Season 4 of the AllMomDoes podcast is set to wrap up and a new year is about to hit the books. But what if we’ve been getting some of our goal setting…wrong? Julie Lyles Carr hosts a special edition of the AllMomDoes podcast to discuss going far bigger…and yet smaller…when it comes to launching into the new year.

Today on the podcast we have a special edition because we are, check this out, we’re in the home stretch of wrapping up the fourth season and we’re going to be launching the fifth season in the new year, which is just, it’s crazy to me. That is just unbelievable. I mean, I’ve been here the whole time for every episode. I should know it. I should know that this time has been flying and passing, but there’s always something so poignant to me about rolling into the new year, wrapping up the end of the previous year, and rolling into the new. And I got to tell you, even as I am here in my studio, I can glance over and look under my desk and I can see there a wealth of planners and of goal-setting notebooks.

And these are the kind that have beautiful covers and come with all the stickers and all the things. I am a sucker for that kind of stuff. And there’s something to me still, pen on paper, that feels really good. I did make the transition a couple of years ago to completely doing my schedule and calendar online.

It was a big step for me. I gotta be honest, but I still love gathering a great notebook with guided thoughts and guided questions and all kinds of stuff. And no time of the year is that more heightened than in this space this week. Between the old year and the new year, because I buy into the promise of it every time. And maybe you do too. I get that fresh planner, that fresh goal setter, and I start writing stuff down and I think this is what I’m going to do. This is how this coming year is going to be different. This is the girl I want to be at the end of this year. And I put it all out there and believe me, I’ve read the studies.

You have too that when we’re intentional about our goal setting, when we commit things to paper, when we talk about, when we’d let others know the things that we want to achieve, we have a better chance of making it happen. And I’m one of those people. I love putting that stuff out there. I love having a goal to reach for. I will say maybe this has been your experience, these last couple of years have kind of kicked my tail on some of the things I really thought I wanted to get done. Obviously, part of that is because we are rolling into, hang onto your hats in just a few weeks, we’re rolling into the two year anniversary of when we originally went into lockdown and you’re going to hear some upcoming episodes in the first part of the year where we talk about, wow, we moved from a place that it was going to be a short-term pandemic to a place that is now an endemic and how that has changed a lot of our lives. What that has meant for a lot of us on our faith journeys, our relationships… how that impacts us moving forward and the generation of kids who’ve been raised up in this.

So, you’re gonna be wanting to listen for those episodes. But I think it’s also impacted me in some ways when it comes to those goals that I set out there, because it was just me and my goals. And it wasn’t necessarily always within the pale of having some of that same accountability I’ve had in the past or that event that I was trying to get in shape for, or being able to make a certain number of calls to try to get a certain number of speaking gigs booked or whatever the thing was, because when the pandemic hit, as you know, because you experienced it in your life too, there was a lot of things that came to a standstill, whether we were motivated or not.

So, it is interesting looking over at those notebooks that are piled, that had some of the things that I thought I was going to get conquered and handled and motivated and moved in 2020, and in 2021, and to be standing at the cusp of 2022 and thinking, huh, do we even make those kind of goals and set those kinds of things anymore? What should I be doing for the upcoming year? Now to be honest, I’ve already taken quite a perusal of all kinds of new year’s quotes that are inspiring and talk about the fresh page of the new year. I’ve already done a big old internet search for verses that there are lists of that talk about these are the best verses to celebrate and bring in the new year and give you that fresh start. And I love all that. I want to print all of it. I want to make post-its of all of it. I want to stick all of it inside of all those goal setting notebooks, but I feel like this is what I’m supposed to share. And not only that I’m supposed to share it for this special episode, but it’s what I’m supposed to be working on.

I gotta be honest. It doesn’t exactly feel like that brand of Americana, performer, grit, grind, boss, girl kind of stuff that usually I’m really drawn to. It’s something far better. But it’s not as measurable. There is not necessarily as much public accountability for it. There is not as much dazzle. There are not as many memes and there are not as many strategy or grids that you can put in mark these kinds of things off. It’s just not. And yet I think it is the penultimate, the penultimate, the top goal, the thing that we should probably all want to do a better job in when it comes to 2022 and then in 2023, and then the next year and the next and the next. So are you ready? Hang on to your hat. Here it is. At least for me. My 2022 passage of scripture, that’s going to be the thing that I want to work on. And it’s from Galatians 5:22-23. You’re probably familiar with it in the NIV version. It goes a little like this, but the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. I love how the passion translation puts this as well. It says, but the fruit produced by the holy spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions, joy that overflows peace, that subdues, patience that endures, kindness and action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities for they’re meant to be limitless.

