How To Be Confident Of Your Choices In 2017

A Simple Way To Use Focus And Create A Remarkable Year

How to be confident of your choices in 2017

Do you ever find it hard to have focus? 

I do. Focus isn’t always the easiest quality to master. 

Earlier this year, I had to move my home office downstairs because I had back surgery and there simply wasn’t any way I could go up and down the stairs at the time.

So my wife helped me to move all (or nearly all) my books downstairs where I could have access to them. Books have always brought me comfort. Reading is a stress-relieving activity for me. Needless to say, I was so happy that I could have my favorite books within reach.

As I’ve progressed, getting up the stairs became routine again. Within a couple of months, it was no longer an issue, so I really wanted to move my office back upstairs, which I eventually did. The only bad thing was all my books were still downstairs.

[clickToTweet tweet=”What you do flows out of who you are. #focus #faith #2017resolutions ” quote=”What you do flows out of who you are. ” theme=”style2″]

Well today, I finished getting them all back upstairs and organized. Secretly, I have huge perfectionist tendencies, which make me unfocused if I’m not careful, so it took me quite a while to get my books the way I wanted them to be.

I sorted through my favorite authors and placed everything on the shelf so that I could quickly see exactly what I wanted to see with only a glance.

OK…I said all that in order to ask you this:

Did you have the clarity and focus this year to quickly see what you needed to see in life with only a glance? Or was it extremely hard to make decisions because nothing ever seemed clear and you weren’t sure what to do? 

Being unclear about life is hard, and that’s the way I used to live.  

Every. Single. Year. 

Is there something to be said for taking life as it comes? Sure there is, but you still need some sort of framework to make things a little simpler. You don’t want to struggle over every single choice. There needs to be a clear road marker for your life each year.

Several years ago I stumbled onto a simple way to create massive amounts of focus in my life. Since then, I’ve heard many people talking about doing the same thing I do. It helps so much.

Having focus is simple when you do this one thing: Have a direction and be clear about it. 

Clear direction sets you up to get where you want to be or where you think you’re supposed to be. It’s like having a sign on the road to tell you if you’re going the right way.

Now, that all sounds good, but if you’re like me, you’ve also stumbled over the fact that it is not easy to have a clear direction. We try to set a direction for our life through things like goals, visions, plans, or even the dreaded new year’s resolution. None of it seems to work because you eventually hit a decision point…someplace that requires a choice, and you’re not sure which choice is right.

Here’s the reason: We usually try to build focus in our life by defining what we want to do.

But that approach will only get you so far before it starts to crumble.

Here’s why: You can’t define your life by what you do. 

Life is deeper than what we do. Life is about who we are. So if you want to create massive focus and the ability to make better choices, you need to define your life by who you want to be.

Deep down on the inside, who is it that you want to be?

[clickToTweet tweet=”Life is deeper than what we do. Life is about who we are. #focus #faith #2017 #newyear” quote=”Life is deeper than what we do. Life is about who we are.” theme=”style2″]

Here’s where we miss it: What you do flows out of who you are. 

Focus (and life) doesn’t work real well when you turn the equation around. You’ve probably seen the terrible crash and burn that happens when people try to do things…and then do more things…and do things again, all in the hope that their “doing” will make them into the person they desire to be.

The way to create real focus in your life is by working hard on your character so that who you are produces what you want to do.

Here’s the best way I’ve found to easily work on who I am and become more confident in my choices, it’s a simple way to use focus, and it will create a remarkable year if you use it.

Choose. Your. Words.

Let me explain…

At the end of each year, I choose around three words that will define who I hope to become over the course of the next year. They may be verbs that tell me what actions I want to take, or the words I choose could simply be descriptive of the type of person I want to be.

To be clear, I pray about the words that I designate as my words of the year. They aren’t random words that I haphazardly choose. These are the one, two, or three words that I will use as a filter for every choice and every decision throughout the coming year, so they have to be spot on with what I feel God wants to create in my heart. 

Also, it makes maintaining focus so much easier when you feel as though God has directed your steps in the direction you’re pursuing. If you are going to use this method, don’t skip spending the time with God that you need to spend so that He can guide you and speak to you.

With all that being said, let me give you an example of what I’m talking about by telling you my three words for 2017.

My words are kindness, humility, and believe.

It’s not that I’ve never possessed these qualities or used them before, I just have a goal to increase in these areas in 2017. I want these words to describe who I am…because I know if these words are who I am, they will produce what I ultimately want to do.

With every new choice that presents itself next year I will ask myself: 

  • Does this make me a kind person?
  • Would deciding this express humility?
  • Will acting or speaking in this manner cause me to believe more deeply in God and in who He’s forming me to be?

This year I want people to be able to describe me as a kind person who displays kind actions. It’s an area in which I need work. I want to remain humble in heart and mind because it will produce thankfulness in my heart that overflows in my life. God rejects the proud but lifts up the humble. I certainly don’t want to be the sort of person that God pushes back from. Most of all, I want to be a person of deep belief. Deep faith. Scripture says that even the smallest faith can move a mountain, and if you’re like me there are probably some mountains in your life that need to be moved.

So my prayer in 2017 will be, “God help me to be kind, humble, and to believe.”

I will filter my choices and actions with these words. They will become the direction I want my life to go, so when presented with a new path or opportunity, it is easy to see if I should pursue it or not. Will it make me kind, humble, or increase my power to believe? If so, it is probably good for me, if it doesn’t, I need to stay away from it.

But what about you? 

