My “Ambitious” Challenge for 2018. Want to Join Me?

I’ve taken on an Ambitious Challenge for 2018. Well, it’s actually not ambitious in the conventional sense. In fact, most would say it was the exact opposite. But if you feel spiritually adventurous, I invite you to join me.

Here’s how it all started.

Anna, my youngest daughter, and I have a ritual we do every January 1st. We call it our “God Box.”

We write down our goals for the year on slips of paper. One by one, we read them aloud, put them in a special box, then we give our goals up to God and don’t look at them again for a whole year. I’m always awestruck at how most come to pass.

But this January, for the first time in 22 years, we didn’t do it.  Stuff came up. We got distracted. The day flew by. It never happened. No new goals went into the box.

I found it terribly unsettling. It actually scared me. Was I sabotaging myself? I’ve always preached the power of goals.  They’re unquestionably the lifeblood of success. I knew I should write mine down. But my heart wasn’t in it.

Then it hit me. Maybe there’s a reason Anna and I didn’t set our goals this year.

Could one’s goals actually become one’s limitations?

Is it possible that God has greater plans for me than my little brain could ever conceive at this point?

Or am I certifiably insane to think dispensing with specific goals could ever lead to financial and personal success?

That’s when I gave myself an Ambitious Challenge for 2018. My only goal this year is to s-l-o-w down every day, get quiet enough to hear my soul’s wisdom and trust that wisdom to guide me in the direction I need to go.

For an ambitious gal like me, this is one hell of a challenge. I’ll keep you posted. And I’d love to hear from any of you who’ve ever taken on a similar challenge.

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Comments & Feedback

  • Carrie Rattle

    Dear Barbara, you were asking about goals and limitations. I have learned the same thing. Although I have a long term vision for my company and life, I have moved away from the corporate-like goal setting of previous years. I envision everyday what my company and life will become, which leads me to speaking and behaving as if it has already occurred. It’s quite amazing because doors keep opening and opportunities just drop into my lap. Some of my greatest thinking that pushed my business fwd. occurred while on vacation – with a clear mind. Goals can be good because they create opportunity cost – if you want something, then when you spend elsewhere you realize you’re moving away from the opportunity. But as you say, goals can be limiting unto themselves because we might be capable of so much more!

    • barbara stanny

      Carrie, I am sooooooo inspired by what you wrote. I especially loved this line: “I envision everyday what my company and life will become, which leads me to speaking and behaving as if it has already occurred. ” In fact, I’m printing it out and putting on my computer so I remind myself of that everyday. Thank you so much for taking the time to share. I really needed to hear that!

  • Kitty

    I love this so much Barbara! Thank you for sharing

  • Stacy

    “Could one’s goals actually become one’s limitations?” … it stopped me in my tracks. Wow. This week I was looking at my “wish list” I had created for my new studio two years ago and my studio is almost an exact manifestation of that list. I don’t know what would have happened had I dreamed bigger. Having just finished my 2018 goals, here’s my awareness based on your post. I kept God out. I didn’t invite God into my goals and intentions for work, I put them down and then went right about planning to achieve them with my own toxic self-sufficiency. When I get busy I simply forget to invite God in and go about the tasks on my own. I’m in total conflict of the head and the heart. Thank you for sharing your one big goal and intention for each day, it’s exactly what I needed to hear.

    • barbara stanny

      Oh Stacy, what a beautiful comment. Thanks for letting me know how my words reminded to you bring God into your goals…that made me so glad I wrote it!

  • Emma

    YES! This is exactly what I’ve been reflecting on this year. For years I’ve had New Years rituals and goals that I’d adhered to with great dedication.
    That last couple of years have been so chaotic and exhausting, despite having met my goals.
    This year I have felt emotionally tapped out and have no idea at all what my goals are. I decided to “let go and let God” which truthfully scared the hell out of me! But I need to rest, reflect and heal.
    Letting go of control and listening to my guidance seems like the right course of action for me this year. My goals are more joy, laughter and love.

    • barbara stanny

      Emma, you are totally describing my life…”emotionally tapped out”…I couldn’t have said it better. You inspire me to think about how I want to FEEL not what I want to achieve. Beautiful and wise.

  • Jeyan Stout

    This year – after two Cat 5 hurricanes within two weeks of each other…. will have to rebuild business from scratch ….
    Have $100K in CC debit…which I want to repay before 2018 ends and put those cards on freeze…
    My condo will be rebuilt starting in Feb 2018 and should be completed hopefully by October 2018 when I could move back into a “New” condo.
    I Desire to be debit free by the end of 2018.
    I Desire to have an incredible RE Sales year in my business more than $250K in my personal commissions.
    I Desire to have a romantic travel year with an incredible lover….
    I Desire to run the Dublin Marathon the last Monday in October as celebration of my 70th year!

    • Jeyan Stout

      I Desire the Universe to hear my heart
      I Desire the Universe to work with me in accomplishing ALL of my desire for 2018

    • barbara stanny

      Great to hear from you Jeyan. I’m so sorry to hear how the hurricanes effected you. My heart goes out to you. My prayer is that all your desires come to pass this year…easily and effortlessly. And running a marathon at 70…wow, you’re amazing!!!

