Your Roadmap to Your Best Year Ever

Imagine a year from now. You’re looking back on your year thinking to yourself: “What a year I’ve had! That was my best year ever!”

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Goals in all areas of your life were getting ticked off your list. Health goals. Financial goals. Relationship goals. Goals you’d been trying to accomplish for years. Finally behind you.

And it all started with this: Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever Program. 

My wife, Tammy, and I decided to take the plunge at the beginning of 2016. We went through Michael Hyatt’s program and accomplished goals we had only dreamed of. Some of the goals we accomplished were very personal. But others were things that were very public:

If you had asked us whether we could do these things before we did Best Year Ever we would have doubted you. But Michael Hyatt’s video program is so easy to follow, intentional, and deliberate. It gives you step by step processes. The program even includes a workbook where you write everything down. Studies have shown that writing goals down helps you to better accomplish them.

There’s just a little bit of a catch. Enrollment for the program is only open for a very short period of time. After that, Michael closes it down to focus on supporting the new class of people going through the program.

If you know deep down that you’re capable of more but have felt stuck not knowing how to experience the kind of breakthrough you deserve, then click on this link.

P.S. You can’t just “hope” that 2017 will be your best year ever. You need a roadmap. Click here to see how: 2017 Best Year Ever

A Checklist of Things to Make You Happy During These Holidays

The other night I was reminded that the holidays aren’t happy for everyone. I spoke at a gathering of people who lost loved ones this past year. Imagine what it’s like to stand in front of a group of people like that and bring a message of hope and joy. You really have to put yourself in the place of the people who have faced life’s greatest challenge.

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There were tears. Hugs were given and received. Small talk centered around caregiving, or what those following days were like, or how to get through this particular season. I was amazed at how most of the people in that group are carrying on. They are doing their best to push through and make the best of a radically changed life.

It reminded me (as if I needed reminding once again) of the many things in my life that bring happiness. I can vaguely remember times as a very young child when the holidays weren’t the happiest for me. It was nothing more than my own internal thoughts and struggles, probably born out of being a bit too much of an over-thinker. But there were a couple of Christmases that I had to work hard to be really happy.

Thankfully I outgrew that. But it gives me sympathy for those who need just a little bit more joy this time of year. I feel badly for those who are less than happy right now. So the following list is an attempt for all of us to find more happiness during these days. I hope this list doesn’t seem trite in the face of major trouble, trial, or depression. I see it as, perhaps, one small step toward a few more smiles, a couple of more laughs, and just a little more happiness for anyone who reads it:

  • The twinkling lights on the Christmas tree
  • Mail that’s more than bills or junk
  • An Amazon package on the front porch
  • Red and green M&M’s
  • Cookies that are made only at this time of year
  • A dinner party
  • Jib Jab videos
  • Seasonal foods at the grocery store
  • Candlelight services
  • Your favorite crèche on the mantle
  • Purchasing the perfect gift
  • Candy Cane Lane (or some sort of light display)
  • Family coming from out-of-town
  • Pulling out the Christmas books and reading them to the kids
  • That one special ornament
  • A full food bank for those who really need it
  • Wish lists
  • Ranger Station candles that smell like balsam fir
  • A new arrangement of an old carol
  • The wonder in the eyes of a child

I hope this list helps make your holidays a little more happy.

What would you add to it?

Michael Hyatt Is About to Show You How to Take Control of Your Life

If you’ve ever struggled to hit any of your goals, like I have, Michael Hyatt can help you…

Or if you have BIG plans for this year and need every possible advantage…

Make sure you reserve a spot for this  free presentation that’s going to fill up super fast (which is why you need to reserve your spot).

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New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt is going to show you, step-by-step, how to use goal-setting to take control of your days and turn them into the life you really want.

I attended his webinar last year and it led me into fulfilling some of my most difficult goals in 2016.

You’ll hear Michael Hyatt share things like:

  • The one single strategy that will instantly make you 42% more likely to accomplish your goals — it’s shocking how many people miss it
  • How to “quit-proof” your goals and ensure 2017 is the year you finally cross “that big one” off your list (you know which one I’m talking about!)
  • Why detailed action plans work against you and an alternate strategy that will take a huge weight off your shoulders
  • The secret to sustaining your initial momentum and keep making progress toward your goals no matter what life throws at you
  • The common and seemingly positive goal-setting strategy that is likely sabotaging your success (and what to do instead) and so much more!

There are several different times to accommodate your schedule. See what works for you by clicking here.

By the end of the presentation, you’ll be crystal clear about how you can have your best year ever in 2017.

Enjoy!

P.S. All registrants will get a special workbook designed specifically for this presentation. Here’s the link to sign up.

Is the World a Better Place Because of You?

