What’s Most Important?

What is distracting you from doing what is most important? What have you said no to lately? Here is a simple exercise I would highly recommend you trying.

Take a piece of paper and write goals at the top. Then list your top 10 goals for the next 12 months. It could be work related, health related, money related, spiritual or relational.

Once you have at least 10 goals listed ask yourself this question: If I could only accomplish one goal, but it would happen within the next 24 hours, which one goal would have the greatest positive impact on my life.

Circle that one goal that would have the biggest impact on you if it happened. Then flip the page over and start brainstorming how you can make that one goal a reality. List out several things that you could do immediately to start getting closer to that goal. Start saying no to other things that would distract you from achieving that goal, within reason. I don’t think it is wise to say no to your family, your marriage, your faith.

When we narrow the focus it helps us work on things that are really most important. Those important things that will impact our work. Those important things that would transform our marriage. Those important things that would impact our faith. Those important things that would impact our finances.

I know for me I need to start setting aside more time for the important stuff and limit the distractions. That takes some self-discipline and maybe learning some new habits. To make that happen you may need someone to coach you or mentor you or maybe even hold you accountable. That may sound like hard work, but that’s the only way to have lasting change happen in your life.

Don’t wait for the new year to start making changes in your life, start today.

Fitness

Physical fitness and spiritual fitness go hand in hand. Both are highly beneficial, but difficult to achieve. Most everyone wants to eat right and exercise to have a healthy, strong body. Most everyone wants a close intimate relationship with God and the inner peace that comes from that. Why don’t we do it?

This is what God has laid on my heart lately. I need to develop some better physical fitness routines and spiritual fitness routines. I have some people that are going to hold me accountable over the next 90 days to work at improving the health of my physical heart and my spiritual heart.

How does this happen? Well for me it was a decision I made. I basically said. “OK God I’m ready”. This is the journey He is taking me on. I know that for me to go to a new level of spiritual leadership I need to develop some new habits and eliminate some old habits. Anytime I feel stuck it is usually because I have gotten comfortable in a routine or rut.

To get unstuck physically, emotionally or spiritually you first need to make a decision to change.

Then you need to find your motivation. Why do you want to lose weight, exercise, read your Bible or pray? Is it because other people want you to do that or because it is something you should do, or is because you desire to change and grow and be a better example to everyone around you. Finding your motivation is critical to the long term success of improved fitness.

Once you find your motivation to make the change then you need to find some people to hold you accountable and to go on the journey with you. Developing new routines and habits is hard work and it really helps to have people asking how you are doing. It also helps to have someone to encourage you when you don’t want to go exercise or read or eat healthy.

Once you have your accountability in place, you need to develop a strategy and some practical goals. That is the stage I am in right now. The next step is to start, don’t wait until everything feels right. You need to start making changes today – Are you ready?

Deep Waters

“Knowing what is right is like deep water in the heart; a wise person draws from the well within.” That is from Proverbs 20:5 in The Message.

How do you get deep water in the heart? How do you gain wisdom to know what is right? Those are tough questions to answer. To gain wisdom we need to listen well. Mainly listening to God, through reading Scripture. There is incredible wisdom in the Bible, yet most people choose not to go there and dig deep.

Life experience can also bring wisdom if you listen well. If you are learning from your experience and make changes accordingly you gain wisdom. I have found that when I do the hard thing instead of the easy thing I gain wisdom and insight from that experience. Sometimes doing the right thing can be hard. When you know the right thing to do and then follow through and do it, you mature, grow and gain wisdom. Your waters get deeper and you have more to draw from.

When you know the right thing to do and choose not to do it, you go backwards, you get stuck in muddy waters. I believe courage and wisdom go together. When you have the courage to do the right thing you gain new wisdom from that experience.

Deepen the waters in your heart by digging into God’s word, learning from your experiences and having the courage to do what you know is right.

Checklist For Encouragers

Are you an encourager or a discourager? I believe that one of our purposes in life is to be an encouragement to the people in our lives. All of our relationships are improved when we encourage. The Bible talks a lot about encouraging one another. Here is a checklist for encourager’s:

  • Build each other up – Point out to someone a quality you appreciate in him or her.
  • Respect leaders – Look for ways to cooperate with and make your leaders look good.
  • Hold leaders in highest regard – Don’t make critical comments about those in positions of responsibility. Say thank you to your leaders for their efforts and don’t talk behind their backs.
  • Live in peace – Search for ways to get along with people. This means holding your tongue and looking for common ground.
  • Encourage the timid – Remind them of God’s promises and that you believe in them.
  • Help the weak – Show love through acts of kindness and pray for them. Be generous.
  • Be patient – Plan to stay calm in situations or conversations that try your patience.
  • Resist revenge – Instead of planning to get even with those who mistreat you, do good to them.
  • Be joyful – Always remember that God is in control – people are drawn to a person filled with joy. Choose to be joyful.
  • Pray continually – The more you talk to God the more you will be able to encourage others.
  • Give thanks – When you give thanks your attitude towards other people changes. People like being around grateful people.
  • Avoid every kind of evil – Avoid situations where you will be drawn into temptation, remember you are na example to someone.
  • Plug into God’s Power – The Christian life is to be lived not on our own strength, but through God’s Power
  • Watch your words – the words you use every day determine the level of your encouragement.

Look for opportunities this week to encourage the people you work with, live with and bump into. Every conversation, every encounter with another person is a chance to encourage them.

Keys to Success at Work

Did you know that God is interested in your work and wants you to be highly successful at work? Here are ten practical work habits that will help you advance professionally:

  1. Pray for and develop s strong sense of purpose that energizes what you do.
  2. Be persistent – a new idea must go through 3 stages: resistance, tolerance and embracement.
  3. Learn continually, not only about work skills but yourself as well.
  4. Be decisive – the ability to make wise decisions. Define the problem, Define the expectations of those involved, Determine possible solutions, Take time to think.
  5. Be willing to take risks.
  6. Be “fail” safe by realizing – There is no such thing as failure, and life is a learning experience.
  7. Have a high work ethic. Be on time and give a full day’s work. Go the second mile.
  8. Learn to communicate with both the key decision makers and the people in the trenches.
  9. Believe in and act on making others great.
  10. Focus on what is important, not micro-management. Be willing to release some control. Ask yourself: What are my three strengths? What are my three weaknesses?

These keys to success at work come from the discipleship material I use at NewPointe. I just went over this with one of the guys I am meeting with and thought it was worth sharing. Hope it helps you today at work.