Category Archives: Accountability

23 or Bust

resolution

That is, the 23% Club, those who tend to keep their New Year’s Resolutions each year. About 35% break their resolutions by the end of January. So how are you doing? Have you already steered off course? Did you even make a resolution? Do you feel like it’s too late?

It’s not too late. Whoever said you needed a celebration to jump-start your goals anyway? Life change is time-sensitive. It is rarely done out of convenience but out of necessity, that is, when you realize you need it and your committed to fixing it. We don’t choose to lose weight [or enter own flaw here] because it’s New Years. We choose to lose because we’re plump and need to make a change. Who needs the new year to roll around to realize that your rolls make you round? You only need a mirror and a decision. Stop beating yourself up about falling off the wagon. Lord knows there are plenty of other people out there waiting to do it for you. (By the way, nobody is perfect; shouldn’t “Mr. Negativity” be on his own freakin’ wagon anyway?)

If you fell off the wagon, don’t just lay there, get back up! If you’ve already missed your wagon, don’t get discouraged. There’s another one coming whenever YOU’RE ready. And when it does, it’ll be a better one anyhow because it will be on YOUR time with YOUR commitment––it’ll be YOUR wagon, not the party bus that comes around when the bell tolls 12.

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. ~1 Peter 2:15

Giving up is what makes defeat permanent. ~Stacy Allison, first American woman to climb Mt. Everest

You can’t go back and make a new beginning, but you can start today and make a new ending. ~Unknown

A bend in the road is not the end of the road. . . unless you fail to make the turn. ~Unknown

And our assignment for the day is to permit the courage of Christ to override the condemnation of the critic. ~Steven Furtick

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Practical Advice

Get the 3 C’s:

Commitment: If you don’t commit, you will quit!
Cheering Squad: To help you celebrate your victories and conquer your setbacks.
Christ: With Him, nothing is impossible! He’s the confidence you need.

Make SMART goals:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Timely

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Less Is More

If I had to describe my New Year’s resolutions for this year in one word, it would be “constructive.” I want the things that I do to serve a useful purpose. That’s not to say that I’ve been useless in previous years, it’s just that I haven’t been as effective as I’d like to be (welcome to the club, right?). This year, I want that to change. I desire to be more productive in the things that matter. I want to love more, give more, save more, lose more, and just plain accomplish more. Oh, and did I mention that I want to do it all with less? “More for less”––sounds like a TJ Maxx ad. Here’s what I mean:

Less impatience, more restraint

Goal: Too subjective to measure so get off my back already! (Sorry, I guess I got my work cut out for me.)

Less calories taken in, more pounds taken off

Goal: Me minus 20 lbs. (or 5 slices of pizza per week, same thing)

Less spending, more saving

Goal: Cut my specialty coffee / dining out expense in half (my belt size too)

Less debt, more freedom

Goal: A slave to lender no longer (except for mortgage)

Less TV, more time (for God, family, and my dream)

Goal: Read through entire Bible, do not neglect my family, post blog three times weekly, and write a book to have ready for publication

Less of me, more of Him

Goal: Take up my cross daily. (And two aspirin ‘cause I’m already getting overwhelmed.)

WOW! Sounds like less leisure, more exhaustion. What about you? Are your goals for 2009 big or small . . . audacious or cautious . . . lofty or puny . . . ambitious or attainable . . . more or less?

Here’ s some inspiration from Pastor Steven Furtick:

I’m sorry to say that your dreams are too small too. You serve the God of inexhaustible, all sufficient, overflowing resource. Whatever you might imagine God wants to do through your life in your most faith-filled, bold, reckless moments, multiply it by 10. Take it to the 100th power. Double it again. Now you’re starting to uncover a fraction of the blueprint God has already drawn up.

Sometimes, under the guise of getting wiser, growing deeper, or waiting on God, we let our audacity atrophy and set the stuff that made us special on the shelf. That must really insult God.  After we’ve already seen Him part seas, kill giants, and multiply fish and loaves, we should be more inclined to push our chips to the center of the table, not less!

It turns out God isn’t intimidated by my big requests. He is insulted by my puny ones.

No Easy Button for America

BREAKING NEWS: A revised $700B financial industry bailout bill passed Senate by 74-25 vote tonight; the House is to vote Friday

Government interference, corporate irresponsibility, public ignorance in part—a trilogy of events that has lead us down this path of economic calamity. Unfortunately, there is no “easy button” for this dilemma; there will be no easy street for Wall Street or Main Street. Either strategy, the pay out or play out, has its share of consequences that will likely burden America for years to come. And while the economic fate of America hangs in the balance waiting for elected officials to act, what are we to do?

Trim the fat—America needs a diet!

For government:

  • Govern more and meddle less when it comes to business
  • Don’t prostitute citizens to big business but protect them from it
  • Reduce wasteful, excessive spending
  • Don’t accept handouts from corporate America (or other special interests)

For corporate America:

  • Stop the madness of overinflated executive salaries at the expense of the company’s performance
  • Limit risky ventures like sub-prime lending
  • Run lean even in prosperous times
  • Don’t expect handouts from the government

For the American people:

  • Reduce debt, spend frugally, increase savings
  • Quit confusing privileges for entitlements
  • Don’t expect handouts from the government
  • Hold your public officials accountable
  • And by all means—VOTE!

Here’s a question:

$10 trillion deficit overall, $400 billion budget deficit just this year and the US government has the audacity to describe their plan as a “bailout” and “rescue.” Does that even sound logical?

The answer to bad government is not more bad government, to paraphrase Jeffrey A. Miron, a senior lecturer in economics at Harvard University.

Gimme a Break!

Here is an old standby of something I wrote years ago. Enjoy . . .

Few things in life have the reliability of the brake system on an automobile. Think about how many times you pump your brakes in a day, a year, a lifetime. Have you or anyone you know ever experienced brake failure? Chances are, you have not. Even brake failure portrayed in the movies rolled out by Hollywood is typically related to tampering and not just failure of the brakes themselves. How much more effective could we be if only we were as reliable as our braking system? Well here are some tips to improving your reliability:

  • Pump yourself up. Just as brakes work best when pumped, we work best when encouraged.
  • Don’t be afraid to use your skills. We don’t fear using our brakes when needed and they rarely fail us; use your skills more often than needed and not only will you increase your odds for success but you will sharpen your skills.
  • Schedule regular maintenance and stick to your schedule. Keep your brake fluid level full and your brake pads intact by holding yourself and each other accountable. Keep a meticulous calendar so that important dates are not missed.
  • Seek professional assistance. Be open to the advice and counseling  of others. Continually seek feedback from valuable sources. Participate in training and other educational opportunities that will broaden your abilities.
  • Check your dashboard frequently for red alerts. Quick attention in fixing these items of weakness is a must.

Attention to the tips above will help keep you running free from defects. Remember them next time your reliability is tested. Say, “I brake for success!” and get moving toward your dream!