Six Actions for a Better Year

1. Pray more and frequently.

As I reflect on last year, I realized that I need to pray more. Don’t get me wrong, I pray, but I need to do it more. I pray for people, pray with people, pray over people. Still, it seems that my intimacy is being broken with God from the distractions of the business of church life. I desire to pray more for specific regions of the world, for my future sons-in-law, for more significant opportunities to bless my wife and bring a smile to her day, and for more souls for the kingdom. Let’s face it, we all need to pray more. Why? Because there is power in prayer.

2. Block more time for family time

I love my family. Most fathers are not present in the home in America; however, I take great pride that I am. I strive to be the greatest father in the world to my children. As my girls are in their teen years, I realize I am running out of time. In 2018, I made sure I protected the time needed to be present and spend quality time building great memories together. I did this through daddy-daughter dates, evening talks, vacations, days off, but I feel like I need to protect more time for this in 2020. As I looked back on the things that got my attention last year, it was not really worth the trade from moments with my children. Demands, night appointments, phone calls, conferences, and meetings are all in the past, but the memories with my children will last forever. I am going to make more time to focus on them and less time feeding less important demands.

3. Live by my calendar

I had to streamline, delegate, dismiss, and simplify my calendar. I stopped running from time slot to time slot and began to become very proactive with my day. This year, I am going to streamline even more by delegating and finding people who think like me and for me, instead of wasting my time following up with people who forget and who are reactive. These behaviors waste time and distract my focus on what’s important now. I’m going to be more intentional in managing my time. Here is a great article on time management by Carey Nieuwhof. I decided to make a shift in how I did my calendar. Here is the calendar that I personally decided to use, and here is the one my worship leader uses. It’s time to grab my calendar for this year by the binder, and live life very organized.

4. Sit with Jesus even more

I have gotten into listening to the Bible with my fabulous headphones. I close my eyes and let Jesus speak into my heart. I allow the scriptures to penetrate my thinking and filter my worries and doubts by sitting at the feet of Jesus. Our tendency is to rush to the next thing or try to get ahead, but the reality at the end of the day is that it comes down to abiding in Jesus and letting him control your life. Think being vs. doing. Read about it here. Making Jesus a huge part of my day makes me realize that my main Goal is to sit at his feet and let him control my day and path.

5. Ditch the Digital

My new phrase for this year is DTD (Ditch the Digital). I have gone back to books (not the digital ones), shutting my phone off after 5 p.m., and leaving my digital stuff downstairs far away from me. I am not worried about people trying to get in touch with me but rather allowing myself to process and think more. It seems people are doing less thinking and more reacting. Our phones have made people reactive responders to everything without thinking first. This is not wise and is also very damaging to the thought process. I am content with going to the public library and picking out a book to read for a few weeks that is mindless but yet engaging. It helps me think differently and connect with my brain so it can fully process. It is amazing what happens to you when you do a digital detox.

6. Find the good in people

Our culture has been into taking people down with our words. I have made it a point already and will continue to work harder this year with finding something beautiful to say about others and notice people for doing more right than wrong. I have been doing this with people who are just jerks on social media and politically motivated to bash everything. I find something beautiful to say to them and encourage them to do the same for someone else. I think many times people are rushing, reactive, and always on the go that they don’t notice what is happening around them in live time. Stop the rush and tell others you appreciate them. Get started here.
I’m making shifts toward a greater spiritual me. Tell me what shifts you need to make too.

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