Getting Ready for 2017
2016 has been a big year for me. I experienced some “I’m proud of myself” moments, some moments when sheer terror was trying to cripple my steps, and other moments with emotions in-between. As I reflect back, I realize that it has been an alignment year, the final touches on the “Now” season that is upon so many of us (see August’s article, The Timing of the Lord). So, as we close out this year, I wanted to share some short, practical steps to living an extraordinary life that I will be taking as I move into 2017. I’d love for you to join me in this!
1. Ask God to give you a word for 2017!
One simple word will do. Get the definition of that word and then get into scripture and see the implications of that word and how it applies to your life and what God wants to do for you this year. How do you get such a word? As simplistic as it sounds, ask the Holy Spirit. What is the first thing that pop’s into your mind? Write it down! I can assure you that when you ask God wise questions about your life he will give to you, liberally, all that you need (see James 1:5). If you doubt your ability to hear the Holy Spirit let me remind you that he WANTS you to know His word for your life in this new year. He is for you and wants you to succeed. If it is still a struggle, spend some time mediating on those things you want to see happen for yourself in this year and grab ahold of something. If the word brings you hope and life then you can be sure you are heading in the right direction. I’ll be praying for you to hear your word; as a matter of fact, I just did! Just remember that a word like this can provide incredible direction for your future and it directly relates to how you accomplish your goals and what you can expect your outcomes to be.
2. Determine the most important things that you need to focus on for 2017.
If you don’t establish this, then many other seemingly critical issues will pop up and take the place of the things that will actually produce the most traction in your life. I started doing 6 x 6 goals with a dear friend of mine. You pick 6 things over 6 weeks that are the most critical to forward momentum. For instance, I might want to spend time working on creative elements for my business, but what I need to do in order to grow and produce fruit (in the immediate) is set up my client systems. When I don’t identify those things the more “fun” things can take the place of the most critical parts. Come up with six goals/tasks that are most important and put the others to the side. Six things that you will accomplish in six weeks. Let the other “fun” things surface when they need to appear on the critical list. You will also be better equipped to handle those fires that pop up out of no where. You’ll still be able to base your decisions on your goals. Now, go squash those time killers with a good 6 x 6 plan.
3. Define what community looks like for you this year!
When seasons change, relationships change. There will be people that will not go with you on your continued journey so, at times, we need to evaluate the community of people that we need to be around that share our passions, interests, and contribute to our growth. Sometimes that means tearing away from one thing for another. This can both be tough and painful. Define where you are going and what you need and pursue a community of people navigating similar paths. You’ll go a lot further together.
4. What do you want to celebrate at the end of 2017? What will cause you to say, “I am proud of myself” when midnight strikes a year from now?
If you can define where you want to go, then all of your decisions between now and then should be much more clear. Saying “no” should be easier when you know that saying “yes” won’t lead to your desired end result. Now that you have established your “word” for 2017 and are setting your 6 x6 goals, you should be well on your way to knowing what that end result will be. I, personally, want to do some things that will take me out of my comfort zone. Will they contribute to my success? I sure hope so. Will I fail at them? Maybe, but I will never regret trying. So, my end of 2017 celebratory moments will include some scary, vulnerable risks, but I will be proud of myself for trying.
An extraordinary life is not lived by accident. It is lived by being intentional, and bending and maneuvering with the changing tides. Our intentions and goals push us forward and the Holy Spirit guides us into the very best version of our goals. I like to think that my extraordinary life will be “beyond what I can think or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). If it’s true for me, it’s true for you. So, let’s go! Let’s do this thing in 2017 and let’s celebrate our “I’m proud of myself” moments on December 31st 2017.
Blessing and love to you my friends!