I don’t need to tell you we live in a broken world. But it’s not all bad. There are plenty of good things happening all around us. All we have to do is open our eyes. The holiday season certainly brings it out. But if you pay attention, you can see people making the world a better place all throughout the year. I’ve highlighted some of them on my blog here and here and here.

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Tonight my wife was speaking on the phone to her parents. She discovered something about them she had never known before. Tammy’s parents live in a high rise condo building in beautiful downtown Peoria, Illinois. What she didn’t know until today is that they have taken it upon themselves, a couple of times a week, to pick up garbage in the streets around their building.

This eighty-five-year-old couple decided to turn their regular walks into something productive. They purchased a “picker.” They say you’d be amazed at how easily that thing picks stuff up. “You can pick up a dime with it.” When the rubber ends of the pickers wear out, you can order more online.

They have a specific route. They see some of the same people. He takes the picker. She takes the bag. Some people acknowledge them. Others don’t. But it’s always a good walk. And it always ends up that the streets and sidewalks in downtown Peoria are nicer than they found them.

One day the doorman in their building let them in and said: “The world is a better place because of you.” 

And it is.

There is no time like the present, and no better time of the year than now, to make the world a better place:

  • What can you do today to make the world a better place?
  • When no one is looking, what will you do to help someone?
  • What less-than-desirable place are you willing to go to bring some light and love?
  • Whom can you help today with a word of comfort or a gift of grace?
  • Where is the place someone would least expect to find you helping out?

Go ahead and do it. Today.

Make the world a better place.

When have you seen someone doing just that?

How the LifeScore Assessment Can Help You Create the Life You Want

If life were a game, what would your score be? I just took Michael Hyatt’s LifeScore ™ Assessment and it was a huge revelation for me. It gave me a score that was incredibly enlightening. The results of the assessment revealed to me that I’m at the point in my life where I ought to dream big and take some big leaps.

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What about you? Even if you aren’t competitive, how would you rank each area of your life? Would you give yourself a good score with your health? What about your finances or relationships?

You, too, can measure yourself in the areas that matter most–so that you can improve. You, too, can get an overall score for your life, take it to the next level, and create the life you want.

All you have to do is click on this link and it will take you right to the assessment. 

New York Times best-selling author Michael Hyatt has developed this tool. It makes this whole process super easy–and it’s free! Like many assessments, this one is self-administered. It provides you with the opportunity to rate yourself in each of life’s major domains.

You read a series of statements that describe specific situations. Then you pick the one that most closely aligns with where you perceive yourself to be. Finally, you refine a bit based on your unique situation. The tool then calculates your score in each domain, adds them together, and gives you an overall LifeScore.™

The whole process takes less than ten minutes. It will give you the clarity you need to create the life you want. Once you discover your LifeScore,™ you can quickly see opportunities for growth and what is working well. If you take it quarterly, you have a built-in way to measure your growth over time and stay motivated toward what matters most to you!

Best of all, the LifeScore™ Assessment is FREE–but only for a limited time. So go take the assessment today.

Enjoy!

P.S. The tool (that Michael makes available for free) calculates everything for you. You just read the descriptions, pick the one that’s most accurate for you in each domain and then you’ll have your overall score. It’s fast and easy. But you’ll come away with tremendous clarity when you’re finished.

10 Simple Things to Do Before Christmas

As of today there are twenty-seven days until Christmas. Sure, that means you only have about twenty-six of those days to go shopping. But there’s so much more to this season than just shopping. For most of us, the next few weeks will be a whirlwind of activity. It’s going to fly by. So let’s be intentional about taking advantage of these golden days.

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Here are ten simple things to do before Christmas:

  1. Find a brand new Christmas song and put it on repeat. Here’s one for you to try. (Full Disclaimer: It’s a Christmas song by our son’s musical project, MY RED + BLUE.)
  2. Go to church. It’s OK if you haven’t been for a while. You will be welcome. And now, more than ever, we all need that kind of faith and stability in our lives.
  3. Experiment with a smile. When you find yourself shopping (and you will at some point this season), do a little experiment. It’s an experiment that my wife and her dad carried out when she was small. Intentionally smile at people and see if they smile back. Spread a little cheer.
  4. Tip your server well. The quickest and easiest way to get money to people who really need it is by tipping well. Many servers work long hours, holidays, and at times when many of us are sleeping. Tip at least 20% during this holiday season.
  5. Watch a classic Christmas special. My favorite is “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Here’s a schedule for you to find exactly what you’re looking for.
  6. Surprise a neighbor. How about taking over a plate of Christmas cookies? Another idea is to leave a simple, inexpensive small gift on their doorstep. If you live where it snows, shovel their sidewalk. It you live where it doesn’t, power wash their driveway.
  7. Start an ornament collection. For years, my wife and I have been giving our children a new Christmas ornament every year. Now that they are both married, they each have a collection of their own ornaments to decorate their trees. The ornaments were often from a vacation or a significant event during the year. Why not start a collection for yourself?
  8. Throw a party. It doesn’t even have to be anything big. Have a few friends over for a special dinner. Put on a game night. Throw a party where everyone brings a small gift, each person draws a number, and when your number is selected you can either pick a wrapped gift, or steal one that’s already been opened. Watch the laughter ensue!
  9. Volunteer for, or donate to, a worthy cause. The need is always great, but it seems food banks, homeless shelters, and thrift shops are especially busy at this time of the year. They will appreciate your help.
  10. Begin planning for 2017. Too many people enter the new year without a plan. Then they flounder. Soon they wonder where all the time went and are disappointed that they didn’t complete the many things they wanted to. It’s possible to prevent this. Get a free PDF where 30 thought leaders share how they start each year. Simply click here. It’s a wonderful resource.

