How to Live a Better Story in 2014

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I choose the front row!

Like many of you, I’ve spent time over the past week or so reviewing last year. 2013 was super-busy, no doubt, and filled with joyous milestones we celebrated with gusto. My parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, our son’s wedding, the release of my long-awaited novel.

But those things were already on the calendar at the start of 2013, so I didn’t set any goals. Which means I don’t have anything to check off my list.

For an obsessive list-maker, it’s unsettling, to say the least.

This year is starting off differently. There are, as yet, no major milestones coming up. It’s a blank slate, a wide open field where anything can happen.

What do I want to accomplish? And how do I get there?

I started looking at all the practical, logical, methodical goal-setting advice out there and something inside me cringed.

I’ve tried that over the years, with varying degrees of success.

And often, high levels of frustration.

I needed a new way to look at progress, a different perspective on goals, a way to get rid of the I’m-overwhelmed factor.

I think I found it in Donald Miller’s Storyline 2.0: Finding your Subplot in God’s Story. Instead of looking at life as a series of tasks to be accomplished, he invites us to look at our lives as a subplot of God’s epic story. In each of the roles we play in life, there are stories we get to live. And by seeing ourselves as part of something greater than ourselves, our lives take on meaning and purpose.

What a radical, freeing, exciting way to look at the New Year! I want to live a better story.

I choose the front row!

I choose the front row! (Photo

I am slowly going through the Storyline 2.0 workbook. I’ve spent time recording the turning points in my life thus far, seeing how they’ve brought me to this point in time. I’m looking for the theme running through my life and thinking about the stories I want to live in each of the roles I play.

I can’t do it all. None of us can. So for me, the most exciting part of this whole process is that it works as a “decision filter.” I need that in my life. I am so easily distracted by new, shiny things. Or I start running in too many directions and don’t know what to do first.

Over the next several days, I am digging down past what I think I “should” do in 2014, until I reach the ambitions and passions the Great Creator has quietly planted deep in my heart.

The ones that scare me because of their risk.

The ones I know are too big, too bold, too…important.

Those are the stories I want the courage to live this next year.

If you’re looking for a new way to view this new year, I hope you’ll check out Storyline 2.0 (This is an affiliate link, but I only recommend things I strongly believe in.)

How about you? What are your plans for 2014? What story do you want to live?

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    The Conversation

  1. What an interesting idea, Connie. Something I’ll definitely be doing. Thanks for such a thought-provoking post.

  2. Anne Greene says:

    Really interesting! I might give it a try.

  3. Thanks for the thoughtful post. I think the idea that we are all connected and all of our stories count – even (or especially) those people we prefer not to interact with – is an important concept. Best wishes on living your truth this year!

  4. I loved your post on We CAN! about committing to loving with reservation, without judging. That has been a theme on my mind as well. As soon as a judgmental thought pops up I am starting to say, “I reject that. Bless them,” in my mind and the thought is instantly erased. What peace. This will be a great year.

    • Connie Mann says:

      Thank you, Jane! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post on the CAN blog. I like your approach–countering the negative with a positive thought. Great idea. Thanks so much for sharing it!

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