7 Monday Morning Thoughts

A new day, a new working week.

After a fantastic Sunday and weekend with family and friends, Monday’s can hit us in the face. If we are not careful, we can feel defeated before we have even started. So here are 7 Monday morning thoughts to help us get the most of this week…

Get some time with God. Read your Bible. Hear what God is saying.

Thank God for what He is doing and invite Him in to all that will come your way this week. Pray.

Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have. 

Put the big rocks for the week in first. Make it God, family then church. Some simple organising creates space for some creativity.

Keep your soul healthy. Do something fun and not related to your work.

 From a work point of view, make a list of some things you want to get done this week. 

Go for a walk. Get some fresh air. It clears the head and gives you some time to think too.

What would you add to this list?

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

 

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?

 

5 Tips for Getting Things Done

One of the most common ways we are measured in life is by our ability to get things done. Are we succeeding or failing? Have we finished the project or are we lagging behind? There are literally thousands of books and articles out there all trying to give us some advice about how to improve our time management, our ability to prioritise, to make key decisions and achieve great success.

Leaders get things done. Don’t say you are naturally disorganised. A leaders ability to organise will be a determining factor in their levels of productivity.

Here are my 5 tips for helping you to get things done:

Focus. Know what is most urgent and important and do those things first. There is no right way to do this. Some people use a to-do list and then rank them, others use a grid distinguishing between urgent/non-urgent and important/non-important. Whatever model you choose, stick to it.

I have found it useful to learn when is your best time of day for getting things done and do the big tasks then. For me that’s normally first thing in the office. By 3pm I’m starting to drift and the bigger projects become too much. Then I move to the other activities, items on the list that don’t take quite so long.

Fresh air. It is suggested by experts that we work in cycles of about 90 minutes. After this our attention will begin to wander. Best thing to do – move away from the desk, go for a walk, get some fresh air. Times like these can also help you think about things without any other distractions.

Follow through. Complete the task. We can have a tendency to get to about 80% done and then shelf it until it screams at us to be completed. Just be determined to get it done, then you can fully focus on the next activity.

Fun. Don’t be so task orientated that you lose your sense of fun. Make sure you have a laugh with colleagues or reward yourself when the job is finished. I will use coffee & cake as a great incentive. When I have completed this task then and only then do I have permission to go grab a treat.

Flexibility. Be ready for interruptions. It can be annoying when you are trying to get stuff done that people keep calling on your time, however the opposite to being flexible is being rigid. In becoming rigid, we can become brittle, and then when the pressure increases because things are not getting done, we snap. Stay flexible. Stuff happens, people will ask for a moment.

In fact a better route is to actually plan for interruptions, allow for it in the schedule, make the appointments yourself. Be proactive in filling your time rather than reactive. I promise you, all the tasks will still get finished.

What do you do to make sure you get things done?

Keep Making Progress

Maybe the Christian life could be summed up in these 3 words…

KEEP MAKING PROGRESS

Some days, when all is well, this seems easy.
Some days, when stuff is going off, not so easy.

Wherever you find yourself today, have a mind to keep making progress. Keep doing the simple things, the things that you know are right for you to do.

PRAY. WORSHIP. PUT GOD FIRST. CONSIDER HIM. SERVE. READ THE WORD OF GOD.

In 2 Corinthians 4 Paul writes these incredible words:
‘We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body’.

Remember that your life in Christ is a window to the greatness of God for all those who watch your life pass theirs. To keep making progress shows off His goodness. Though in life we may be hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted or struck down REMEMBER that the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in you. Every time you make another step, it brings glory to His name.

Fix your eyes on what is not seen. Fix your eyes on things eternal, not temporary. One step at a time. Who knows where that might lead you as you allow God to have His way, working through you.

How’s your progress?