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Personal Strategic Plan

July 2015
I want to be known as someone who is known and loved by God. I want to be known as someone who
knows and loves God. I want to be known as someone who helps others know and love God.
God created all of us to enjoy healthy, whole relationships with Him, with others, with ourselves, and
with the world around us (Corbett and Fikkert, 2014). Sin has broken those relationships and introduced
great pain into the world, but we can be part of Gods plan for restoration by experiencing and sharing the
sacrificial love of Jesus.
I am an adopted daughter of God who lives to bring glory to Jesus Christ, my Savior and Friend, by
loving others through the power of the Holy Spirit. I strive by faith to see His kingdom come on earth
through the restoration of all forms of relationshipsalways seeking to do justice, love kindness, and
walk humbly with my God.
For we are Gods handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance
for us to do (Ephesians 2:10, NIV).
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10, ESV)
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to
love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8, ESV)


Desired Results
(within 5 years)
Meaningful travel
(spending at least 2
weeks in at least 2
different countries
serving others)


Increased musical
perspective on
potential dating

Incorporate traveling element into budget

Sign up for Artists on Call
Continually seek international service opportunities
Develop international awareness through variety of readings and
Join a local music group (orchestra, acoustic band, etc.) that
performs at least twice a year
Begin taking private violin lessons at least once a month
Seek challenging new material to expand current skillset
Practice guitar, piano, and singing at least once a week
Resist temptation to avoid single menengage in conversations and
activities with singles
Resist temptation to idolize relationshipsstay grounded in


Physical fitness


School-day strings
program at Milner

Active succession
plan in place

development (for
management and

Memorize at least one verse every other month

Set up separate savings account and automatically contribute savings

percentage each month
Allot 5% for emergencies, 5% for future travel, and 10% for longterm savings
Allot 10% for tithing (5% for home church, 5% for specific
missions-related gifts)
When making all financial decisions, purposefully trust God and
seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matthew
6:33, NIV)


Active church


Savings: 20% of

Find and learn from a mentor teacher known for excellent classroom
Pursue all training opportunities related to current weaknesses; take
part in at least three per year
Meet monthly with an older, trusted woman or couple who knows
me and will boldly, gracefully speak Biblical truth into my life
Spend quality time bi-weekly with a diverse group of peers who can
encourage me and be encouraged by me on our walks with Christ
Continue to keep journals marking my Spiritual change over time
Intentionally ask close friends and family to note areas of weakness
and areas of growth on an annual basis
Find a home church in the next four months
Tithe weekly
Serve during services or events at least once a month


Spiritual growth

relationship with Jesus

Be fully present in current realitynot dwelling on future
possibilities or past experiences
Develop experience-based, prayerful list of absolute nos and
absolute yess before meeting anyone
Exercise at least three times per week (yoga, biking, swimming, or
circuit training)
Walk at least once per day
Eat treats only when around people or celebrating significant events
Arrange getting my foot in the door for future employment by
volunteering during the school day
Design thesis based on practical future needs at Milner
Engage in practical ways of serving Milner teachers
Design and begin implementing plan for transitioning increasing
portion of leadership to current students, graduates, and community
Implement more effective recruitment strategy

Careful job choices

Remember that saying yes means saying no to something else

Seek and accept only jobs that align with life mission and vision

Above all else, I value love. I am still learning to define this and practice it as effectively as possible, but I
know that it involves selflessness, faithfulness, and passion. I know that it can lead to heartache in this
world, but that experiencing and offering it is also one of our greatest sources of joy.
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in
him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NLT)
And he said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and
with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your
neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22: 37-38 ESV)
Strongly related to love, I also value faith and hope. Faith, to me, is the deep trust that God has things
under control, while hope is the belief that His control will lead to goodness.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13:13 NIV)
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and
your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thess 1:3 NIV)
Finally, I place great value in living with careful discernment (choosing the direction God desires),
compassionate service (choosing a positive direction), and courageous authenticity (heading in that
direction with an all-in mentality).
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways
acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)
The following questions help me determine what actions, words, situations, choices, etc. are most ethical:

Can I imagine Jesus doing this with me? (A test learned from my grandfather, Calvin Fox)
According to a prayerful and community-based understanding of Scripture, does this align with
the desires of my flesh or the desires of the Spirit?
Will this ultimately help relationships (with God, others, self, and the planet) become more whole
and healthy?

