Archives For The Big Year

My Planning Process

January 6, 2014 — 2 Comments

My New Year Plan

Years ago, a good friend of mine, Tim Elmore, got me hooked on a process that has really impacted my life. Tim encouraged me to develop a strategic plan for the new year. The process included spending time looking back at the previous year, and then looking forward to the year ahead. I wanted to share the process I go through with you. I have made some modifications to what Tim does. You can follow Tim’s amazing work at www.growingleaders.com. He has his process listed on his blog. Enjoy!

Like I said, I spend about half a day looking back at the previous year. I journal a lot, so it’s easy for me to look back at the details of the year and the bigger events are pretty easy to recall. I always look at seven main areas of my life and see how I did in accomplishing the goals and dreams I had set, and where I achieved beyond my desires and where did I not do such a great job. My seven areas are:

  1. Spiritually
  2. Marriage
  3. Fatherhood
  4. Ministry
  5. School (I am getting my doctorate and it is a huge part of my life right now so I include it)
  6. Relationships
  7. Leadership

I ask the following questions:

  1. Did I grow in this area? If so, where and how?
  2. Did I benefit the growth of others in this area? If so, how?
  3. What was the one thing I am most proud of in this area?
  4. What is the one thing I am least proud of in this area?
  5. Was my strategy for each area effective? Why or why not?
  6. Did I fulfill the mission of my Life Sentence (this is essential and I will blog on this later) this past year?

Once I complete this process, I send a day looking forward and setting goals (actually, I like the term dreams better than goals). Tim Elmore calls his items “action lists” or “standard lists” which I love! This process looks like the following:

  1. What is the main dream I have in each of my seven areas? What will be needed in order to achieve this? (I use a Dream Chart that I developed in order to complete this process. A Dream Chart looks at where you are [Now] and where you want to be [Dream] and then maps out all of the steps required to get you there.)
  2. Of my 7 areas which areas do I need the most growth?
  3. What resources will I need for the required growth? (i.e., books, seminars, counseling, coaching, web sites, podcasts etc. I decide all of this at the beginning of the year and map out a schedule of when and where.)
  4. I map out my entire year. Monica and I do this together. We set date nights, family date days, vacations, major events on our calendar at the beginning of the year. These are non-negotiable!!
  5. Monica and I set family goals. What are one or two things we are really going to try and teach the kids this year? Last year it was patience and courage. We also set financial goals for the year and plan purchases for our house, what and to who we support financially, gifts, etc.
  6. I have a weekly chart that I use to account for pretty much every hour of my day Sunday – Saturday. I do have free areas where nothing is planned in order to account for surprises as well as provide me with down time.

My dream is that I continue to grow in all areas and the best way to do that is to learn from the past and plan the future. I believe just about any dream can be achieved with a good strategy, regardless if it is losing weight, changing jobs, buying a new car, building relationships, etc. My dreams are only as good as the strategies I implement. (you can tweet that)

Have a great new year!!

Dreaming Big

March 27, 2013 — 2 Comments

DREAM BIG

I have recently started using a sound machine to help me sleep. I use the sound of the ocean, because I love the beach and I always seem to sleep so much better on vacations at the beach.

As a result of me sleeping better, I have noticed that I am dreaming more in my sleep. Now I can’t tell you what these dreams are because they are gone as soon as I wake up, but they are happening.

This is significant because I was just telling Monica a few months ago that I can’t remember the last time I had a dream.

Have you ever found yourself in this place? When is the last ime you had a dream? I don’t mean a sleep dream but a dream for your life. I believe dreams are the missing ingredient in many people experiencing a Big Life. I think it is so important, that I’m going to use the next few weeks blogging about dreams and desires.

So let’s begin this week with answering why dreams are important:

1. Dreaming leads to hope. I believe one of the best speeches ever given was the speech Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered in Washington, D.C. Not only was it well communicated, but it was a dream — and the dream he had lead to hope for him and others. Now there were many who doubted it could ever happen, but that did not stop him from dreaming. Dreaming brings hope, transformation and vision to us and others.

2. Dreams help us to see things we miss in life. Dreaming allows us to see beyond the here and now and gets our creative juices flowing. I believe creativity should be an important piece of our life. When we dream, it causes our mind and heart to go places it otherwise would not.This opens up untapped possibilites.

3. Dreams require us to expect the unexpected. I remember when we bought our first house. After our first year of ownership, I went to the mailbox, and found a check from our mortgage company. I was for overpaying into our escrow account for the year. This was totally unexpected. It led me to expect that check every year! It doesn’t come every year, but nevertheless, it was a lesson. Dreams allow us to recieve unexpected blessings. The more we dream the more expected these unexpected blessings will become. Wouldn’t life be awesome if life was full of realized expectations?

Next week I will write about the reasons I believe we don’t dream big.

I encourage you to listen to my weekly podcast –The Big Life — where I am providing ways for you to have the biggest year ever.