What Might Stop You in 2017?

Asking some questions in this period between Christmas and the New Year. Questions of reflection and questions to help us to look ahead. So far there has been one about what we were thankful for and another about what we would do if we knew it would succeed.

Today’s is a follow on question to yesterday: what could stop you in 2017?

My answers: I am a serial procrastinator, what’s your excuse. I’m working hard at not letting this get in the way of accomplishing some big dreams in 2017.

I say maybe and perhaps too often, like I doubt I believe what I am saying or I’m really trying too hard to not hurt anyones feelings, when I need to just be confident in what I’m saying.

Fear. Pride. Laziness. Lack of focus. Distractions. Good things. Whatever. All will have their shot at stopping me, I’m sure.

But if we knew what we could do would succeed – what is going to stop us?

How are you liking the questions? Any thoughts as we head into 2017?

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What Would You Do in 2017?

Yesterday I asked a question about thankfulness. Having an attitude of gratitude is really important.  Recognising our blessings helps us to notice the good things going on around us and in us.

I was blessed in 2016 to visit Bangalore and spend time with Immy who leads our Xcel location there.

I was blessed to go to Israel and walk where Jesus walked.

I was blessed with healing, financial miracles and breakthrough moments too in situations.

I was also blessed to know that wherever I was, whatever I was doing, God was always with me. My awareness of this grew. It’s so easy to just get on with things and not remember this fundamental truth.

Don’t forget to share your thankfulness stories.

Today’s question gets us looking ahead to 2017. What would you do with your life in 2017 if you knew it was impossible to fail at what you attempted?

Again I’d love for you to share your answers. 

10 Days….

When there were 80 days left of 2016 I wrote a blog outlining some of the things I wanted to get done by the end of the year…here’s an update.

New site…not quite there yet. But the behind the scenes I have been working on the content.

The Walking With God 45-day devotional is complete and going out to a few for editorial suggestions.

The leadership book ’19’ is done. [See image] book-header

Guest chapters are back, editorial suggestions are in and final amendments are being made. I will be launching a ‘Kickstarter’ project at the end of the month. Publishers are ready for the manuscript in February with a hopeful date for release being May 2017.

Thanks for all the support and encouragement. Maybe you set off to ‘get some stuff done’ towards the end of this year. How has it gone? I haven’t overcome the procrastination completely but I am glad to have got over these few hurdles. One thing I have managed to do is convince myself that ‘I can’. I am excited for 2017 and all that God has in store for me.

5 Things Leaders Think About

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A leaders view is usually different to everyone else. They have already seen where they want to take people. The vision is very clear. Just like standing on the mountain top on a clear day, seeing for miles in full colour, all around, a great panoramic view. The challenges lay more in how to take everyone on the journey, to help them to see the future and to want to make progress towards it.

Leaders maybe look out from the summit and wonder how shall we do this? They think about the difficult questions, the balance different aspects and facets of leadership and decision making like others on the journey with them may not.

From my limited experience here are 5 possible areas of thought (potential areas of disagreement)

Big picture  vs  Small details

Making decisions individually  vs  Making decisions collaboratively

Listening to the right opinion  vs  Ignoring the wrong opinion

Staying inside the lines  vs  Thinking outside the box

Honouring the past  vs  Living for today  vs  Building for the future

Leading Well in Life: Celebrate

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How are we doing today?

Are we making any progress on the goals we set when there was just 80 days until 2017? This is what I wrote back then about leading well in life…

Here’s what’s coming…

…a new site, with posts focused on what I know and what I see – leading well in life, making a difference, building local church, walking with God and other stuff too.

…a place of encouragement, answered questions, resources and some challenge along the way too

…giveaways, book reviews and more interaction with those who happen to pass by these pages.

I’ve even managed to finish a one month devotional which I aim to launch as soon as I can and the Leadership book is almost completed too. This is not to boast, more to make myself accountable to you.

Wherever we have got to it is important that along the way we celebrate the journey. I can look at these statements and be frustrated but I can also see that I have managed to get a little further with them too which puts a smile on my face.

The books are out for editorial suggestions. I surprised myself and asked some well-known church leaders to contribute to the book, and have even had some replies. What they have written will add a different aspect to the book and I am really happy with that.

The publishing journey never moves as fast as you would like but the aim is to send the leadership book ’19’ to the publisher in January 2017. Some kind of crowd funding project may come soon to help bring this dream to reality.

So how is your journey shaping out? Let’s not just look at what we haven’t managed to accomplish but rather notice where we have made progress. It will never be as much as may have wanted but hopefully it’s something.

Keep plugging away. Check out the previous posts in this series too.

