October 20, 2017

Ten Important Things You Should Do in 2017

What are you hoping to accomplish in 2017? Whether you set New Year's resolutions, pick a word for the year, or simply choose a handful of goals to pursue over the next 12 months, the beginning of a new year is a perfect time to step back, reassess your priorities, and set markers to steer you in the direction you want to go. There's a reason we tend to do all that in January. My theory? All the new toys and gadgets we get for Christmas inspire us to carve out time to try new things, push us to re-organize our possessions to find room for everything, and motivate us to improve a skill or expand our understanding in some area. Plus there's the whole "new calendar" vibe that encourages us [...Read More]

What Are Your Goals for 2016?

We're almost halfway through the first month of the new year! Have you forgotten your New Year's resolutions yet? Or are you digging in and staying disciplined, despite the waning motivation and monotony of hard work? Or do you still need to figure out what you want to achieve this year? I took a little extra time to carefully and prayerfully work through the 5-step process of setting great goals, and finally decided on 5 major things I want to accomplish over the next 12 months. I would love to reach for more than that -- but with a cross-country move on the near horizon and several months of transition surrounding that, I think I'll need some extra "margin" in my life to deal with the [...Read More]

How to Set Great Goals This Year

The beginning of a new year presents a great time to stop and reassess where you're heading in life. Are you going in the right direction? Are you at least inching closer to your long-term goals? Or do you need to do an about-face and shake some things up? Whether you like to call them goals, resolutions, plans, habits, or disciplines... this is a great time to set some specific direction for the coming year. But don't just write down the first things that come to mind. Here are 5 steps to set worthwhile goals that you can actually reach this year: Be prayerful. What goals will reap eternal rewards? Set some time aside to carefully consider what God might want you to pursue this [...Read More]

Quarterly Goals Check-In (April)

How are you doing with your goals for 2014? I hope you haven't forgotten about them... or given up on them. Because it's only been a few months! So if you're starting to slip, now is the perfect time to get back on track. Forget about all those days you didn't make progress on your goals, and get busy working on them now. It's better to end well after a rocky start, then to start with a bang and fizzle out completely! Or maybe you have been plugging away at your goals for the last three months, but you're starting to get discouraged at the slow speed of progress. Maybe you're doing the three-steps-forward, two-steps-back thing. Or maybe you feel like you're just barely treading [...Read More]

Focus for 2014: Knowing God’s People

Last year, I chose gratitude as my "word for the year." Not because I wanted a "word" to define everything about the year, but because I wanted to grow in the understanding and application of gratitude. It really was more of an "attribute" for the year, instead of a general theme. I started the year by studying Psalm 103, sharing weekly posts about gratitude, and keeping a blessings book. Then life got busy and I slacked off a little... but I ended strong, with an in-depth study of Choosing Gratitude, which was perhaps the best book I read in 2013! It transformed my understanding of gratitude, and gave me practical steps to becoming a more grateful person. I think I can honestly say I [...Read More]

Disciplines for 2014

I've been struggling to set new goals for this year, and I finally figured out why -- I don't want to attempt anything new. Not that I don't want to try new things this year, but I don't want to set goals for accomplishing new things. Instead, I need to focus on maintaining and developing current things. I stumbled across some pretty good rhythms in 2013, in several areas, and I don't want to lose any ground! And I'm afraid setting new goals would do just that. So this year, I'm choosing disciplines instead of goals. I've chosen seven areas in which I need to be disciplined, in order to shift from occasional habits into regular lifestyles. It's not my "word for the year" (that's [...Read More]

Failed Goals – But Not a Failed Year

Who set goals for this past year? I did. I thought I'd chosen some really great ones to strive for... some things I really wanted to accomplish, most of which would benefit me in countless ways, and would keep me headed in the overall direction I wanted to go. But how did I actually do? Let's take a look...     Bible Reading & Studying: read through the entire Bible - complete! study James with our Sunday School class - complete! participate in 1 other group Bible study - not sure this ever happened! Bible Memorization: memorize 4 new chapters in the Bible - only completed 2.5 chapters review and solidify chapters memorized in 2012 - reviewed, [...Read More]