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to
Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them
there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirits leading in every part of our lives.
(Galatians 5:22-25 NLT)

But what happens when we live Gods way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit
appears in an orchardthings like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a
willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness
permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our
way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely Since this is the kind of life we have chosen,
the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in
our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. (Galatians 5:22-23, 25 MSG)
Personal Board of Directors

Family Members: all four grandparents, my parents, and my younger sister. Members of this
multigenerational group of Christians know me very well, know the positive and negative
tendencies in our family, are equipped and confident enough to speak truth into my life, and have
gained a great deal of wisdom by living through a wide variety of difficulties and successes.
Kindred Spirits: Becca Murphy (and the rest of my small Scillsquad discipleship group),
Camille Audette, Carlee MacDonald, Erin Bowman, and Natalie Graves. These peers are women
of God who I feel completely comfortable expressing my heart toin its complex combination of
darkness and light. They know me deeply, accept me fully, and love me unconditionally. I admire
how they live life, and I want to emulate how they love others.
Roommates: Jenni Reilly and Quetanya Roper. Having shared a tiny apartment with them for the
past 2+ years, I experience life with these special ladies and am constantly grateful for their grace
and care, as well as the balance that they give to my life. Although our relationships are not as
intentional as we wish, they help me to not get too focused on myselfencouraging social
adventures, times of prayer, and missional living.
Co-workers: from Milner, Windsor, and Grace Academy. Although having lots of part-time jobs
doesnt lend itself to forming particularly deep co-worker relationships, I deeply respect the
opinions and observations of my co-workers. They come from a variety of faiths, cultures, races,
genders, and generations, yet all feel called to serve others.
Church family: Because the past few years have involved significant transitions in this area of
life, this area of my board is currently the weakest. As such, one of my goals is to plug back into a
healthy church family and effectively invite a variety of members to walk through life with me
helping to guide my decisions, pray for me, correct me, and encourage me.

Time Plan
Inconsistency has probably been the most consistent thing in my life for the past few years, but Appendix
A shows the schedule that I followed for most of this past winter and spring. It technically incorporates
five jobs (Milner Community School teaching, Grace Academy teaching, Windsor Schools tutoring,
Whole Foods demoing foods, and private lessons teaching), as well as a few odd jobs here and there
(Im essentially a freelance, on-call violin instructor in the Hartford area by now). I was taking four
graduate classes at the time, as well as attending a new church and playing semi-regularly at a worship
service called Tabernacle. As much as was within my power, I also tried to include a daily walk, work
breaks during meal times, and an entire day of rest every Sunday, during which I tried to balance spending
quality time with friends and by myself.

