Flourishing in 2013 with Fiona Hogan

Welcome to another year of inspiring you to flourish in ever aspect of your life. This blog is written for Hills women and anyone else who feels drawn to these pages for encouragement and inspiration. I have asked several ladies in our church to put some time aside this year to write something for you so that you get some input from some of the significant ladies in our church who make Hills such a great church. It is always a treat when they sit down and write and give us food for thought.

This week’s blog is from Fiona Hogan. Fiona plays a huge role in the life of our church as Steve’s personal assistant (and mine unofficially). I have so much appreciation for Fiona on so many levels. She is one of the most significant gift god has given to us since we took on Hills as the Pastors. Fiona ason the board of Hills church and all this on top of being a wife and mother to three young vibrant children.

I asked Fiona to answer some questions for me before your go ahead and read her blog:

How long have you been married? 14 years in March – been together 21 years…
What is your favourite thing to do on a date with your hubby? Out for dinner (somewhere nice where he has to wear a shirt) or Movies.
What is your favourite desert? I don’t have a favourite. Not fussy. Happy to try most things.
What is your favourite holiday destination? Anywhere near the beach.
Give us one housekeeping tip that would make our life easier? I do washing everyday and clean in one way or another everyday. That way things don’t pile up and if I miss a day or two it doesn’t matter.
What is your love language? Quality Time through and through.

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Fiona writes:

How can I FLOURISH in 2013 I ask myself?
-I want to get fit
-I want be more organised
-I want to spend more hands on time with kids
-I want to read my Bible more
-I want to learn some new skills
-I want to flourish in friendships
The list goes on and on…

This beginning of the year can be both encouraging and disheartening.
Often we are prompted to review the goals we set for the year before and get stuck focussing on what wasn’t achieved. Statistics say that only 8% of people actually succeed in what they set out to achieve with their New Years Resolutions.

For me, I am naturally geared towards making goals, looking toward the future and to see how I can achieve as much as I possibly can. There is one important lesson I have learnt from last year, which I know will be gold in your lifeand want to share with you over the next few paragraphs…

I can’t do everything at once.

I no longer plan to look at everything at once. If you do, you will end up exhausted while digging yourself a hole in the process. And we all know that mental exhaustion can be just as draining as physical exhaustion (sometimes worse).

2012 saw me do things “little by little”. Did I have big goals? Yes. Did I achieve them all? No. But surprisingly I was ok with that. Why you ask? Because I was still building. Instead of looking at all the major things that needed doing or fixing, I set some goals I knew I could actually achieve, and did them – some included growing my nails, getting to bed earlier, exercising 4 times a week, deliberately putting my phone down when I was communicating with my kids.

I made sure I celebrated these “wins”, as small as they were. I made sure I shared them with someone.
I made sure I kept a record of them.

You may find this next part extraordinary, but as I started getting these “little things” in order, my relationship also flourished with God, even when the majority of the goals I set had nothing directly to do with Him.

You might put it this way: to set a goal I know I am going to achieve is like cheating. Yes, but there is purpose to it. The process is what we need to focus on here.

We are all on a journey. We are a complete being – spiritual, emotional, physical and mental. God made us this way. He wants all parts of our being to be in good working order. We should be progressing in all these areas. We don’t have to be taking leaps and bounds, just moving forward in some small way.

And like my experience, you will most likely find that when you are achieving in one area, this will have a positive affect on another. Once you have the hang of it, you can then slowly set bigger goals which will be attainable as this process is practised. And unlike previous attempts, your bigger goals will be achieved. Build up to them. They will happen.

Take a moment to look at your complete picture right now (your spiritual, emotional, physical and mental state). Look at some things you want to change or make a difference to and set out to do them, BUT to start with (while you are beginning) only pick a couple of things you know you can achieve (like I described above), as well as being attainable in a short period of time. You need to celebrate your victories and then set more goals to keep the process going. Grab a friend to journey this with so you can keep accountable and to also tell you if you end up going completely off track.

And I guarantee once you start achieving, you won’t stop.

“I am only one, but I am one.
I can’t do everything, but I can do something.
And what I can do, I ought to do.
And what I ought to do, by the Grace of God, I shall do.”
By Edward Everett Hale

“Be still. Find the quietness. You can’t grow without it – contrary to how “the world” tells you to behave.”
By Fiona Hogan

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5 thoughts on “Flourishing in 2013 with Fiona Hogan

  1. Thankyou for being an incredible inspiration Fiona, I am working on some goals this year, after reading this it will help me achieve with the right mindset what I can do and not stress and and feel guilty for the things that I cant. Thankyou

  2. This is great Fiona! Funny, I have been contemplating very similar stuff today and just updated my status on FB with what was on my mind – love how God works! Thanks for sharing – this is good stuff! 🙂

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