This episode is pretty impromptu, and when I say “impromptu,” I mean that the plan I originally had for this post was to be walking you through how to cast a vision for the year and take action on that vision.
But as I was walking through the steps myself in December, the perfectly laid out vision, the organized steps and process to make that vision come to life… kind of exploded. What I mean by that is that I basically threw away and completely LAID DOWN at the feet of Jesus everything that I knew about goal-setting, forming habits, and taking action on those goals…
This means I am approaching 2023 with a VERY different outlook, mindset, and approach than I EVER have in the past.
In fact, this was actually a very difficult piece of content for me to put together for you. It took me quite a few hours to even get my thoughts together.
And to be honest, I really thought about just scrapping this piece of content altogether and doing something else, but I felt led by the Holy Spirit to follow through.
With that, I pray that as you listen to this, you feel REFRESHED going into the new year and that any pressure that you have unknowingly put on yourself for this year to be taken away. I pray for any burden that you are carrying around hitting goals and striving to be lifted just as it was for me.
Please know that I don’t think there is ANYTHING wrong with achieving things in this life, making plans, and having goals.
What I’m saying is that I pray any burden or pressure you’ve put around yourself about those goals or plans is vanquished. Because those things can unknowingly become bondage, and I don’t want that for you.
This approach to the New Year is probably going to be different than what you’re seeing all over the internet & social media right now, but I pray that you tune in with an open heart and an open mind.
That being said, let’s dive in.
I had a plan, you guys… I had a lot of plans. LOL.
I had the plan to make this post about how to plan your year for success and how to map out your vision for each quarter, and all the things regarding planning and productivity.
But, I’m going to be honest.
I did not follow through on this myself, and the reason I didn’t follow through on it is that over the last few months, and December especially, I have been going through a lot of confusion about the direction my business is heading in this year.
I had a really solid plan for 2023 last year, like early on in 2022. That’s because the plan was that 2022 was going to be the year that all of my foundations would be finished. I was going to launch my website in 2022, set up some workflows, and finish the curriculum for Faith-Fueled Coach Academy.
And I know I’m saying that I was going to do those things, but the thing is that I did do all those things. I did all those things in 2022. But the reason I was doing those things was that the plan for 2023 was going to be the year to scale and really focus heavily on visibility and presence…. and logically, that makes sense, right?
Perhaps that’s still the case. I’m not sure, but a lot of amazing things happened in 2022.
I mean, this podcast launched in 2022. We got the blog going in 2022. Honestly, we crushed a lot of the goals we had set for ourselves in 2022.
But the truth is the last few months have been turmoil in my mind, and I wasn’t going to share this with you, mostly because of the fear of discrediting myself, or something silly like that.
To be honest, recently, I’ve had thoughts like, “What am I even doing?” I’m really unsure about my direction. I’ve had more breakdowns than I care to admit in the last 3-4 months, especially in December.
Oh my goodness… When I tell you my plans exploded… I mean, they exploded.
And honestly, I haven’t experienced this kind of block in a really long time, and it’s probably been about 2-3 years since I’ve experienced these mental breakdowns, this confusion, and this lack of clarity.
I’m just now realizing that this timeline actually lines up perfectly with when I had my major breakthrough with the Holy Spirit and in turn, also my business.
You have probably heard this story if you have tuned into the podcast and/or blog at all, but it was the breakthrough I had where I was pacing in my backyard, and I was crying out to God because I was in over my head financially, I was so confused, I thought I was going to quit my business and get a new job.
But all that to say, I was like, “God, please just take away this obsession I have with money and success and replace it with an obsession and desire to know you and to serve you.”
That was like my, big, big breakthrough I talk a lot about around here, and that was around the time that I was experiencing the major breakdowns and confusions that I am now experiencing.
But now, I’m just experiencing it now on a different level.
It’s just different this time…
Now, you might be asking why I am sharing this.
I’m sharing this so you know that even the people you listen to on podcasts, watch on YouTube or binge their Instagram stories also experience the yuckyness you might be feeling too.
