Keep It Stupid Simple

You and I tend to overcomplicate our purpose…calling…life mission…and our OneWord365 of focus for the year.  Do you agree?

I blogged about my OneWord for 2016 back at the end of December.  Here it is:

CALLED…

That’s my OneWord.  And for me it’s a reminder of the specific journey God has planned for me to embark on.  I said ‘YES’ to him years ago, but recently I have found myself having to recommit.  Having to make a cognitive choice to speak the word ‘YES’ yet again to him.  Why?

I have been in vocational ministry and leadership for the past 15 years.  Though I am 100% confident I am still in his will, I have recently transitioned to working as a Barista and rebranding myself as a life coach and social media manager.  Folks, that a big change!  And if I’m going to be gut-level authentic with you, December and January were dark months containing very little joy and hope.  Thankfully, I realized that I had lost sight of my calling and taken my attention off of my OneWord.

“Self-awareness is a gift of wisdom”

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Here are 3 tips for keeping YOUR OneWord ‘stupid simple’ in 2016:

  1. Stay active in the OneWord365 Facebook community | I’ve dropped the ball here too.  Set daily or weekly reminders on your mobile device if you have to.  But visit the group regularly.  Leave comments.  Read about the journeys of others.  The successes and rough spots of others can offer powerful encouragement and even new ideas.
  2. Keep your OneWord in front of you | Create a word picture or graphic of your OneWord.  Make it a screen saver on your laptop, phone, and tablet.  Write it on your vanity mirror with a dry erase marker or wet chalk pen.
  3. Record your journey | Writing down our thoughts and emotions can be so empowering.  Personally, writing on my blog is my canvas.  Buy a physical journal or diary, use Evernote.  Here’s an idea for you creatives who don’t like writing.  Start a podcast!  Or how about broadcasting on Periscope?

Whatever you do, set yourself up for success and keep it simple.  Start small.

How about you?  Have you overcomplicated your OneWord?  Leave a comment below.  In what ways can you take steps to overSIMPLIFY it this week.  Seriously, let’s do this together.

My One Word For 2016 Is…

…CALLED…

As I was praying and thinking about this next year, words like accomplish, persist, achieve, optimism, and consistency made their way to my notepad.  Then, ‘Purpose’ popped up.  Next, a very familiar piece of scripture came through my quiet time.  Maybe you’re familiar with it as well?

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are CALLED according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

Called OneWord365

That word, CALLED, seemed to jump right out and hit me between the eyes.  And that’s exactly what our One Word should do.

Let me flesh this out a bit (more for me than anyone else).

Romans 8 reminds me that I am CALLED according to His purpose.  I am CALLED by God, and His purposes are my calling.  As I meditated through this today the Lord lovingly reminded me that my present situation is indeed still within His calling for me.

I am CALLED… to constantly abide in him.

I am CALLED…to reflect the love and character of God at all times.

I am CALLED…to be the spiritual leader of my wife and kids.

I am CALLED…to teach, equip, and encourage church leadership (whatever that might look like).

I am CALLED…to obedience.

Now it’s your turn.  What’s your One Word for the coming year?  How do you plan to focus your efforts for maximum growth?

Visit my previous post for help/tips on isolating your One Word.  I’d love for you to subscribe to my blog.  We can stay connected through the year regarding our commitment to our One Word, and I’ll send you my first eBook on accomplishing your goals!

Comments are always welcome.  God bless and have an incredible 2016.

Change doesn’t happen without a plan

Regular self-evaluation, or its absence, can greatly determine your degree of success with your goals.

This is a follow-up to a blog post I wrote back in January, 2013.

Little did I know that age 42 was going to be a turning point in my life.  Not because of a mid-life crisis, but because of  one simple word…..STRIVE.  That has been my focus for the past 10 months.  It all began with a mentorship experience I had the privilege of having with Jim Wideman.  He calls it ‘Infuse.’  This was the catalyst for a major life overhaul.  I was stretched in many ways with Infuse, but one thing particularly struck me.  At one of our Infuse retreats, Jim said, “When your goals go without a detailed plan and accountability, they never move beyond being a goal.”

So this intensive challenge to high-level self leadership was birthed.  I’d like to encourage you today by sharing my struggles and successes through this journey.

It all started at spiritual growth.  Now, I thought I was going to learn better team-building methods or how to recruit volunteers in my time with Infuse.  Those things became a bi-product of a more central issue.   Another powerful statement Jim made is that we can’t possibly lead others to a place we haven’t been ourselves.  He was talking about the daily exercise of spiritual disciplines as a vehicle to getting closer to Jesus.  In other words, we can’t expect our volunteers and support staff to be ‘good’ with God if we aren’t really practicing this in our personal lives.  Progress:  I’ve been more engaged in Bible meditation and prayer than any other time.  It’s been amazing!

Next came the need for exercise.  My wife and I decided we had to put an end to our sedentary lifestyle.  We literally had zero exercise aside from walking to and from the car and home or work.  We joined a gym just down the street from our house and the change has been incredible.  Not only am I more energetic and flexible, but we consider these daily trips to the gym our ‘workout dates.’  Progress:  We’ve averaged 3-4 days a week at the gym in 2013, and are now pushing for 2 hours a day when our schedule permits.

My long struggle with bondage to food followed just recently.  At 6’4″ and 250 lbs, I realized I needed to do something drastic with my eating choices and habits.  During the beginning of a prayer week at our church I was experiencing this overwhelming weight on my spirit (it wasn’t my stomach).  It almost felt like an anxiety attack.  But after praying through it, the Lord clearly told me he wanted me to experience the Daniel Fast.  WHAT?  Anything with ‘fast’ attached to it makes me want to run the other direction.  But this time was different.  I really felt the heart of God in this, and his desire for me to be healthy.  So I started that afternoon.  The journey was like none I’ve ever experienced before.  I went the full 21 days with NO sugar, bread, milk, cheese, or meat!  My success with this challenge was due to the high spiritual commitment I had to God, plus the encouragement and support I had from my amazing wife and co-workers like Kelli Wommack.  Progress:  I’ve lost 11 lbs, but I’ve also decided to maintain many aspects of what I learned about food during those 3 weeks.

Lastly, being the spiritual leader of my home has been a failing struggle for 22 years.  All this time I’ve felt inadequate and intimidated  at what this really meant.  I feared attempting and failing, but in avoiding the issue I failed completely.  Upon completing the Daniel Fast, it occurred to me.  If I can be successful in that and other areas mentioned above….why can’t I be just as successful at leading my home?  So I just stepped out and started.  Specifically, I am committed to sharing a verse, devotional thought, or encouragement with my wife and praying for her every day.   Progress:  So far, so good!  I am currently working on building some accountability into this for myself.

2013 has proved to be a turning point for me.  I haven’t fully decided on my One Word for 2014 yet, but I’m thinking it may become something like, MAINTAIN.

Do you relate to any of my story?  I’d love for you to leave a comment.

Isaiah 40:29 tells us that, “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”