we are both in the same fb group, but now I feel like I can relate to you as a person in the small business world and wedding industry. I need to take some numbers crunching lessons from you. I tend to go towards experiences over sticking to my business goals. One of my goals this year (and the last couple of years) is to get more personal on my blog…like this post. I tend to think that no one wants to read the personal stuff, but I love professionals that share their personal life. Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to seeing how the rest of your year goes. I promise to share more of myself, too!
Jamie Lewis says
It was great meeting y’all last week! Your goals are huge – good for you for doing something crazy like give away a kidney and get naked! I was actually looking for a boudoir photographer for a friend and your friend’s photographs look lovely. You are very brave to share them with the world! I have very specific business goals, but my personal goals are more general. I will make it a goal this week to set tangible personal goals. Thanks for the post!
Susan Wolfer says
Cheryl, You are amazing! I love the idea of goals based on experience instead of money! I think I have some goal writing of my own to do!
Awesome mama!!! Not only are you hawt but….praise the Lord for what you are doing. I love seeing more and more Christians living faith outloud in terms of actions. Jesus does not want us to sit back and judge. He wants us to shut up and go live our faith out and trust. It is certainly one of the more frightening things to do in life, we do not come by trust easy. Good on you and let me know if y’all need help w/ anything 🙂
Wow! You are such a kind generous person! I’ve set similar goals for this year to give more to others for one reason and one reason only, because it makes me happy. You are an inspiration. And beautiful! Sweat pants or not 😛
AWWWW! You are amazing and you know how to live life! That’s so generous of you to do all these wonderful things. Just reading your story I want to be your BFF :-). Such an inspirational post!
Mylah Renae says
I ADORE your goals and your boudoir images ROCK! My favorite activity on your list is when you bought that family’s groceries. Thank you for having a kind heart!
Jade Mutter says
I loved this blog post! One of my goals is to do more random acts of kindness as well and I also signed up to be a stem cell donor so we are on the same page. Great job with your boudoir shoot too – you look amazing!
Cheryl Bailey says
Yay for being a stem cell donor – that’s amazing! You never know the life you’ll save.
Jete Devisser says
Wow. This is an amazing post. One that reallly makes me stop and think about my own life, and how I can potentially pay it forward. You seem like an amazing person, and I love that you are focused on showering blessings on others! And holy moly, you look like a firecracker in those boudoir shots!!
Conchita Medel says
That is awesome Cheryl! Way to embrace life! I feel like I was in such a slump the last few years that I missed out on a lot of things too but I have also vowed to be different this year. I am the only one that is in charge of my happiness. Everything you have to done to help people is amazing and there needs to be more people like you in this world! And by the way, you look amazing in your boudoir photos!!
Cheryl Bailey says
Oh man, I hate to hear that you’ve been in a slump! It happens to the best of us from time to time. But it looks like you’ve pulled yourself right out of it and I applaud you for that!
Thanks for the sweet comments. It means the world to me.
Liesl Diesel says
good for you! so inspiring, we must all be open to new life experiences, thank you for the wonderful reminder!
Amanda Lloyd says
I love the “embrace new experiences” part! Something huge in my life in 2014 too, great post!
Cheryl Bailey says
You guys are too good to me! Thank you all for your amazing and encouraging comments. Judging by the sheer number of comments so far, it looks like I really struck a chord with this post. I’ll keep baring my soul and blogging about it, I guess!
That is awesome! 🙂 Plus I love that photo in the window!
Hannah Nielsen says
I absolutely love this post!! Such lofty and worthy goals and you’re killin’ em! I particularly like your “love on people” one 🙂