2017: A Year of FOCUS
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
2016 has been – interesting.
I lost the first three months to issues from Lyme Disease. I spent more time in bed and crying than I usually do in a whole year, I think. So I decided to take a break from the treatment I undergoing at the time and try to redefine “normal”. It took another three months to get off of the emotional roller coaster. By summer I was ready for fun times with our family.
A lot of plans I made went nowhere. Do you know what I mean? Things that looked great on my “To Do” List but just could not get off the ground in the real world. One lesson I learned was to schedule less and DO more. I learned that focusing on ONE thing and the baby steps that lead directly to the ONE thing is far more productive. I read the book, The One Thing by Gary Keller and that started to put some things into place. “What’s the one thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” That’s a mouthful of a question! It gave me the freedom to say “no” to a lot of things I knew could have benefit, just not to me and my family right now.
I was reminded of my purpose in creating this blog. I had gotten side-tracked by other ideas. Ideas that might be great for someone else, but in trying to share the truth that God created us with purpose and values us highly those ideas got in the way. They became noise instead of benefit. It was time to redirect my efforts back the way they were intended to go.
There is so much work that goes into trying to reach people. There is a difference in hoping to succeed at my mission and being purposeful to succeed at my mission. Another book I read was Launch by Jeff Walker. It showed me how simple being an entrepreneur can be, while also showing me to blood, sweat and tears that will need to go into the effort. It’s either all or nothing. Funny, that’s pretty much how life goes! If you only watch from the sidelines with no intention, you miss out on life, on opportunity.
It’s not about hoping, it’s about doing what you intentionally set out to do.
As I read both of those books, I also realized how much their concepts applied to my spiritual life. If I want to be a success at ANYTHING – including being a Christian who brings glory to God – I need to be intentional.
I need to be intentional about:
- my study and prayer time.
- finding ways to serve others.
- obeying His commands (Heb. 5:9).
- learning what His commands ARE in the first place.
2017 – a year of focus.
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” – Anne of Green Gables
I have spent several days in the last month setting myself up for a more intentional year in 2017. If, Lord willing, I wake tomorrow I have a plan for how to tackle each day. I am making use of my tools. My Passion Planner (I really should write a post about why I love this planner) is set up and ready to go for the business side of things. My Living Well Planner is ready to go for everything else in my life. Ruth Soukup, the creator of the Living Well Planner, offers a goal setting course along with the planner. The Crushing It™ system helps you to define your goals and break them down into achievable pieces. She utilizes concepts taught in both The One Thing and Launch as well as other sources to bring together a cohesive and easy to follow system.
I spent one day last week making use of Erin Odom’s (www.thehumbledhomemaker.com) book, Your Retreat, to help me to bring all of my ideas for life and business together into a tent under serving the Lord as I should. Your Retreat takes you through creating a mission statement for your year, choosing a word for your year, and then envisioning your year based on the different roles you fill – wife, mother, homemaker, business woman. I chose my word – FOCUS. My scripture for the year is 1 Corinthians 9:26. I made a list of twelve verses to work on memorizing (that will be another blog post). I put all of my intentions into each of my calendars so that I have them where I need them so I can complete them.
Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;
If you had not noticed, I like to pick parts from different systems and put them together in a way that I can use best. I rarely can use a whole system in the way it is designed. I always seem to need something that is not there or I do not like something that is. So I mix and match!
I am ready to meet 2017 – however much of it the Lord gives me. I have my new journaling Bible ready to fill, my Prayer journal printed (I need to get the spiral binding put on it though), and my planners all ready to go. All I need now is for 2017 to begin.
Would you like to join me in any of plans for spiritual focus this next year?
I will be using my new journaling Bible to thread my study on Prayer together. A study on prayer is a project I hope to complete by the end of the year and share with others in 2018.
My goal is to read Launch and The One Thing again this year. I intend to read them again and note the techniques I can employ to get more out of my spiritual efforts as well as my work effort. My prayer journal and my planners will be places for those notes.
Please join us in The Diligent Woman group on Facebook. Let’s begin a conversation about our plans for the year and help one another to meet them! Let’s go forward together reaching for that ultimate goal of heaven and attaining the lesser goals here on earth that bring glory to Him until that day.
What are your hopes and plans for 2017? I would love to hear how you are going to make 2017 your best year ever!