For the first time in my life, I am writing out some initiatives that I want to have in the upcoming year. These involve a whole host of things such as losing a certain amount of weight, reading an allotted amount of books, and spending more time with Clarissa. I want to encourage you to do the same! To help you, I want to walk you through the process I went through this year to determine what my 2016 initiatives should be.
1. Ask The Right Question
The first thing I did this year before planning out initiatives was ask myself this question: What do I want to see God accomplish this year in my life and in the lives of those around me? I wrote down several things from getting healthier to going on more dates with my wife. Do that. Sit down and ask yourself that question. Then write down all the things that flood your mind on a piece of paper.
2. Sort It Out
After asking the right question, take the things you have written down and divide them up in categories. I divided mine up into four categories: Mental, Physical, Spiritual, and Relational (see my attached file at the bottom of this post). Dividing those things into categories make it easier for you to organize that list.
3. Pray and Purge
After dividing everything up into categories, pray and purge. I did this for about a month with a list I had made in October. I had around 50 things that got dwindled down to around 10. Ask God to give you direction in the things you have written down. Which things are self-gratifying and self-serving? Which things are centered around God getting glory? Ask questions like this and scratch out any initiatives that you feel God leading you away from.
4. Get Specific
This is my favorite part. Now that your list is dwindled down, get specific about what you want to see accomplished in 2016. For example, if you wrote down 'I want to lose weight' get specific. How much weight do you want to lose? How are you going to accomplish that. You will see on my Leadership Initiatives sheet that I was very specific about how I wanted to go about losing some weight I had gained this year. Do the same for each category to give you direction and clarity.
5. Stick To It
This is by far the hardest part: sticking to it. I printed out my Leadership and Ministry Initiatives sheets on nice paper and laminated them. I placed a set in my office at home, in my office at church, and in my briefcase that I carry everywhere. I do this so that I don't forget what I have committed to. This helps me focus and realign my schedule to try and accomplish the things that I have written down at the beginning of the year.
My Leadership Initiatives For 2016
So what about you? What are some things that you want to see God do in your life this year? How do you go about setting goals for the new year? Comment and let me know!
I am a Husband to Clarissa, Pastor at Liberty Baptist Church, reader of many books, and tweeter at @brad_merchant.