I was actually on a call with a really great friend and colleague of mine who is also a 6-figure coach, and we were saying and recognizing that even the Amy Porterfields of the world experienced this. They also experienced the yuck. They also experience thoughts like, “What am I even doing?” They also experience wanting to throw in the towel and call it quits.
They feel it too.
I want you to know that you’re not alone, and I really am praying for you.
And when I say that, I mean that I’m praying with you right now in this season.
But knowing this and being in this season of discernment, how in the world am I approaching 2023? What is even my business plan?
The truth is, I spent the last month, all of December 2022, trying to plan out my 2023 only to be overtaken with anxiety and paralysis.
And so that said, this is honestly a really difficult episode for me to record and put together.
As I mentioned, I honestly thought about scrapping this idea and doing something else, but I kept feeling like the Holy Spirit was prompting me to follow through. So, that’s why we’re here. But basically, instead of mapping out my plans for the year, which is what my logical and business-minded brain wanted to do, I am going into this year basically without a plan.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have ideas of what this year could look like, but if there’s something that the Holy Spirit has taught me over the years, and especially over the last few months, that is that He can change the plans at the drop of a hat and I have to be ready to move with them.
And that actually reminds me of Proverbs 16:9 which says, “the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
You see, I have a vision and a mission, and that hasn’t changed. God gave me that. The reason why I’m here today on this podcast is to help women be fueled by their faith in their own businesses and help them bring the mission that God gave them to life.
But the steps that I thought I would take in order to move this mission are not the steps I’m actually taking.
I am actually approaching the year 2023 in three distinct yet overlapping ways or approaches. You can call it whatever you want, but this is basically what the Lord led me to share with you.
Again, this took me hours to just formulate my thoughts.
But that said…
These are the three main points that I want to share with you today.
1 – I have a VERY loose “plan”
I know I said I didn’t have a plan, which I kind of don’t, but I guess I have a VERY loose plan because I have ideas. But no clear path, plan of action, or timeline.
The reason being is that I’ve been trying to map out my year for two months. I really have, and every time I do, I am faced with loads of overwhelm and anxiety.
So, this year I actually don’t have a plan. I have ideas, but I don’t have a timeline for those ideas. Truth be told, I’m not even sure if I’m being led to follow through on all those ideas right now, or even this year.
All I know is the very next step. All I know is what God is putting in front of me right now.
But the crazy thing is, if I really take time to think about it, the steps I thought I would take in order to move this mission forward are not the steps I have been taking, and it’s not the steps I’m taking now. I’m still discerning them. I’m still discerning the steps that are being laid out in front of me.
So, right now, all I know is the very next one. I don’t have a list of steps like I’ve had in the past, so this is actually really, really hard for me. This is the first year that I haven’t had steps.
I talk a lot about God changing your plans here, because He does. And I think back to all the times I’ve had plans, and back on my entire entrepreneurial journey.
I absolutely make the plans, but God changes them. The Lord always changes them.
I actually had the plan to be a beauty YouTuber. Then I actually stumbled upon network marketing, and then I had the plan to get to the top of my company in network marketing, but then God introduced me to the coaching industry.
And then all of a sudden, I had this major plan to be this top network marketing coach. And I had a plan for that.
You get the point LOL.
That said, today, He is asking me if I will trust Him without having any plan, and this is very, very hard for me.
I know that He is sanctifying me further. I know that He is calling me to trust Him deeper, and to move forward despite not having any sort of idea, and not having any master plan right in front of me to fall back on. He’s asking me to fully trust Him.
It’s crazy because I thought I did right. I thought I did, but He’s taking me deeper, and showing me I have much more to learn.
This actually reminds me of when God gave the Israelites manna in the wilderness, He gave them what they needed day by day. Not month by month or year by year. They could not see what was coming.
And right now, I don’t either. I have no idea, but I know that I am trusting Him and I am learning to trust Him deeper in this process. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have really had a hard December because like I said, I was really fighting. I was really fighting to make a plan.
And the truth is, I also know that action creates clarity.
I’ve been too busy thinking myself in circles, so I haven’t been taking action on the one step that He told me to take.
But that’s what I’m doing now.
There’s no more holding back here.
I say all this to say that He is really teaching me that sanctification is like an onion, and He is just pulling back layer by layer.
