Get Refocused and Reach Your Goals

Get Refocused and Reach
Your Goals

Sometimes we are surprised at how quickly some things get past us. It’s amazing how quickly thirty days can go by when you have to make another car payment. It’s catches us off guard how quickly a semester can go by when you have a term paper due. And it’s absolutely terrifying how quickly your sweet little infant becomes a college bound teenager. Things move fast in life and it can take our breath away how quickly the months of a year go by. This year is no different.

January is gone. One month out the twelve we had in front of us when we started the year is now past. That means that if you are a goal setter you only have eleven months left to get them done. This is why you have to review your goals at least once a week.

How do we make sure we realize our ambitions and complete our goal list?

” Review your list to test if you really want to accomplish all the things you put down
” Review your list to see if any of the goals are not possible due to events out of your control
” Review your list to test your commitment to the goals you set one month ago

One of the most powerful techniques to keep your goal list heading toward success is to review your “why.” When your “why” is strong enough the “how” takes care of itself.

Supposed you were asked to run a half mile while carrying a 50-pound sack of sand in 100 degree heat. Could you do it? Would your attitude stink? Would you do anything you could to get out of it? But, what if that 50-pound weight was your six-year-old daughter who was seriously injured, and you were running to get her to a doctor in time to save her life? Most people realize that having that kind of “why” would allow them to access strength and resolve that would make a task that seemed out of reach possible.

Review your “why” for your goals and get back on track. You still have 11 months left. Get after those goals and end the year strong.

P.S.  Do me a favor and put your most powerful “why” in the comments list and I will answer with mine.

To Those Who Want To Grow in 2018

Some of My Favorite Resources for Growth from 2017

Like me, a lot of you love learning and expanding your skillset.  Here are some of my favorite things that helped me grow in 2017.   I hope you find something helpful, and please send me some of your favorites too.

Best books I read:


The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming  Henri Nowen

Personal growth books:

Designing your life    How to build a well lived joyful life   Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Happy Money- The Science of Smarter Spending Elizabeth Done

Blackout- Remembering the things I drank to forget   Sarah Hupola

The Lost Art of Listening  Michael Nichols PhD

Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think


Alexander Hamilton  Ron Chernov


The Glass Castle Jeanette Walls

Best business books:

Platform: Get noticed in a Busy World  Michael Hyatt

Favorite podcasts:

  • The Art of Charm Jordan Harbinger – Not about charm, about fascinating topics and leadership
  • Freakonomics Radio – insights from bright minds that take fresh looks at economic principles
  • The Gospel in Life – Pastor Tim Keller- great sermons from one of the best Christian preachers today

Favorite technology:

  • Began using a Macbook Air with plug in desktop desktop display, this has changed my life!
  • Mobile check deposit- goodbye waiting in line at the bank
  • Increased use of video on our church website and church Facebook
  • Finally getting the Twitter thing down
  • Calm- a wonderful meditation app to help me with focus

Favorite Blogs:

For those of you are not into spirituality you might want to stop here, but faith is the key to my life, so a few wins from that area are in order:

  • Spending weeks studying the concept of Christian grace- new freedom flowed into my life
  • Learning to write out my prayers when the mind is locked down
  • Walking with a dear friend through her courageous battle with cancer
  • Using the power of spiritual consensus to find the next step in our church’s growth

I hope you find these useful and I look forward to seeing your suggestions.  Be sure to watch for my next blog which will be the fifth in the series listing the 5 Attributes of Mental Toughness.

If you haven’t already done so,  please take a moment to subscribe to my blog.  All you have to do is enter your e-mail address and you’ll be notified every time I post a new one.  My  goal is to supply you with helpful insights on leadership and personal growth.

Make 2018 a great year.












I went zip lining in Costa Rica last week. I thought I was going to have to “wimp out” as I flew out into space on the first of 7 consecutive zip lines.  I am not afraid of heights and I’ve zip lined before, but never at such heights and speeds.  I didn’t want to go on, but I was with my church group and I refused to let them see me “chicken out.”

Flying hundreds of feet over the jungle canopy while supported only by a skimpy seat harness and a well-worn cable, I began to doubt my rationality.  What kind of crazy man risks his life like this I wondered? No, that’s not quite right.  What I really thought was, “Dear God what have I just done, please don’t let me die.” I was three zip lines into the experience before I began to relax and enjoy the amazing view and the thrill of speeding down the line. Once I got over my initial terror my senses were almost overwhelmed with the beauty below me and the fun of getting as close to personal flight as I have ever been.

Are you going through a terrifying time? Remember you are not alone. Starting a new business, career, or relationship can be scary. But often you’ll find that what waits on the other side of your fear will be one of the greatest experiences of your life.

