Mobilizing the Church. Transforming the World.

2011 With No Regrets

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I’m working on a message I’m going to be sharing at Crossbridge Church on January 2nd. My question is “How do we live with no regrets?”

Most people make some kind of New Year’s Resolutions, but over 95% are them are never kept. This often leads to guilt or regrets. It’s also not uncommon to look back over the year and wonder, “Did I accomplish all that I could have? Did I nurture and strengthen my important relationships as I would have liked to? Did I serve God’s Kingdom purposes as He desired? Did I develop and use my talents/resources as well as I could have?”

Now guilt is rarely (if ever) productive, so don’t let yourself go there right now! I’m just thinking about how to make 2011 a year of no regrets.

Three things come to my mind: Clarify your Priorities, Focus, and then Follow-Through.

I just wrote a blog for entrepreneurs on these 3 skills if you would like to read it. Now I’m wrestling with the question, “How Biblical is this advice?” What passages or characters from Scripture help us see this from God’s perspective. I believe it is Biblical, but I would definitely like to know what you think. Please, give me a comment or some feedback. Thanks.
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Prioritization: The Key to Success and Life Balance

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There are two things that are most difficult to get people to do: To think & to get people to do things in order of importance. – John Maxwell

More than ever before in history people are over-loaded with information, to-do’s, opportunities to consider, problems to solve, and relationships to manage (just to name a few.) In order to succeed we must develop 3 critical skills.

  1. We must learn to set daily and weekly priorities. Every day is a challenge, so we need to start our day with clarity on what’s most important for that day. The same is true for every week. However, this must not be decided in a vacuum. Each day and week we should review the bigger picture (e.g. your 90-day strategic plan and your 1-3 year vision.) With the bigger picture and longer perspective in mind, we can set daily & weekly priorities that will move us toward the life, business, and goals that we truly desire.
  2. We must learn to delegate everything possible. I hear my clients say “Nobody can do it right” or “My staff is just too busy.” Let me be blunt: These are terrible excuses for not delegating! If someone can do something 80% as well as you can, delegate it! They’ll most likely improve if given the opportunity. If you do not have team members who can do the things you do at least 80% as well, your priority needs to be either training or replacing staff! “But they already have too much to do” you might say. The truth is, our time will always fill up with stuff. Chances are they will never have time. So delegate things that are important to you, and help them to prioritize. If you don’t, they will be constantly busy doing things that are not the priority!
  3. Say “No” to the obvious low-value, low priority stuff. I call this “clutter.” You and I are attacked by clutter daily. If you don’t have the ability to evaluate the obvious clutter quickly, and then say “No”, you will not accomplish the most important things. If the clutter is not obvious to you, take a few minutes every week and make a list of the low-value, low-priority activities you engaged in the previous week. Consciously start saying “No” to those things. Also, start setting your priorities and watch what does NOT get done by the end of the day. These are clues to the clutter as well. If you prioritize and you get to the end of the day, you’ve eliminated the clutter, and there are still mission critical priorities on your list that aren’t getting done, most likely then you have a delegation problem. Go back to step 2.
One final thought, many people tell me “Everything is a priority.” That’s just not true! If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority. That’s just an excuse for not having the skill or will to set priorities.

This may be one of the most difficult challenges you face on a daily basis. Train yourself and discipline yourself to prioritize. If you need help, get a coach or an accountability partner. But DO IT! Prioritization is the key to your success and joy in ministry!
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