  • Manisha Thakor

    Barbara – You continue to surprise & delight. Have come to the exact same conclusion this year… ie that goals are limiting. I’ve set a “mantra” word for this year instead to guide me. It’s “connection” — with self, family/friends, and community. The thought of being guided by a concept (one that would require me to slooooow down — you know what that’s like for me 🙂 — and actually be present) is very liberating. Your blog post has given me further inspiration to continue on this track. Thanks for sharing with us. Much love & hope to “connect” with you in 2018 one way or another. xoxo, Manisha

    • barbara stanny

      I always love hearing from you, Manisha. And I LOVED your blog about finding a word for the year. I was so inspired I went to my friend’s house and drew a word stone from a bowl of stones she has…and my word was Friendship. At first I was a bit disappointed…I wanted something more ”powerful”…but I quickly realized that this is exactly what my soul yearns for…deep connections with dear friends. And I consider you one of them I’d love to connect with this year.

  • Jeannette Gaiter

    I really like your idea. I would like to join you in this. I have a hard time taking my hands off of things. It will be interesting to see what great things come of this. Blessings for your new year and beyond! My one word for this year is Trust. Should be challenging.

    • barbara stanny

      It will be interesting to see what evolves from this. I like your word…I’m going to borrow it too! Thanks for writing!

  • Jazmin

    Hi Barbara! I’m also slowed down. Currently im getting up everyday for a morning practice at 4 am till. 6:30 and it helps me listen and go inward. Than my day starts and action begins! One of my recent downloads was to do a rawfood prep class at my Martial Arts Studio, as side money. Love to you, LOVE YOUR EMAILS!

    • barbara stanny

      I always love hearing from you Jazmin…and I’m thrilled to hear you’re slowing down too. I also am very impressed you get up every morning at 4am to do your practice. That’s discipline. Big hugs xo

  • Katana Abbott

    Hi Barbara
    I really loved this post. I too have decided to make a huge change this year. I’m taking the first two months to travel with my husband on his Sabbatical, and then I’m getting both knees replaced. This has meant simplifying my business and turning things over to my new Creative Director. It’s scary, yet I know I need to trust this process. I’m looking forward to our radio show together, so we can explore this more!!!

  • Brooke Sheffer

    I always do this too! And I didn’t do it this year. It’s becoming apparent that my thing to do this year is slow down and listen too. I’m calling it learning to drive 5 miles per hour to get up to 3rd gear instead of stalling. I also realized that my 8 year old inner self is brilliant at this

  • Rachel

    Love this idea! I’ve been working on slowing down the past few years. So glad to be in good company. 🙂

    • barbara stanny

      I was shocked Rachel at the response I’ve gotten…didn’t realize how many women are doing this same thing! We are definitely in good company.

  • Lill Sclater

    Dear Barbara, congratulations on exercising self care. Powering down and surrendering is releasing to the natural universal flow without keeping score or measuring, I guarantee that through an operating system of peace, you will surpass any goals or ceilings you’ve ever set for yourself.

    Warmest regards, Lill

    • barbara stanny

      Oh Lill, your words are so encouraging. I’m going to print out your comment and reread it anytime I’m feeling frustrated or discouraged!!! Thanks so much. xo

  • Sandra

    Yes it’s great to set goals but I believe sometimes the Universe have other plans for us. Like slowing down and doing things differently like Barbara said.
    I know for me personally a shock to my health that has made my goals change today.
    In all our plans and goals we must seek God First. Be more aligned and untuned with him rather from a place of head space and corporate goal setting. Divine goals are the best ones as it sets us up to be the best version of ourselves.

  • Tina

    Hi Barbara,
    thank you for your inspiring post! I just started my 12 month sabbatical end of December and I decided to not make much plans, but follow the flow of my life. It ferls good, but also I have many moments in which I feel kind itchy and the urge to take a decision right now and here. Not because my heart wants to, but because I am so used to it and it makes me feel save. So I got one desire for this year: I desire to live on the flow of abundace. I am soooo curious how all these months will unfold!

  • suzanne

    Yes, I hear you – and you are already following your wisdom it is evident in your journey and the decisions you are making and so lovely to see it unfold. I was so thankful for your post. It is a reminder that even as I “speed up” or should I say “rev up” my work of writing my dissertation that in the midst of the writing are times that I can take to breathe to reread what I am writing. These sacred pauses allow me to see if what I have written is true. Not is it perfect but is it true to who I am and the work I am called to do. I am writing for the first time in many months and even though my husband is ill again and my mother in law is still recovering they are able to care for themselves. They have given me the blessing to fulfill my dreams. My dreams do not have to wait on theirs. We can go forward together each doing the work they have been given. These breathing spaces make it easier to know what is mine and what is someone else’s work to do. But in the meantime, I take one step at a time. Pause. Take another. I have decided this year I will have only one goal – to take one day a week off. I will keep a Sabbath day to rest, renew, and revive. Thank you for all your words of wisdom the past year.

  • Linda Lingo

    As usual, you are tremendously inspiring. I agree, goals can be limiting, if we allow them to be. My intention for 2018 is Discovering me, Self-Love, and Joyful Expression. I’m allowing God to let that unfold, but look forward to a terrific year!

  • Laura Handke

    While I have set some rather ambitious marketing goals (for me , that is), I agree! I want to take only guided action and move from a place of grace. When I truly look around at my life, and within, I realize I already have everything I could possibly want or need. Thank you, Barbara!

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Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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