2 – Fully tuning into my word of the year
That leads me to the next approach that I am taking this year, and it is actually not something that I thought I was going to do LOL. God has a fun sense of humor.
That said, but the next approach that I am taking is fully tuning into my word of the year.
Like I mentioned, I was actually going to be a rebel and NOT pick a word of the year because I’ve been so disappointed that I didn’t have a solid plan, so I promise you did not choose this word.
God gave me this word.
I had no idea what my goals were. I had no idea what my plans were, so how could I pick a word that was going to align with anything?
I just remember this word dropping into my head out of nowhere. I am positive it was the Holy Spirit because I was not thinking about this at all. And that word was…
Honestly, I didn’t really like this word when I heard it, and I know that sounds really bad, but I know that this was the Holy Spirit because I would’ve not chosen this word myself.
The reason why is that I have always chosen words that initially make me feel powerful. For example, last year’s word was devotion, and the year before it was anointed.
For this year’s word to be “heal”… it’s just not a word that I would’ve chosen.
And this is not to say that heal is not a powerful word.
Honestly, it’s probably even more powerful to be totally honest. But my initial reaction was, “Oh, that means I just have things I need to change.” I’ve had to get really deep and ask myself, “What are the things that need to be healed?”
I cannot move forward until I heal, and I understand that, right? But I didn’t want to hear that. And I really wanted my word of the year to be something like, “scale,” “visible,” or “bold.”
But again, that’s my pride talking. That was my pride talking and God has really had to do a number on me. The last few months have been really hard.
Again, I’m sharing this with you because I just want to be real. I just want to be raw and honest and just let you know that if God is working on you too, and this is not a year for you to just skyrocket, then it is okay.
Or if you are going into this year without a plan, it is okay.
You do not have to have everything in place. You do not have to be making tons of money, or doing all of these things on the internet to be successful. That is not what success is. Success in God’s eyes is so much different than the success that we see, or what the world deems as successful.
That said, though, I actually started digging into the word heal a little bit, and it actually means, “to make whole.”
This really stood out to me because He is calling me to heal and He is calling me to be whole, which means He is going to make me whole again.
Because something was broken.
I have needed healing. And maybe I’ve just been avoiding things, right? I’ve been pushing things down. I’ve been pushing things away. Because that is my tendency. I tend to run away, but He is bringing things to the surface now, and that has definitely risen in the last few months.
He is healing me now, and I am grateful. And He’s going to be healing me from the inside out. He is so beautiful.
Healing is so powerful and I can’t believe I let all of my pride allow me to think that it wasn’t, even though it is.
I know that this year I am going to be focused on allowing Jesus to truly heal me in all areas. Truthfully, I don’t really know what that means for the business side of my life.
I don’t really know what that means yet for everything.
Again, I just know the next step I’m taking. But that said, I’ve come to recognize recently, again, I’ve had a lot of walls built up that need to be torn down and rebuilt.
The Holy Spirit has been working on me to collapse those walls. He’s been breaking them down and it’s been really hard. When walls come crashing down, that’s going to feel like destruction, right? Because it is. You’re destroying something.
He’s destroying and breaking down these walls, but it’s happening so He can make me whole, and I know that He is wanting to make you whole too.
I just want you to know that He really does want to make you whole, He wants to heal you and He wants to heal you from the inside out. And it’s not going to be pretty, and it’s not going to feel good. It’s going to be scary and it’s going to be uncomfortable, but He’s going to destroy things in order for you to be rebuilt.
And I know you might be wondering, “What are you healing?”
And to answer the first question, it’s everything…
Mind, body, soul, spirit.
Since these walls have been crashing down, I’ve noticed some old soul wounds that I just haven’t allowed Him to heal because I’ve hidden them, or I’ve tried to heal them myself.
I am bringing those wounds and I am laying them down at His feet and I’m just giving them to Him, but I have to open up to Him in order to do that.
In addition, I’m also going to be focusing on healing my thoughts around these wounds and also just current situations, which goes back to healing my mind.
When it comes to healing my body, I will definitely be putting more focus on nutrition and movement, but also on stress management, because trauma and stress are held in the body. That has shown up a lot for me as I’ve been uncovering these older soul wounds and breaking down these walls that my mind has built to protect.