What’s a simple thing you would suggest we should do before Christmas?

5 Reasons Advent Is the Best Time of the Year

Tomorrow we will put up the Christmas tree at our church. We gather together with a few faithful members and put it together, piece by piece, ornament by ornament. Thankfully it’s a pre-lighted tree. At least we don’t have to go through that struggle. The tree is a huge visible reminder that the church’s hopeful season of Advent is upon us. It’s my favorite time of the year.

christmas-trees

I don’t take that lightly, or say it without a great deal of thoughtfulness. Other times of the year are great. But the month of December, and Advent, soar above the others for five wonderful reasons. Each of them can be summed up in one word.

  1. Anticipation. The church’s season of Advent is all about anticipation, looking forward, waiting for the ultimate to come to fruition. From a spiritual standpoint, it’s looking forward to the coming of Christ at Christmas; but also to the ultimate and final arrival of Jesus when He comes again to deliver His people fully and finally. But it’s also a season of human anticipation as we look forward to family, friends, and the opportunity to show our love for people by exchanging gifts on that most special of days.
  2. Music. Some of my favorite hymns of the entire church year are Advent hymns: Prepare the Royal Highway, On Jordan’s Band the Baptist’s Cry, and Rejoice, Rejoice Believers and Let Your Lights AppearI’d put these hymns up against most any from any other season of the church year. More than that, we begin to hear Christmas music on the radio and in the stores, many of which I enjoy (though I’d be happy if a few of them would go away forever…I’m talking to YOU All I want for Christmas is You).
  3. Hopefulness. Advent means “arrival.” The kind of hope I have as a Christian is a certain hope. It’s an expectation. It’s not the kind of hope American’s think about when they say: “I hope such and such will happen.” It means I firmly know and believe it’s going to happen. Just as certain as Jesus came to Bethlehem’s manger, He will come again to restore me and all things. I have a most certain hope that this will happen.
  4. Thoughtfulness. It seems to me that in these weeks before Christmas, this Advent time of year, people are much more mindful and thoughtful toward others. Food banks fill up. Blood banks receive far more donations. People are more pleasant and complimentary. Thoughtfulness is much more the order of the day, it seems, than late February or the dog days of summer.
  5. Ambiance. Things look more special at this time of the year. Not only is the Christmas tree up at church. People start putting lights up on their homes. Restaurants and stores decorate. Even people seem to dress up more during this season. The ambiance almost all around us is pleasant and festive.

I’d encourage you to look and listen the next few weeks. See if you find yourself with more anticipation and hope. Listen for the sounds of the season and receive gratefully the thoughtfulness of others. Pay attention to the festive ambiance and decorations.

What do you like about this time of year?

An Amazing FREE PDF Download to Prepare You for 2017

Is 2017 sneaking up on you? I know the feeling. I felt that way as 2015 was winding down. I wanted to accomplish a great deal in 2016, but wasn’t quite sure how I was going to do it. That’s when I discovered that a little bit of preparation would lead to amazing results.

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I started thinking ahead earlier than I ever had before. And that’s all it really was: thinking. I thought about what I wanted to accomplish. I jotted a few of those thoughts down. Then I sat back and hoped for amazing results. Those results didn’t just happen by thinking about them. But that was the start of meeting and accomplishing goals like I never had before.

So I think the secret to making this new year count is simply taking a few moments to prepare for it. That’s why I love this (free!) PDF download. In it, 30+ well known influencers all share the most important thing they do to set themselves up for a banner year.

It’s a who’s who of successful people — Tony Robbins, John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Chalene Johnson, and Andy Andrews, plus more than 20 leaders. These are the people that you look up to, respect, and admire. They’re the ones that set the standard for getting things done. They’re the ones who set goals and accomplish them.

When you see what they’ve done it’ll be much easier for you to do it yourself. Give yourself a head start to 2017 by learning from the experts.

