The 20 Something Years Feed

How To Set Goals & Reach Them

Paper & Glam - Goal Setting 2016
What's the difference between who we are and who we want to be?

It's a collection of choices and habits that make up our days, and ultimately, our lives.

How do we plan our days so that at the end of the week we can look back and see ourselves living as the people we want be, leading the lives we want to wake up to each day?

Resolutions are about creating habits that build the futures we want to live. 

How am I going to live in 2016, so that I walk into 2017 happier, healthier, and more attune to God's work in my life?

Paper & Glam - 2016 ResolutionsOver the years I've developed a goal-setting system that allows us to create holistic and synergistic goals that touch each area of our lives and the lives around us.

On the top half are personal resolutions aimed at improving our lives spiritually, creatively, physically, and mentally.

What habits can I develop to become spiritually stronger?
More creative?
Physically healthier?
Mentally sharper?

On the bottom half are interpersonal resolutions that impact our own lives as well as those around us in our relationships, careers, and communities.

What habits can I develop to connect deeply to those around me?
Grow professionally?
Become financially stable?
Live generously?

Not only does this format allow us to grow personally, it helps ensure we're stewarding our most valuable resources well: our time and our money.

What changes do we need to make so that our values align with our schedules and our bank accounts?

If you want to set goals that are attainable, ensure they are S.M.A.R.T goals:


Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-bound

As an example, let's take the resolution to get in shape. "Get in shape" isn't specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, or time bound, but let's make it SMART!

Specific - What does getting in shape mean? Eating healthier? Working out? Losing weight? Feeling great?

Measurable - How will you know you're succeeding? By the number of times you got to the gym per week? By the number on the scale? How can you track your progress week over week?

Assignable - Can you reach this goal solo? Do you need buy-in from someone in your home? Do you need to delegate or assign associated tasks to a colleague or partner?

Realistic - Is this goal truly attainable? Is there a definitive finish-line?

Time Bound - When will this occur? When and with what frequency? Can you accomplish this goal in a year's time? If the answer is no, you may want to think about curating a Life List to hold your big dreams. 

If you find my format for resolutions helpful, I've created a free printable worksheet. Please print it and write on it with a pen or open it in a photo editing application and type over it. If this post finds it's way to you at the start of a new year or mid-way through, it's always a great time to redefine success synergistically, according to our values, and the unique purpose God created us to live out.

For more on goal setting, watch the full video walk-through!

The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do… They don’t like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose. - Albert E.N. Gray from The Common Denominator of Success

I'd love to know what goals and resolutions you set for 2016! Please share in the comments, it's inspiring to walk this out together!

Cheers to redefining success in 2016,

A Benediction From Denver

Paper & Glam - A Benediction From Denver B&W

For the last few years I've stood at a crossroads with one path continuing on with a life in Denver and a new path leading to a life in LA. Life in Denver is about community, seasons, authenticity, mountains, and Americana. Life in LA is full of family, glamour, plastic, and palm trees.

I'll miss Denver deeply, with it's four beautiful seasons, Sundays in church at New Denver, and quick latte stops at Wash Perk turning into warm greetings from old friends evolving into long chats over hot mugs. 

Then there's life in LA with its unrestrained creativity and palm-tree lined streets and the Hollywood sign above my mom's house guiding me home. I've missed walking barefoot on the pool deck at night on ground still warm from the sun. I've missed green juiceries on every corner and hot sun every day. I miss weekend getaways. Within four hours you can escape to another world: shopping in Vegas, snowboarding in Big Bear, poolside in Palm Desert, or traipsing through one of the little beach boutiques that line the boardwalks. 

I knew it was time to go home when I'd fly in from weeks away, and I'd expect to de-plane and feel ocean air hit my face while city lights glowed against the night sky. Instead I'd feel the peaceful quiet of the plains outside Denver.

T.S. Eliot - We Shall Not Cease From ExplorationFor some of us, we need to leave home only to come back for all the same reasons we left.

When I burned out on the production of LA -- the heat and hustle, the bump and grind -- I left Southern California to spread my wings. Six years later, there's nothing I want more than sitting in traffic with blinding sun beating into my windows on Sunset Blvd.

