December 31, 2017
TWELVE MONTHS EARLIER
A few weeks ago I was at dinner with a couple friends of mine, Travis and Bobbi Schaben, when Bobbi asked me this question. “Chris, if I were to hand you a piece of paper with only the date December 31, 2017 written on the top, at the end of this year, what would it say that you accomplished?” (Source: question originated from Bobbi’s friend Skyla Mann). She wasn’t asking me to write what I would like to accomplish, rather what I HAVE accomplished. I love this!
I must admit I did not have much of a list to provide her. Yet her question rang in my mind over and over the next two days. What was my trajectory for 2017? Where are my priorities? What must I accomplish? I began to take immediate action. [First it’s important to understand the question and my responses are coming from the new business I am setting up around coaching men and writing discipleship curriculum for HITOP Ministries]. I sat down and built out a mind map on a piece of paper of what I would do that coming week. I added time with my family as this is critical to me and needs to remain a focus at all times.
THEN I GOT AFTER IT
I had an idea! To start my December 31, 2017 list, I needed One Move that I would take to drive my purpose forward. I choose to use something I heard from Mitch Matthews. "Give yourself permission to take small but significant steps to move forward."
My One Move was to setup connections and listen to men, who I respect, and knew how to accomplish the goals I am trying to achieve. Next thing I knew, my requests for connections turned into phone calls and the phone calls turned into action plans. My first call, with Ben Weaver, challenged, inspired, and encouraged me to trust God in my entrepreneurship journey. Next I met with my mentor and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. His leadership, inspiration, and support of my aspirations made me feel so loved. I wrapped the week up with Aaron Walker and Scott Beebe, who within 25 minutes helped me to develop and streamline my focus. I found that my passion to help men to: LOVE, Listen, and Lift Up, was being reciprocated to me and all within the week. Doors were opening, people were sharing their hearts with me and I was giving my heart to them. The encouragement was amazing. I felt empowered and alive!
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Perhaps as you get going you find yourself struggling with what to add to your list. That’s OK. Your wrestling is a healthy approach to making sure the items on the list are worth pursuing. It’s good to have quick wins, but don’t cheat yourself from thinking big. Ask yourself, “What is on my list if I remove all barriers (financial, time, resources, etc.)” and then write those down as well.
Do you remember the first Karate Kid movie? The climax of the film was when Daniel LaRusso received a blow to the knee in the semi-finals of the tournament. Seemingly unable to go on and having to forfeit the tournament to his arch rival Johnny. Daniel, having worked so hard and feeling a sense of need to prove to himself that he has what it takes, called to his trainer, Mr. Miyagi. He asked him to perform a pain suppression technique which would allow him to continue. Some may believe that this was the “One Move” that Daniel choose to make, but in fact it is not. What happens next is Daniel performs the “Crane” stance, which I believe was his One Move. It positioned him to:
- Protect himself
- Deliver a victory
If you haven’t seen the movie, Daniel delivers a blow to Johnny’s chin, winning the tournament. While everything seemed to be against him, Daniel believed and stood victorious.
You too need to believe. I encourage you to turn to James 1:5 and “ask God for wisdom, who gives it generously to all without finding fault, and (trust) it will be given.” Partner with God to complete your list and I assure you the items will be right, but whatever door He opens no one can shut. Trust God when something on your list does not unfold the way you may have preferred or thought, because whatever door He closes, no one can open. Trust and Believe.
LEARN – EVALUATE – ADJUST – MOVE ON
Throughout this year you will learn a lot, especially if you are serious about moving forward. You need to evaluate the things that have worked or presented resistance. Try new areas or ideas. Then make the proper adjustments and move on. Before you know it, it will be December 31, 2017 and you will be looking back to your list and celebrating the accomplishments. Yes, there will things you did not finish, new items added late in the year, and some you end up carrying into your December 31, 2018 list, but this is a process and there is no silver bullet. Your walk looks different than mine. But, as long as you remain faithful to learning, evaluating, and adjusting along the way, with a touch of trust and belief, your list will be filled and so will your heart and those you impact.
ONE LAST THING, GET HELP
I recommend you get in or setup a mastermind group. This is a group of like-minded individuals who come together to share resources, encourage, edify, and lift-up weekly. While there is a sense of accountability, it usually does not get to the intimate level. This is why I also recommending you get into another group called an accountability group. This group will help you get to that intimate level. Your accountability group is 3-5 people of the same sex (either all men or all women) who share and challenge each other on the intimate details of their life. This is done to make sure you are protecting yourself from making poor decisions that could hurt your family, you, and your relationships, not to mention the items on you put on your December 31, 2017 list.
TIME IS TICKING
You and I each have about 340 days left in this year. Make it today that you start your list and show yourself that you can accomplish the dreams you seek. At a minimum start working toward that. I would love to encourage you in any way I can, so be sure to reach out to me on my contact page.
December 31, 2017 will arrive before you know it, so don’t delay. The world needs to experience what you have to share!