Friday, December 31, 2010

Step RIGHT into 2011!!!

How do you plan for a New Year?

Do you just imagine all the stuff you would like to do? 

Do you plan at all?

My brother, we can’t afford to enter a year slippin’ or slackin’.  
If you fail to plan, then you must be planning to fail.  Dr. Stephen Payne said to me that the “first rule of leadership is to lead yourself with excellence.”

Here are a few pointers I continue to practice that I got from Stephen Covey in the classic 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Know Your Role (s): Every man should know his roles.  Are you a husband?  A father?  What is your career/profession?  For example, I am a husband, father, fulltime ordained minister and men’s ministry director (these are a few of my self-defined roles).  I don’t do anything that isn’t tied to one of my roles.  A man shouldn’t have more than seven roles in his life or risk being overwhelmed.  In each of these roles list the key people involved and write a clarifying statement that will provide you with focus.  A man might object and say, “our roles should be obvious because we live them everyday.”  But do you live these roles in spirit of excellence?  Are you intentional about your roles or have you dropped the ball in 2010 more times than you care to count?  If you are serious about your life then take the time to write down a clear definition for each of your roles.  To quote Francis Bacon, “Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.”  Be exact about your roles.

2. Live Your Values: What do you value?  If you value peace do you keep your money in order?  If you value faith then do you have time allotted for prayer and study?  It is said so often that it can be counted as a cliché but it is not: I can tell what you value by how you spend your time and your money.  So clearly define your values so that you know what they mean and why they are your values.  The trick is to have a list that can be memorized and used as a filter for all the choices that will come your way.  For example, AR Bernard has summed up his values and the values of Christian Cultural Center down to four: Faith, family, community and education.  Priorities and values are synonymous.  If I claim to value family, yet neglect them for other companionship then I am pursuing or valuing something other than family.  Inconsistency between words and deeds, between confession and practice are not “mistakes” but decisions that reflect our priorities.  To quote Tim Elmore, “Life isn’t about prioritizing your schedule but scheduling your priorities.”  Are your values clearly reflected in your goals?  Are you a man of your word?

Do you know the difference between a flood and a river?  Tim Elmore says that the difference between a flood and a river is focus. Both may be bodies of water but floods spread out causing chaos and destruction.  Rivers on the other hand move in one direction and provide a source of energy and transportation.  Rivers are focused.  Knowing your roles and clearly defining your values provide you with your focus and foundation for setting meaningful and attainable short term and long term goals.

For example, in my role as “father” I want to be more than just “involved” I want to be intentional and strategic.  So I am already sitting with my wife not just to plan the birthday parties in 2011 but how we are going to create a meaningful age-appropriate experience for our children.  Because I am a fulltime minister (role) and my wife is a fulltime domestic engineer (role) we have to discuss our children’s extracurricular activities (based on what we value).  After all, we aren’t raising children we are raising adults!  We want our children to be fully functional independent citizens with a clear sense of identity and purpose (value).

Look guys, I am not an expert.  This is one student of life speaking to another.  There is a lot more to Stephen Covey’s process for goal setting (and ultimately writing a mission statement) but I think these two points are great for starters.

Make 2011 count for time and eternity.  Live intentionally.  Live life on purpose.

The Nile River
As men we are called to be kings. The mark of kings is vision. Start with where you are by identifying your roles and your values. This is the foundation for personal vision and even for qualifying you for a vision from God.

God will give more to the man who is faithful in the little they have been given.

I would love to hear from you and so would your brothers (and sisters) who read this blog:

- How do you plan for a New Year?

- What do you think about setting goals based on your roles and what you value?

- Who do you know that lives life more like a flood than a river?  How can you encourage them to be more focused in 2011?

- How do you schedule your priorities?  Monthly?  Weekly?  Daily?

My brother, step RIGHT (intentionally, strategically, prayerfully) into 2011!!!  Attitude determines approach, and approach determines success or failure.

In whatever process you use to set goals for 2011, bathe the process in prayer to your Father in Heaven.

And I pray that our Father would pour out His Spirit and you’ll have a renewed vision and strategy for taking territory for the Kingdom.  I pray that 2011 will be a new season of blessing for you and that you will be an intentional blessing through your clearly defined roles. And I pray that your values would make you known as a man of honor and integrity to all.
Happy New Year!
Grace and peace and Happy New Year!

Your brother,

Minister Onorio

1 comment:

  1. Prob 18:4 MSG - "Many words rush along like rivers in flood, but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs." Talk about the power of wise words :)


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