Why I Believe in Life Goals (and how you can set them for yourself)


If you want to be serious about your life, you have to work on it.

Really. Who among us doesn’t have a preferred future for our life? Things we want to experience? The person we want to be? The legacy we want to leave? Part of the joy of being created in the image of the Creator is we can dream and imagine. 

In 2008, I sat down and created a “100 Things I Want To Do In My Life” inspired by Mark Batterson’s publication of his own Top 100 List. Writing down what you actually want to do is scary because EEEEK!  I might fail! In front of people! And have to admit it!!!  But I’m starting to realize (a little late I think)–

Life is too important and too short to worry so dang much about being perfect. (News flash: you’ll never be perfect.)

What I do know is those big dreams definitely WON’T happen if you don’t commit to them now. Sure, some of them might still not come true–but you’ll be amazed at how many can actually be accomplished when you write them down and stake your claim on this one glorious life you are given.

In 2008, I created one of these lists**, and sort of forgot about it…didn’t look at it again until last week. And GUESS WHAT?? Of the 30 dreams I dared to write down, the things that really mattered to me, I was shocked to discover last week that I’ve already crossed off 10 of them and have two on my 2017 list. (I put stars by those!) People. Take that in. I didn’t even know exactly what was on it before pulling it up–but by sitting down nine years ago and dreaming and committing myself to these goals, I’ve already seen ten of them happen. My overwhelming feeling for this is gratitude–because this is how I see the faithfulness and work of God in my life. This is why it’s worth it to dream about your future.


This year, I’m committing to 2-3 goals in my professional, personal and family life. I’m sharing them with you in the hopes that it inspires you to do the same–share them here, or over on the FB page, or with your own circle of influence. I want you to know it’s hard for me to share these! I never want to fail, or to admit I couldn’t follow through. It’s a little vulnerable to let people know “hey, this is what matters to me.” But I’m turning 40 this year, and I’m realizing some things–like it’s always better to be honest with myself, and that vulnerability is the secret weapon of courage and strength. There is freedom in being exactly who you are–fears, dreams and all.

So if you want to join me, write your 2017 goal list. Even better–dream up your whole life list. And then when you spend your five intentional minutes a day, (check out Facebook for the video posted on Jan. 2 on that) you’ll have these dreams in your heart. One day, a decade from now, you’ll be looking at a list of things that you actually ended up doing. What a gift it is to have this life, to have the ability to imagine, and to take intentional steps toward making those things happen.

To get started, you’ll find Batterson’s article helpful. Choose some goals–I’d love to read them! A little accountability goes a long way–and as a wise man once said, “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life” (RIP Prince). Let’s do more than get through it. Let’s thrive in it!

Nicole’s 2017 Goals


Be faithful to my calling and the people of Hope Church.

Create and release a 30 day journal for learning to read the Bible.

Launch my own podcast in Spring of 2017


Complete an adventure race. (on the original list!!)

Be responsible in the small matters of life (details).

Go on a silent retreat. (on the original list!!)


Build treehouse with the kids over the summer.

Read Jesus Calling Devotional together each morning.

Start yearly family photo album.


**For the sake of the exercise, here’s the 30 items I wrote in 2008:

Life list:

Cross Country Family Trip

Write Books that reach people with a fresh look at God’s word

Do a Triathalon

Do an Adventure Race*

Retire with a Condo and beach house

Travel extensively as a bible teacher/speaker

Take a girls’ trip with Cameron

Take each child on a mission trip

Meet our compassion int’l kids

Create a teaching video series

Hike a huge mountain

Go on a silent/spiritual growth retreat*

Get a ph.d or MDiv

Be in a play

Study dance seriously

Coach a girls’ team: cheerleading or gymnastics or dance

Pay for our kids’ college

Take a surprise adventure with the kids before they leave the nest

Live near our grandchildren

Preach on a Sunday morning

Work on a real team to accomplish a big purpose

Create a work/life balance where I am available to my kids (after school, etc.)

Have a huge dance party at our house

Go skydiving

Create/lead a girls’ retreat

Have a home where kids love to hang out.

Bike trip through Napa

Snowboard in Colorado

Take a family trip to California

Mentor women in ministry

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  1. Daring to Dream Again | where love takes you

    January 30th, 2017 at 3:05 PM

    […] was just a few days old, the Lord began to gently challenge me. My friend, Nicole Unice had a new blog that caught my eye, “Why I Believe in Life Goals (and How You Can Set Them for […]