I will be focusing on taking care of my body and taking care of a temple that the Holy Spirit resides in. Because that’s what our body is. It’s a temple, and we have to take care of it.
And when it comes to healing the spirit, I’m going to continue to heal the relationship I have with God. I wasn’t aware that anything in my relationship with Him needed to be healed, but I have noticed I’ve been trying to run away from Him as He’s been working with me on tearing down walls that I’ve built.
And this isn’t something that I feel comfortable going into right now because He’s still working on me, but I knew it was important to share.
So, if you are running away from Him, I just want you to know I understand wholeheartedly, and I am praying with you.
I’m praying for you because it is easy to run.
We think if we run away, we can hide the pain, or it won’t be as painful because supposedly “time heals all wounds.”
Jesus heals all wounds.
So that said, I know I share all about being a faith-fueled business owner, but the truth is, I struggle too.
And the reason I share so much about faith in business is because I’ve struggled, but I’ve also seen miraculous results from it.
But that doesn’t mean I’m perfect and I don’t ever struggle.
I do, and, logically I know that He’s the answer to everything.
But sometimes there are subconscious beliefs there that need to be shifted, and that’s exactly what’s happening with me now. And I will be continuing to heal those and to heal old wounds in 2023.
And so that said, when I was really processing how to actively take the steps I need to take to heal, this actually led me to stewardship.
I know that we are probably all familiar with stewarding our money and stewarding our finances, right? But what about stewarding your body, or your time, or your business or your relationships, or your relationship with God, or your mind?
When I did some digging on the word, steward means to guard or to watch out for.
This really stood out too.
What am I guarding? What am I watching out for?
I need to watch out for my mind. I need to guard my relationship with the Holy Spirit. I need to guard my body.
Am I watching out for what I’m putting into my body? Because that’s where the Holy Spirit lives.
I need to take care of it. That’s His temple. If I want to keep putting poison in there, I guess I can. But is that really stewarding my body well? Is that really watching out for the Holy Spirit’s temple?
I also had to ask myself, “How am I stewarding?”
And for me, this looks like creating more intentional habits in those areas. I am looking to embody the kind of person who actually stewards these areas.
So for example, with healing my relationship with God, I’m going to be intentionally creating more journal prompts for myself to continue to heal and knock down walls. Or to do more word or book studies that He leads me to.
All I know is that I just have to surrender the process to Him completely.
And stewarding my thoughts, I’m going to be intentionally catching my thoughts and reprogramming them to be in accordance with the truth. And the truth is the word, which is the Bible. So, I’m going to be lining them up with Scripture and really understanding what God is saying to me in regard to the thoughts that I have.
3 – Live Like Jesus
Now, this leads me to the third approach that I’m having this year, and that is to embody, steward and live like Jesus.
Instead of looking at what I’m accomplishing, I’m looking at who I’m being.
I’m looking at how to steward things well and truly learn how to live and move like Jesus.
When all my anxiety about my business was happening, a good friend of mine actually reminded me and said…
Let’s not elevate our work higher than His.
It actually brought me to tears.
Therefore, I’m approaching 2023 with stewardship and healing as my focus, but while elevating His work a lot higher than my own.
I’m just focusing on taking the step that God has asked me to take, and that is to create content for you while elevating His work above my own,
What that means in terms of what I’m going to be doing in January, February, and March, I’m not sure yet.
I will say that instead of being anxious about it, I am truly very excited to see what God does this year, and I look forward to the day that I can look back and listen to this episode and just see what God has done with this.
So all of that to say…
I pray that you just go into this year with a peace that passes understanding and that you just experience joy deep in your soul, and you just fully surrender all of your plans, your vision, everything to our God. I pray that we all go into 2023 on a mission to lift up His work above our own and to let Him fuel our vision, mission, and every single action that we take.
As I said, I spent quite a few hours just formulating my thoughts. So, if you enjoyed this episode, please, please, please send me a message on Instagram. My handle is @hannahbrindley.
Let me know if you had any takeaways, or how you’re approaching 2023.