Now, if you’re thinking, really Jules? Like you’re taking something that is supposed to be the evidence of the holy spirit in our lives and you’re going to turn it into a goal sheet. That’s a fair question. And leave it to me to try to turn something like this into a goal sheet. And yet here’s, here’s the thing, I’ve known people,

I’ve been the person who’s followed Jesus and you would have had a hard time finding some of these fruit of the spirit produced in my life because I’ve had seasons, and maybe you have too, where I’ve sorta kind of forgotten that these would be the evidence is the holy spirit. I have had times the level of my church attendance and my volunteerism within the church, and the number of events that I was showing up to, and the number of Christian concerts I was going to, and the amount of Christian radio and Christian podcasts I was listening to, and the number of Christian books I was writing and reading, I somehow allowed myself to think that those things, those activities, were evidence of the holy spirit in my life. That was the fruit. And I don’t think that’s the fruit. I mean, I want you to listen to Christian podcasts, particularly this one. I want you to go over to all the amazing stations that are available to you and listening to great music and being inspired and encouraged.

I hope you’re in a faith community. I hope you give of your time. I hope all those things. But what are we showing up with to those things, because that’s really the evidence of the holy spirit. It’s part of why I love it the way that it talks about in the passion translation because I want to be a person in which you can see joy overflowing. I want to be the kind of person who has peace that subdues areas that are rankled and irritated. Those places where people are struggling to find common ground and feel divisive. I want to be able to bring that kind of peace in my life, into situations like that. I want to be the kind of person that exhibits patience, not just patience for the typical stuff, but patients that endures. patience that isn’t just for the moment, but in it for the long haul. I want to walk with the kind of faithfulness that puts kindness into action. Doesn’t just talk about it. Does something about it. I do want to live a life full of virtue and honesty. I do want to faith that prevails, even when things look really confusing or they don’t make sense. I do want to gentleness of heart and I do want to strength of spirit, and I think, if I understand the ways that God typically develops those things within us, it’s going to take practicing them. It’s going to take setting a goal to walk in that, which he’s already willingly instilled in me through the holy spirit, but so often I can damp it, mute, pushed to the side within the context of my own preferences, my own particular attitude on a certain day, my opinions.

I mean, that one seems to be really there for us right now in this season where our opinions shout out and drown out joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness, self-control. At least I know I’ve been guilty of it. And maybe that rings true for you. I do want to have some goals this upcoming year for myself. I’ve put on the pandemic, you fill in the number, I don’t know what it is for you… 20 plus over here, easy put on that. Just like the freshman 15. I’ve had some pandemic pounds added to added to the frame for sure. Over the last couple of years, I’ve certainly made some changes and done some things that have been good. I’ve taken some focus off some things that probably drove me too hard.

I’ve exercised some self-discipline in some areas that I’m proud of and I’ve let go of some self-discipline in some areas that I think are really important and I need to find that thread again. And so I’m going to have to put some pen to paper to figure out how to navigate and be intentional about those things.

But I really have a strong sense, and maybe this applies to you too, that the verse that really needs to be the governor is this passage from Galatians. For some reason, because we’ve been in such a significant challenge over the last couple of years, it has felt to me that we have somehow lost the vision of what we’re supposed to look like. The fruit we’re supposed to exhibit when we’ve received the gift of the holy spirit through the salvation of Christ in our lives. Somehow it feels we have reinterpreted that, and our goal sheets as believers have become more about our sense of our own importance and preferences; of protecting who we think we get to be, protecting what we think we have, instead of operating from a place where anyone who encounters us, regardless of if they know our political affiliation or how we vote or what our opinions are, whatever. Would they know this about us? Does my presence on social media overflow bring peace? Does my presence in my public face, when it comes to being online or in the things I’m saying, does it exhibit and enduring patients in a kindness inaction?

Does it, does it show faithfulness and gentleness? Do I exhibit self-control in situations where I’m confronted with things that I might not agree with? You know, there’s no such law against the things that we can be full of through the holy spirit. That’s where freedom is. I don’t know what you have planned for 2022,

I think we’ve all learned we have to hold a lot of our plans, very loosely, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. But when it comes to my goal tracking this year, when it comes to building my daily habits, when it comes to refreshing my understanding about human behavior and how we create change, and how staying hydrated and doing all these things that we know are good for us… those are all great things, but I don’t want to lose sight this upcoming year, that really whatever I record on all those goal sheets, what people really are going to respond to and remember, and the places in which the greatest change in me could be exhibited is by carefully inspecting the fruit of my life, and making sure that it aligns with what is supposed to be evident if I’m walking by faith in the holy spirit. I just want to read my first passage again to you. That’s going to be my 2022 navigation system. I want to do it again in the NIV. I’m going to do it again in the passion translation, and I want you to see if it’s something that may be just maybe should be part of your 20, 22 as well: but the fruit of the spirit is love joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control against such things there is no law. And the passion translation: but the fruit produced by the holy spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions, joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities for they are meant to be limitless.

For all of us here at the AllMomDoes team, I wish you the happiest of new year’s. And if you’re finding this after the new year, maybe it’s time for a reset. Maybe it’s time to reconsider those things that you set out in the year to do. Maybe it’s time to add a little fruit to that salad. The fruit of the spirit.

Happy new year, friends!

Julie Lyles Carr is a best-selling author, podcaster, and entrepreneur living in Austin, Texas, with her husband Mike Carr. They have eight kids, two unfriendly cats, and an antique dachshund.