Reaching Goals in 2012

Over the years I have come to realize that In order to accomplish a goal there are specific principles that must be in practice. Goals don’t achieve themselves. We don’t arrive at the intended destination by merely talking about it. Don’t worry though we can accomplish every single thing we set out to do if we have the right tools, set the right deadlines, and connect with the right accountability partner.

1. The right tools

Whatever your goals may be, it’s imperative that you have the right tools to get it done. How do I know if it’s the right tool? If its simple, if it accommodates the achieving of your goal, if it doesn’t consume your life, if it works for you, instead of you working for it. I have found that whether your goal is physical, financial, relational, or spiritual if we have tools that are simple and motivating they will operate as a vehicle to carry us to the finish line. Our tools can’t be cumbersome or they will be ineffective. Keep it simple.

2. The right deadlines

One of the biggest mistakes we make in achieving goals is inappropriate deadlines. Trying to arrive at the finish line in an unreasonable amount of time.

Setting deadlines that are too soon will demotivate us and reinforce hopelessness. Setting deadlines that are too late will demotivate and reinforce procrastination. Be reasonable and achievement is yours.

3. The right accountability partner

Notice this doesn’t say partners. I think a mistake in goal setting is to get overly zealous and tell everyone about what you are trying to achieve. It puts undue pressure on you and centers your life around the goals instead of what the goals will accomplish. What you need is one or two people who motivate and challenge you and will be kind but accept no excuses. They also need to be willing to take some initiative in the process checking up on your progress.

These are just some thoughts that I’ve developed over the years in trying to achieve goals. There is really no reason to set goals if you don’t connect them to the right principles. If the connection is made achievement is within reach.

2012 On Purpose

Significant accomplishments only happen if they are done on purpose. A lot of things will happen in 2012 that require no planning at all. The question is, do I want my life filled with the meaningless, or the significant?

As a family we are taking some time to plan for the significant in 2012. We choose for our lives to be filled with meaningful things not futile activity.

Some questions we are asking ourselves.

1. In what ways can we keep Christ at the center of our lives daily in 2012

2. What are the meaningful big rock moments in each of our lives in 2012?

3. What is important to us as a family in 2012?

4. In what ways can we further develop ourselves spiritually, physically, mentally, relationally and financially daily in 2012.

5. As a family in 2012 how can we be the church, encourage the church and build the church daily in 2012.

6. How much and in what ways do we want to give and be generous in 2012?

7. Who do we want to mentor in 2012 and who do we want to mentor us in 2012?

8. What is important for each of us to study, research or read in 2012?

9. How much debt can we retire in 2012?

10. What are some planned breaks/time off we can have as a family in 2012?

Just some things to help us live on purpose in 2012. Hope this helps you and your family.

Press

I love Paul’s words in Philippians 4:13, I press toward the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. He said I forget the past. I look forward to the future. I press.

To succeed in life we must learn to press. I can’t stand mediocrity. I dislike it very much when people do things half way. Especially Christians, I think we as Christians need to leave the world a strong message.

Paul Said, I forget the past. We must learn to walk in Gods grace, and quit pilfering through the past. Whether good or bad, our past can paralyze us because its easy to get stuck there.

Paul said, I look forward to the prize of the high calling. Two words that denote great value. Prize, and High Calling. We should see the things of God, the dreams, and goals, and passions He places in us should be seen as a prize as a high thing. Something of great value.

He said I look forward. People who are mediocre or do things half way are people who are wallowing in the past or can only see what is right in front of them.

Remember to reach the prominence of purpose, you must press. You can’t go at it half way. It must be apprehended. It must be pursued, it must look in the face of obstacles and pressed through.

Sometimes when we are in the middle of change, or involved in lots of areas of ministry, we just look at each other and go wow, we have a lot to do, isn’t it awesome! Then we just press until its done, and done well.

value the press, and press for the value.

David

Next Generation….

OK, I’ve had it…Sound mad don’t I? Not really, I just hear so much talk about how bad the Next generation is coming up. It May be true for some, but I know a lot of young people who are productive, who care about life, who care about the important things. It will not be some political plan, some technology, some process or ideology that ushers in the next great thing, or the next great leadership movement. It will be the leaders of this next generation. The young people so many love to hate today.

I know that all we hear about is the negative on everything, partially because the media stokes that fire, and partially because we buy the smoke. However There are some great young leaders coming up. Oh there not in Hollywood, they are not even visible to you and I, but they are there and they have some thoughts.

My Daughter is one of those. Guess what, My daughter is not in to drugs, My daughter is not caught up in things that are illegal or self destructive. Now hold on before you judge me for being prideful, which, alright I’m a little guilty of, She isn’t perfect, and she tries my patience on a consistent basis, just by being a teenager, I try hers as well.