Access to their answers is all yours (at no cost) here. Check it out! It’ll get you on the path of thinking through what you want to accomplish in 2017. I’m sure it will be amazing.

P.S. This free PDF is a wealth of wisdom to kickstart 2017. If you’ve felt stuck for a while, don’t miss it.

What goals do you want to accomplish in 2017?

3 Thoughts You Have When You Watch a Sunset

After a very busy early fall, my wife, Tammy, and I had a little opportunity to get away. The holidays and a brand new grandchild are just on the horizon. So we thought we’d better take the opportunity to get away for just a few days. One of the benefits of living in Florida is having world-class vacation destinations and an incredible sunset within close driving distance.

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So we went to Anna Maria Island. It’s a place famous for its sunsets. People gather on the beach most every evening to see the sun dip down into the water and finally disappear beyond the horizon. The sunset on Anna Maria is a beautiful sight filled with pinks, oranges, reds, and purples.

The beach was just steps from our door. So we checked the time of the sunset. We walked over to the beach about ten minutes before it set. Then we stood there waiting to watch the day’s finale.

It happens everyday. But we rarely pay attention to it. The sun rises in the east. Then it sets in the west. When you watch, you can’t help but be a bit pensive and reflective.

Here are three thoughts I had (and you might, too) when watching the sunset:

  1. Time slips by quickly. I probably don’t need to tell you this. But watching a sunset at the beach really drives this home. When the sun first touches the horizon you think it’ll take a while for it to disappear. But before you know it the sun plunges into the water. It’s such a vivid and stark reminder that time passes by so very quickly. Use it wisely. Take advantage of it. Don’t let it slip away.
  2. Life is filled with colors of all kinds. When the sun sets the colors in the sky are almost indescribable. They change. They blend from one into another. They dance in front of your eyes. In light of recent events, we’re all too aware of the stark differences there area amongst people in our country. At the risk of being too simplistic, our diversity is our strength. The variety of people, interests, skills, gifts, talents, and, yes, colors makes life interesting. Yes, it sometimes makes it frustrating, too. But if we were all the same there would be nothing but monotony.
  3. There is light even after the sunset. If you watch the sunset at the beach you will notice that it’s still light even after the sun sets. The afterglow is beautiful to watch. You recognize that daylight doesn’t go away, it simply moves to another part of the world. The lesson is that even when life seems dark — or darkest — light is still shining somewhere. It may not be evident. But it’s there. The daylight will dawn again.

Value time. Appreciate diversity. Daylight will dawn.

What does a sunset teach you?

When Change Comes at Just the Right Time

Something earth shattering is taking place in the next couple of weeks. Our congregation is going to a brand new format for our worship folders (bulletins). Change is never easy. But for some unknown reason, change seems to be especially difficult in Christian congregations. To be fair, people like to be comfortable in church. Transitions are apt to move people out of their comfort zones. And that can be difficult.

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So we’re moving from a 14-page book-like thing, to a large, tri-fold piece of paper. The entire service will no longer be printed out. The new format will include an outline of the service, announcements, prayer requests, a weekly schedule, and all kinds of other information. We already present the entire service on screens in front of the church. Now people will be reliant on those screens and the hymnals in their hands. It’ll be “hard.” It’s a big change.

But maybe this change is coming at just the right time. The new church year is starting. After a long, hot Florida summer people seem just a little bit complacent. We’re on the verge of some major renovations and repairs to our buildings and property. So maybe, just maybe, this little jolt will be enough to bring a bit of life and light a little spark. In the grand scheme of things it’s small; but it’s big enough to open some eyes.

Here’s what can happen when change comes at just the right time:

  1. It shakes people out of complacency. When things are the same day after day, or week after week, it’s easy to get lulled into a sense of sameness. People get too comfortable. Comfort is OK for a couch or for a good night’s sleep. But when you’re trying to move forward and accomplish things comfort can hold you back. A little discomfort can be good for people or groups trying to move forward in significant ways.
  2. It breaks people of monotony. When boredom sets in it’s tough to get people motivated. But when they’re just a bit on edge their eyes are opened, their senses are heightened, and their wills are piqued. Responsible change breaks monotony and often inspires motivation.
  3. It wakes people to new possibilities. When even small change takes place it allows people to see that larger change can be good, and possible, as well. If we can make it through the trials and challenges of smaller change, our brains are awakened to the fact that overcoming larger obstacles might just be possible as well.

So, we’ll see how the new bulletin format goes. But I’m even more interested to see how the larger changes and challenges on the horizon are met. I’m willing to bet that they’ll be met with a bit of skepticism and fear. But I’m also willing to bet that the same skepticism and fear will turn into massive motivation and larger victories ahead. Stay tuned

What’s your attitude when you face changes in your life?