Be-Bold-Be-Brave-Be-You-Free-Printable-Art-From-Burlap-and-BlueMy head is SPINNING from all the talk of resolutions, intentions and goals online. My inbox is full of emails with products I need to buy in order to pick my One Word, Dream God Sized Dreams, Lose 10 Pounds and Renew My Mind, Body and Home. My 2016 planner came in the mail yesterday, all sparkly new with spaces for me to record my dreams, plans and goals for the BEST YEAR EVER.

I’ve only been awake for 3 hours of 2016 and I’m already exhausted.

I’m kidding…sort of. In reality, I believe it is very important to set measurable goals and write them down. I make a lot of lists and I find I am much more effective with a plan and a schedule. I am actually looking forward to sitting down with my new planner and dreaming about the coming year on paper.

Last year, I wrote about the reasons I no longer make traditional New Year’s resolutions. This year, my first resolution is to NOT make New Year’s resolutions again in 2016. However, I am intrigued by the idea of having a word or words to help us with clarity of focus as we plan our days, weeks, and months in the coming year.

One of the best parts of 2015 for me was the opportunity to spend time planning and participating in my first Being Brave retreat. Part of what we discussed in our time together was the components of being brave. In the past few days, as I have considered my intentions and dreams for 2016, I keep returning to these words which have resonated with me so strongly this past year.

In 2016, I want to be B.R.A.V.E. in these ways:

Bold– I want to dream big, audacious dreams. I want to try new things which feel too scary at first. As my friend Bob Goff said at Storyline last year, “I want to live right on the edge of YIKES!” I want to believe in myself and know I can do hard things, with God’s help. I want to take risks, step out of my comfort zone and speak truth with love. I want to reject playing it safe.

Resilient– I want to give myself grace when I fail and be willing to try again. When I am tempted to quit or whine, I will remember my story matters and the world will miss out if I give up. I will strive for excellence instead of perfection. I will celebrate progress and remember God’s mercies are new every morning. I will never quit.

Authentic– I will give up comparison and competition with others and stop performing unless I am on an actual stage. I will nurture my unique gifts and do the work only I can do. I will stop pretending to be more or less than I really am, rejecting both arrogance and false humility.

Vulnerable– I will allow others to see my struggles. I will admit when I am wrong and ask for forgiveness. I will ask for help when I need it. I will risk getting hurt by loving people with my whole heart. I will tell my story and listen well to the stories of others. I will be willing to look like a fool.

Engaged– I will live life all in. I will stop wasting time on activities which don’t reflect my heart. I will spend my hours in ways which reflect the things I say I believe. I will avoid cynicism and sideline criticizm. I will continue to make progress in my ongoing battle with procrastination. I will love my people with everything I have to give. I will pour myself out in service to others and expect nothing in return except the joy of living in the Kingdom. I will be the change I wish to see in the world.

Empowered– As a follower of Jesus, I get a BONUS E-word! As a person of faith, I believe we never have to be brave on our own. With the power of the indwelling Spirit, I can be braver, bolder, stronger, and wiser than I could be on my own. My job, OUR job, is to plug in to the power of that Spirit every day.

There you go, brave friends! Some words to ponder going into the endless possibilities of 2016. If these words resonate with you, consider joining us for my next Being Brave retreat. Stay tuned for details!!

Happy to be linking up today with my Friday Five friends! Be sure to check out my smart friends and their 5 Goals for the New Year posts over at this week’s link-up at Mrs. Disciple.