Taylor turned 15 today, she is, and I can’t say this without partiality, one of the best kids I know. She really wants to change the world. She cares about people, she cares about her relationship with Jesus and allowing Him to use her life, and their are tons like her. Volunteering, using their gifts and talents, and time to help others.

I think our future looks bright! I love it that my daughter wants to change the world. That can sound kind of idealistic to us over 40 crowd. I must still be idealistic too then cause I’m trying to change the world as well. So Taylor is going with me to Cambodia this year, and we will do our best to help others together, and by the way, that’s how you change the world. So all you young people out there, we believe in you, we see potential in you, and we are depending on your leadership and enthusiasm in the future to help change the world.

I have people ask me all the time how did you get your daughter to think like that, to be like that. I use to say, just the grace of God, but the truth is a little more specific than that.

1. I spend time involved in her life, and listening, cultivating and supporting her dreams and talents.

2. I surround her with dreamers. I have lots of friends who are big thinkers, and world shakers and I get her around them and let her listen and naturally they speak into her life.

3. She is planted in a great church and has great Pastors and pastoral figures speaking into her life, and helping to encourage and support her.

4. We Talk, talk, talk about everything.

5. I have listened to parents who have gone before me, and employed their advice.

6. She has the most incredible down to earth yet faith filled mother on the planet.

7. She surrounds herself with friends who are full on committed to Christ and she creates friendships with kids who she is reaching out to for Christ.

I can hear someone saying right now, well she’s still young and she could mess up. Yep, and probably will, Thank God for His Grace and the knowledge that His dreams for her do not hinge on my imperfections, her mothers, her leaders or hers, but rather on His perfection.

So Thank God for Taylor and her generation….Can’t wait to see how the world changes.

David

overcoming frustration

Many times in the forty years of my life i have battled with frustration. The feeling that things just aren’t working out. The irritation that I’m trying hard to accomplish something and for some reason it just isn’t happening. The consternation that comes with expecting certain responses and results from people and them not living up to it, or worse, expecting big things from myself and not being able to meet a goal, or complete a task or get the results i was aiming at.

Frustration is a killer, its the step before discouragement and depression. Frustration unresolved steals motivation and momentum from your life, and brings everything to a halt. It opens the door to bitterness and offense in our lives, which lead no where but to negative circumstances.

So what is frustration really. Frustration is the difference between Expectation and reality. You expect your kids to behave a certain way, and in reality they are not perfect. Everything between the two is frustration. You expect to be at a certain level in your career by a certain time, but you don’t make it. The difference between what you expected and where you really are is frustration.

Given that life is imperfect, and there will be many times when our reality doesn’t line up with our expectations, how do we keep from being overrun with frustration?

The common Mistake we make is to get focused on our reality. There is nothing wrong with evaluating your reality, or being honest about it, but if we get to obsessed with it, or focused on it, especially in light of its deficiencies in relation to our expectations we will be overcome by frustration.

The answer is to keep our eyes forward, looking forward towards our expectations, moving forward towards stated goals, thinking forward in the direction of our vision, focused on where we are going, not where we have come from.

Expectations are powerful, we should set them high and shoot for them, and as long as we stay focused on that, then at some point our expectations will become our reality. Frustration can destroy that from happening.

Overcome frustration. Focus on your expectations.

David

Leadership Lesson 4 while training for a marathon

Failure, beyond your control.

I haven’t blogged in a while, its been a busy time. I believe we can learn leadership lessons in just about everything we do in life, especially challenges we face while working towards a goal. Failure is hard for a leader to contend with. We would like to believe that every goal we set will result in success. Yes we will face challenges, yes there will be obstacles but ultimately we will succeed. When failure comes at times we act as if we are shocked that we could fail. The question is not will we fail, its when will we fail? Our failures should not devastate us but teach and train us.

When I begin to train for a marathon, I had some definite thoughts about how I would succeed, and when. I did have some natural concerns. I realized I’ve never run this far, at that point I’d never run 10 miles, but definitely not 26.2. I had thoughts that maybe it would be to much for me, just not have the resolve to finish,not be disciplined to push back the pain, and had I been stumped by those things I would have said I failed because I couldn’t do it and gave up, but what do you do when you have no control of the reason for failure.