I know moving was the next step, if for no other reason than I'm back to writing real words here on Paper & Glam. Before planners and stickers, this space was words and images dedicated to learning to live well. Its time to get back to that place, the safe, quiet place of books and hearts spread open beside hot coffee and burning candles, amist the sound of keyboard keys clicking to form words writing another chapter of the story. 

As I sit here typing among boxes upon boxes, I'm scared to start over at 29, but sometimes it's good to be scared, it means what your living is real.

Please Remember: The story you are writing with your life is real. Make the most of this day, this page of your story and every one that comes next. Good stories aren't written without bold moves and moments grappling with the unknown. Make the move, jump off the edge, take the risk, make your story one we want to read.

To see a video of the move and a tour of my new apartment, press play!

To see a blog of my first week in LA, press play!

Last week the page turned and a new chapter in my story began here in Los Angeles, thank you for taking the time to read a page out of my story.


P.S. Who is ready for the release of Glamoween this weekend?!

The Odyssey & The Homecoming

A Ship is Safe in Harbor, but That's Not What Ships Are Made For.

The hero’s journey in a nutshell: There’s an initial crime (which we all inevitably commit), which ejects the hero from his homebound complacency and propels him upon his wanderings, the yearning for redemption, the untiring campaign to 'get home,’ meaning back to God’s grace, back to himself.

Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Are we all on a journey home?
On a mission to find God and ourselves?
Is this what the post-college decade is all about?
Is life during the twenty-something years like a yellow brick road twisting and turning, but ultimately leading us home?

There are two lessons God is teaching me over and over in my journey back to Him. The first lesson, is to give back my idols (anything I want more than I want God), and the second, is to stop manipulating myself to get what I want.

These two lessons tie very closely together, let's start with idols.


Idols are anything we want more than God himself. Some common twenty-something idols, all of which I've been guilty of harboring, are marriage and romantic love, success and significance, material possessions, and popularity. When we've got an idol, it creates a natural separation between us and God. When we put something in the middle of our relationship with God, it makes it exetremely difficult to find God and come home to ourselves.

How do you know you have an idol?...when it breaks your heart.

If we hold on to our idols long enough, they break our hearts. Heartbreak occurs when we place our hope in something or someone other than God.  It's God's gracious way of taking back the hope we placed outside of Him. He does this because hope placed outside of God does not save us, it enslaves us.

How many times have you caught yourself trying to earn love and approval? Success and significance? A relationship? If you're like me, too many.

It's not that marriage or success or approval are bad. It's that if we want those things more than we want God and His will for our lives, we're setting ourselves up for pain and disappointment. Inevitably, there will be times when that dream job, or marriage, or person, let us down. It's crucial our identity and hope is rooted firmly in God, so that when we are disappointed it doesn't shake our faith.


Manipulation is an interesting twenty-something lesson because from an early age we're taught to get the test scores that get us into the college we want attend, and then to say the right thing in the interview to land the job we want, and that's not bad advice. But oftentimes, God will take us through a time in our lives when we can't say or do the right thing to get what we want, and the only option we're left with is to trust Him with our lives.

Most of the things we want are good things: careers, colleges, relationships, and communities; but many times God wants these things to take different forms than what we planned, and then other times we're praying for snakes. Sometimes, we're praying for things that will ruin us.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?    Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?    If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:9-11 NIV

I've used God like a vending machine: press the right button, pray the right prayer, and pull out a blessing. Then when things don't work out no matter how well played, planned, prayed, or executed I learned to trust Him to work all things together for my good (Romans 8:28).

If you’re on a journey, or in a desperate place before God, you’re in good company. When all we can see is the wind, the storm, and the hurt, we just might be closer to home than we think. Pain is the most reliable roadmap to where God is working in our lives. If you want to know where to find God, ask yourself where it hurts. 

God used my own plans to undo me and teach me to trust Him when it hurts, when it costs me something, and when what God has for me is not what I would have chosen for myself.

It's what we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we'll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming. But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing. - 2 Corinthians 5: 7-9 MSG

As we search for home, whether that’s a physical place or a place within ourselves, let’s remember to thank God for the journey and for the hope that carries us home. 

Sometime in your life you will go on a journey.
It will be the longest journey you have ever taken.
It is the journey to find yourself.
- Katherine Sharp

God said, "My presence will go with you. I'll see the journey to the end." - Exodus 32:14 MSG