Although I have come to accept more and more than nothing is truly set until it happens, my fall schedule
will theoretically involve replacing some of my less relevant jobs (Whole Foods demoing and some hours
at the Windsor tutoring job) with Eastern thesis hours (volunteer research hours during the mornings at
Milner). Per my goals, I also hope to add my own private lessons and more performance outlets in order
to maintain my own skill and happiness levels. These changes are still in the beginning stages, however,
such that mapping them out would be wasting time.
In general, my core plan for the next few years (see Appendix B) involves launching an official schoolday strings program at Milnera dream that has been growing and slowly coming to fruition over the
past four years. The process may take numerous forms as I find which doors open along the way, but this
ultimate goal is guided by my vision and mission. However, this plan also is built upon the belief that
Gods desire trumps all of my own plans, in that He may ultimately call me to other places or other
functions. As such, I will move forward both boldly and openly, listening always to make sure that my
plans align with those God has in store for me and my community.
Many are the plans in a persons heart, but it is the Lords purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21, NIV)
Financial Plan
At this point in my life, my income is just beginning to stabilize and significantly
exceed my basic expenditures. Having multiple roommates and generous parents
also keeps my cost of living low and relatively simple, such that my highest
expenses for the past few years have revolved around investing in education.
Appendix C reflects a snapshot of my anticipated budget for the fall, using
projections from the past few years to account for some numbers.
My main financial goal for the upcoming five years is to establish greater job
security, or at least stability, specifically at Milner Community School. Weirdly
enough, I have never had trouble finding well-paying jobs (God has literally thrown
them at me lately, to the point where the abundance actually causes significant
stress). However, finding a single, stable, consistent, and meaningful job is of
course much more challengingparticularly in the unconventional line of work that I
have chosen.
Along these lines, my core financial plan is to practice the seemingly oxymoronic
combination of careful savings and generous giving. The ways that I have
experienced Gods generosity in my life have convinced me of two things:
everything I have is essentially a loan to be invested wisely for Gods kingdom, and
everything that I give ultimately comes back to bless me in some way (whether
monetarily or not). I therefore want to live with the smallest budget possible, so that
I can free up as much money as possible to invest in the people around me and the
people (possibly children) who will come after me. This involves staying debt-free,
spending excess money only in ways that will serve others, saving (investing) all
excess money for future service, and living simply on a daily basis.

But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything
comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. (1 Chronicles 29:14, NIV)
Life Relational Plan
A large part of my core relational plan involves maintaining relationships that I already have. About half
of my most significant relationships right now are very long-distance, with in-person encounters
happening at best every few months. As such, making time for regular skype-dates and phone calls is
incredibly important to me. I also want to use facebook more intentionally to reconnect with distant
friends (note: actually reconnect, not just observe anonymously) and keep my family updated. Similarly, I
plan to use some of my travel savings for visiting distant friends and family members at least once a year.
Specifically in terms of family members, part of my relational plan is to spend significant quality time
with my grandparents as they begin to age. I recognize that I having all four grandparents still alive,
relatively healthy, and decently close (two in Connecticut, two in Maryland) is an incredible blessing, and
I want to make the most of this opportunity to learn from them and enjoy their presence. This entails
visiting each set at least four times a year (possibly less frequently but more extensively for my Maryland
grandparents) and spending those visits in relaxed, yet intentional conversation. Similarly, I want to get
into the habit of calling my parents and younger sister on a regular basis between visits, in order to
maintain our healthy relationship and invest as much as possible in it.
In terms of more local relationships, my plan primarily involves a mentality shift. My task-oriented and
very Melancholy nature (Littauer, 2001), combined with multiple stressful jobs and lots of schoolwork,
tends to result in social withdrawal and relational neglect. Therefore, I want to begin fostering greater
gratitude for these close friends and determining how to better balance my responsibilities and
relationships in a way that best serves bothacknowledging also that this entails attending to my
introvert needs by carving out intentional alone time as well. In fact, as an introvert, these close
relationship goals are actually more daunting to me than any others, because I struggle so much with
finding this balance in life. However, I also recognize the deep need that we all have for significant
human relationships, and I am eager to embrace this challenge to see the growth that will come from it.

Appendix A: Time Management

Appendix B: Theoretical 5-Year Plan

Appendix C: Fall Budget

Anticipated Budget for Fall 2015



(averaged to
account for
school breaks)

Grace Academy
Private Lessons



Auto Insurance



Gas and Electric
Home supplies












Savings - Invested
Emergency Fund
Travel Fund









Ciminelli, P. and May, C. (2008). Developing your personal strategic plan: A practical tool for exceptional
leaders. Advanced Management Institute for Architecture and Engineering. Retrieved 7/7/15 from
Corbett, S. and Fikkert, B. (2014). When helping hurts: How to alleviate poverty without hurting the
poorand yourself. Moody Publishers. Chicago.
Littauer, F. (2001). Personality plus for couples. Baker Publishing Group. Michigan.
Ohl, D. (2011). Personal strategic planning. Slideshare. Retrieved 7/7/15 from

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