I had been training, and we reached the 15 mile mark, it was hard my body wanted to stop but I kept going, I pressed through, my friend Andrew pulled me through. At the end of the run however I got extremely sick. Not just normal, felt like I had a bad flue, I won’t go into the details too graphic, but it was bad. I marked it off as a single event and kept training. I made some adjustments to help the sensitivity of my stomach and kept going. When the next long run came I think we ran 13 and I felt pretty good till the end and then it happened again. If I ran up to 10 or 11 I would be fine but every time I would get in that 12-15 range it would happen again. The marathon date we were shooting for was getting closer and closer and we were not able to get more long runs in so we had to wait and we missed the mark.

I was very upset, I thought I could deal better with just not being able to cut it rather than being stopped by something I couldn’t control. So what do you do when you fail, because of something that’s not your fault, or out of your control.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned.

1. You are only a failure if you give up entirely.
I am going to a sports doctor after first of the year see why my body is reacting this way and what I can do about it.

2. Reset the goal, missing one goal is not the end of the world.
I said I was going to be in the best shape of my life before I turned 40, well 40 has come and gone, and I didn’t make the marathon, however, I’ve never been able to run 15 miles before in my life.

3. Celebrate the accomplishments on the way to the goal.
Even though I didn’t reach the marathon yet I have overcome weight barriers, fear barriers, and I can run over 10 miles consistently.

4. Be a learner.
Serious goals require you to learn about what it takes to reach them, and knowledge goes a long way towards success. Avoiding the hard questions only paralyzes you from future success.

5. Taking more time is not a crime.
Its funny the tricks that time plays on our minds. Sometimes we just need more time. Its ok to take it. How many people have not hit a goal in the time they thought they should and just quit all together, think of how ridiculous that is. What shame is there in pushing the time back in order to succeed.

6. If there is something you can do, do it, if there’s not move on and don’t obsess.
Failure can put your entire life on hold if you obsess over it. I read an article on Michael Jordan once and he said one reason players aren’t well rounded is because they obsess over failures. If they make a mistake on the offensive end then they are thinking about it on defensive end and make another. He said, “if I make a mistake, I say to myself, I won’t do that again, and then I forget about it.”. Do what you can, then move on.

So I am continuing to run and train, I am gaining knowledge about my situation, and I am taking the time and setting a new goal.

Hope this helps, failure is only final if you give up, its just the beginning if it becomes your teacher.

David

Leadership lessons learned training for a marathon 2


Leaders are most effective when they develop patience in the process. Many Leaders are “results oriented” people. We want results, and we want them yesterday. Growth never happens fast enough. Change never comes quick enough. We want what we want and we want it when we want it. The problem is things don’t happen that way. There is always a process to get from point A to point b.

We can’t deny the process, we can’t avoid the process, and we can’t eliminate the process. The key is to be patient in the process. Running a 100 yard dash is quick, you have an almost immediate result, but life is not like a sprint, it’s like a marathon, and believe me training for a marathon is a process.

I had a revelation about this the other day while reading the Bible. Something I had never thought of before, even though I’ve read the passage over and over again. Do you remember the passage when Jesus was at the climactic moment in his life, where he would have the internal wrestling match with His desire and God’s will? He took Peter, James, and John to the garden of Gethsemane with him, and he told him something, then he went to the garden to pray, just a few yards from them.

What He said to them is very important, we have had people do major series on what he said to them, we have preached meaningful messages about what He said to them, but we have missed what He actually said to them. We have asked the question, can you not pray for an hour? He did not ask them to pray, He ask them to wait. Wait and watch. He told the disciples to watch and wait. So what does this tell us? It tells us that it is important to wait and watch in the process.

In the process we need to learn patience, to wait on God with a faith filled positive attitude. We also need to learn to be attentive in the process. Pay attention what is going on in the process; if we do this we will save ourselves a lot of heartache, eliminating some surprises because we’re paying attention. We need to learn how to not let stress or pressure causes a weariness to drive us into sleep. One translation says they slept for sorrow. Did you ever get that feeling, if you could just go to sleep you would wake up and everything would be different. Only to awake and find that things are the same or worse. Stress makes us want to hide, to deny, and to give up in the process.

As I have been training, I have realized that on long runs several things can happen, you can get bored, you can get tired, and you can go into auto pilot mode. If we realize that the process is the most important part of this journey, even more so than the outcome. If we realize that if we pay attention, we can set ourselves up for success. If we realize that if we are attentive in the process, we can have some of the best ideas. You can come up with some of your most creative thoughts. We can’t sleep through the process, we can’t hurry the process, we can’t eliminate the process or deny the process, but we can have faith, patience, attention, and prosperity in the process. If we fulfill the process we will obtain the promise. I can’t run the 26.2 miles unless I go through the process of getting to that point. Don’t love the promise and hate the process. Love the process, and obtain the promise.