Breakthrough moments

Setbacks

The Right People

Be Determined

Don’t Break the Chain

 

Breakthrough Moments Will Come

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I recently read ‘Love Does’ by Bob Goff. I was amazed at all the incredible stories he told. You read the adventures that he and his family have been on and realise that they have happened mostly because they had just learned to say ‘yes’ to opportunity and go on the journey.

I wrote a review which you can read here. My observation was easy – ‘If I want to have stories like Bob then I have to put myself in the right place for them. Or at least be prepared to go with whatever happens’.

This journey recommenced when there was 80 days to go until 2017. That was my way of putting myself in the right place for a more adventurous journey. Or perhaps it was to at least give those goals a good go. It was my way of getting back on track (again) and the desire to see some kind of breakthrough moment.

Here’s what I have discovered…which maybe 5 ways of saying the same thing…

BREAKTHROUGH MOMENTS come to those who are willing to start the journey. They can ‘happen’ but only if we have ‘happened’ to do something.

It can seem like BREAKTHROUGH MOMENTS won’t happen, they just take time.

BREAKTHROUGH MOMENTS come more often to this who are willing to take a risk.

Because they involve taking risks, BREAKTHROUGH MOMENTS can be scary.

However, this is what makes those BREAKTHROUGH MOMENTS so exciting.

Look for the green shoots of progress. It might not seem like much for all the effort but it could just be the beginning of a BREAKTHROUGH MOMENT you have been waiting for.

What BREAKTHROUGH MOMENTS have you enjoyed since writing your goals down?

Get Past the Setbacks

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With 80 days until the new year we made the decision to go for our goals. Maybe we wrote something down. Perhaps we imagined what the future could look like if everything worked in our favour.

We started off with great levels of energy, we laid out the plan, made some progress and then, for a whole bunch of different reasons, it all just grinds to a halt. Lack of time. Slow progress. Distractions. General procrastination on our part. People not helping. Perhaps it’s all a little bit harder work than we thought it would be.

When these inevitable times come along, we can think on 3 things…

Perspective. We are never as good as our best day. We are never as bad as our worst day either. Keep the perspective right. Keep looking ahead. Keep doing the right things. Be consistent. Be determined. It doesn’t mean it is over. It’s just something that needs to be overcome and worked out.

Big Picture. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Keep the bigger view in front of us will remind us that this is a journey and journeys take time. There will be twists, turns, obstacles and set backs. Once we accept this inevitability we will better placed to not lose hope and just keep on doing what we can.

One Step at a Time. We are excited about the end game, yet in reality it’s the next step which is the most important. Concentrate on the one step. We are so busy painting the final detail we often miss out on what needs out attention right now.

Keep being brave. Keep going. Ask the hard questions. Take some time to think things through.

What is the one thing I can do to keep things moving forward? What one thing can I give my attention to right now?

5 Ways to Be Determined

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Leading well in life doesn’t come by default, it only comes by design, through a determined effort on our part to actually make something happen. I can pray like it depends on God but I must still work like it depends on me.

In Mark 5:25-34 the story is told of a woman who had been ill for years who reached through the crowds, touched the cloak of Jesus and received her healing. Her determination to live differently in life and lead well can remind us of a few thing:

Have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish. Write it down. Paint a clear image. Put that preferred future in front of you as often as possible. In my imagination I see her having on the wall somewhere, maybe on the equivalent of the fridge a little message, ‘If Jesus comes through town make sure you get out there and touch His cloak.’

Push through the crowd of normalness. A post-it on the fridge is one thing, acting on it is something else altogether. Lots of people want change but are unwilling to put the effort in. The same power was available to everyone yet she was the only one who saw the change because she was the only one willing to ‘reach out from the crowd’.

Be willing to have some awkward moments. The spotlight may well come on you. ‘Who touched me?’ An awkward moment for her. However, it was the acceptance of this awkward moment which brought about the healing. When you go after what you believe God is calling you to do, the eyes may be on you and that’s alright. In such a moment, just like this woman, we experience the power of God in our lives

Stay in faith. Don’t back off, keeping leaning in. Keep praying and keep working. There were plenty of opportunities for her to back away and not follow through with this crazy idea, yet she stayed in faith. Never lose hope that the breakthrough, the success, that thing you desire to see happen will happen.

Remember, nothing changes unless something changes. When you have been stuck for 12 years it can be easy to just accept this as the way things will always be. The change we want can come miraculously but more often than not it is attached to some change we have to do ourselves. Weight doesn’t fall off in a miracle, we play our part. Debt doesn’t disappear with a prayer, there is some change needed from us too.

Be a person who leads well in life. Keep pushing forward on your 80 day goals. Be determined, don’t give up.

How is your sense of determination? What gets in the way of you seeing your preferred future actually happen?