What did I learn while terrified?
• Once you relax it gets good
• Beauty is available even when you are terrified
• Trust in those who have gone before you
• Use your peer group to propel you past fear
• Don’t miss the experience of a lifetime out of fear

When was the last time you were afraid? What lessons did you learn? Please leave a comment. I’d love to read your insights.



't quit image


It’s always a challenge not to quit on the new you.  It’s so easy to start, and so hard to finish.  Ideas come into our heads and we dream new dreams.  We get excited and immediately begin transforming our lives to meet our new lifestyle goals.  Maybe we join a gym, sign up for classes at a college, or start a business from our home.  We are pumped, we are fired up, and we charge into the new work with energy and passion.  We have seen the person we can become and it is almost intoxicating.  And then, we run into a problem.  There is always a problem.  We take a financial loss.  Someone criticizes us.  We fail the first exam in school.  We become discouraged.  We thought we had turned a new corner. We thought we had finally found the path for our life that would work for us.  But once again we run again into problems and we are tempted to quit on our dream.  How do you keep going when you have quit so many times in the past?  Don’t quit, there’s someone out there waiting for you to become the new you.  They need you.

Four powerful strategies can help you embrace the new you:

  • Embrace the game changing attitude of refusing to quit on the new you.

Determine that no matter what you’re facing you’re going to stay in your new mindset.  Resolve that you are not going back to the person you used to be.

  • See your world through the eyes of faith.

You will see that the challenging visions God birthed in your heart while you were praying, or while you were traveling on a mission trip were not a passing dream.  Instead, they are a natural response to the reality of who you now are.  As you have become a new person God has put new dreams in your heart. Don’t go back.  Don’t give up.

  • Commit to continue thinking, dreaming, and planning for success.

Don’t let anyone steer you away from your goals and dreams. God has started you on a path, and He has the power to enable you to complete it.

  • Decide that you are never going back.

I have had detours in my life.  I’ve had times when criticism or weariness led me to take some weaker paths.  However, I could never stay in those defeated states for long.  I picked myself up and dusted myself off and I got back to my dreams as quickly as I could. You have to look at the world through what God is doing in your life right now and you have to determine that you will never go back and live the old life.

Adopt this mantra and repeat it over and over till you get moving again.

I am not the same. I don’t see things the same. I am not seen the same way. 

If you try to live where you once were, you will be miserable.  To live a powerful life, you must move forward. No turning back.  Don’t quit on the new you.

(This is an excerpt from my soon to published new book,  Game Changers, the people, places, and ideas, that change your life)



Combatting the Power of a Negative Comment

I recently watched Morgan Spurlock’s disturbing new documentary, “Rats.” The most unsettling part of the film was not the videos of hundreds of rats scurrying around or even the view of a man drinking out a pan of milk that rats had been drinking from and crawling around in, but the worst part was Spurlock’s evidence of the almost indestructible nature of the species.   He made a strong case for how rats as a species might still be flourishing when man has long vanished from the earth. The resiliency of the furry and almost universally disgusting creatures reminded me of the potency of negative comments in our lives.

Most us have had the weird experience of having one negative comment outweigh dozens of positive ones in our lives. It could be a comment about a new article of clothing you purchased, some creative piece of work you put out in the world, or some new direction where you led your organization.   You have dozens of affirming statements about your work and then you receive a single negative e-mail or phone call. In an amazing quirk of human nature, most people will begin to focus on the single negative comment and almost ignore the larger number of positive statements.

The behavior makes no sense:

  • Why don’t we embrace the sheer weight of numbers and focus on the positive?
  • Why would we let one statement carry more weight than dozens of others?
  • Why do we care so much about complaints that often come from strangers?
  • How in the world did rats and negative comments become so resilient?

I’m not saying people who disagree with our art or work are rats. I am lamenting the fact that negative comments have an amazing ability to survive the counterattacks of our rational minds and our most balanced analysis.

I have a few guesses as to why and one observation for moving forward.


  • We are wired to be sensitive to the negative, hence the famous news media policy, “if it bleeds it leads.”
  • We are usually so in love with our ideas, “after all we birthed them,” that we naively assume everyone else will love them too, hence the “every baby is beautiful” fallacy.
  • We are spoiled to people’s polite silence about our ideas and taste. Hence the shock when someone tells us our amazingly cute new shoes are ugly.
  • We are not wired to consider the negative. Differing opinions are a natural part of the environment and hence they should not surprise us like a rat bounding out of an alley.


If you want to live a bold and creative life you will be noticed and draw comments. Not all of them are going to be positive. Treat them like the rats of the comment world. Don’t be shocked by them. Don’t think that they are out of the ordinary, because they are not. They just usually remain hidden. Work to put their limited appearance in perspective against the overriding positive support you receive. Most of all, keep working and creating.

Mr. Spurlock, I disagree, rats will never rule the world.