Do you know who you want to be next year? Do you have a clear thought about who you’re becoming? If not, now is the time to pray about it. What you do always flows out of who you are, so in 2017 resolve to work on who you are.

OK…I really hope you’ll get the picture of what I’m talking about and put this into practice for yourself because it makes focus so much easier. My three words for 2016 have guided me all year long, and as I look back, I clearly see the hand of God in the words I chose. I can’t wait for 2017 because I already know where I’m going.

Here’s what to do:

  • Spend time meditating and praying about who you are on the inside.

  • Ask God to reveal who He wants you to become.

  • Listen. Write down what you hear.

  • Choose one to three words that will guide who you want to become in 2017.

  • Find a place to display your words where they stay at the forefront of your mind.

  • Tell someone the words you’ve chosen to guide you and why.

I sincerely hope you have the best possible year in 2017, and I firmly believe you can. If you feel like you can’t do it alone, you don’t have to. Sign up below and I’ll help you stay motivated throughout the year.

Now would you do me a favor? Share this post with the share buttons and help a friend have a better next year too!


Live Your Dreams Today With These Three Steps

live your dreams

Here’s the deal…You may not have a tomorrow. We are never promised tomorrow. With that in mind, here’s the question…Do you want to live your dreams, today?

Most people would probably have to answer “yes”. You’re probably one of those people. We tend to get caught up in day to day life and to live your dreams is pushed to the back burner. Making a living, raising a family, taking care of responsibilities becomes the language that we speak.

Dreams are just that…dreams.

But what if there was a way to live your dreams today? Don’t you think you’d do it if you could?

You’ve got a dream. Everyone does. Culture teaches us that dreams are these huge, world changing ideas…and sometimes they are. Here’s what I say…Live your dreams on a smaller scale and you can start to live your dreams now.

You dream of having more time with your family. You dream of having a job that you really love. You dream of doing the things that you really want to do. You dream of making the difference you believe you were meant to make.

Instead of letting those dreams remain in your heart…why not live your dreams today? I believe you can. You can reach your dreams. There’s a way to live  your dreams today. You just have to find it.

Here’s what to do:

1.) Define your dream.

Is your dream to make more money? (undefined)

Or is your dream to pay off a specific credit card that would allow a specific amount of cash to be put back into your family’s income stream? (defined)

Here’s the deal…I think most people categorize dreams as far away goals that they hope to someday reach. The bad news about that sort of thinking is someday usually never comes. You can spend your life dreaming about someday or you can define the steps to your dream, and live your dreams today in bite sized pieces.

How much could it help if you started defining bite sized pieces of your dream? How quickly could you reach your overall goals if they were broken down into executable parts? You could take action on those parts today. You could live your dreams today. Wouldn’t it be an awesome feeling to know that you did something today to live your dreams.

For me this blog is part of that process. I have a message. “Wouldn’t it be great to write a book for that message”, is what I ask myself. You know what? I could choose to sit on that dream and hope that someday I have the opportunity to write, or I could publish small pieces of that message every week.

Live your dreams every chance you get…in fact, make chances.

It’s taken me a while to see the value of defining my dream. But once I did it became much easier to take action on it. Living it out a little bit each day has been awesome! If you want to live your dreams today…define them.

2.) Take action.

Dreams don’t change the world. People who take action on them do.

You know what stopped me from taking action? Fear. Fear of failing. Fear of looking foolish. Fear of people not understanding.

Eventually you have to punch fear in the face if you ever intend to take action on your dream.

If you’ve defined your dream and broken it down into actionable steps…then step. Take action. Put your dream to work. You’ll be so glad that you did. You can do this thing you dream of doing.

The only thing that can stop your dream is you.

People of all ages go back to school to get their degree. Why? It’s a way to take action on their dream. People start businesses. They write books. People just like you change their life by taking action.

Who says you can’t take a step toward your dream?

Here’s a question for you…What action step could you take today to propel you towards your goals and dreams?

Answer that question in the comments below. Put it in writing where someone can see it. Put yourself out there. Sometimes the simple act of writing down your dream, or the step to your dream can make it seem more concrete. Putting it where other people can see it makes it more real and makes you feel more accountable.

3.) Live in the moment.

When you’re pursuing your dream in small, actionable steps, you have to learn to live in the moment. If not you’ll be discouraged. Discouragement is not what I want for you. In fact, one of the core values this blog represents is encouraging people.

Living in the moment allows you to enjoy how you can live your dreams today.

This is really hard for me. I’m a planner. Maybe you are too. Planners want to see the big goal accomplished. We’ve planned it out. We want it. Living in the moment seems like wasted time to a planner because you are constantly planning your next move. Be careful about doing that though. Planning is good; but it can rob you of living your dream in the moment and really enjoying it.

Here’s what you have to remember…small pieces of your dream, lived in the moment, add up over time.

My dad has a dream to reach people in Mexico with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He’s not a missionary by trade. He has a secular job just like most people do. But I’ve seen him take many trips to Mexico to build churches, orphanages, and bible schools. What was he doing? He was living out his dream in the moment. Taking actionable steps towards his goal. Feeling the satisfaction of knowing that he did what he could.

Are you living in the moment? Are you doing what you can to pursue your dream today? You can. I hope you will.

I hope this post has encouraged you to live your dreams. Reach for them everyday.

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Have a great day!

3 Powerful Secrets You Can Learn From Bowhunting

You Can Challenge Your Faith To Grow

Hunting with a gun is one thing. Bowhunting is something entirely different. I realize this post may seem a little different from my usual posts…but this hobby of mine has a few secrets that will really help you in life. So I wanted to share them. Before I do, let me say this: God will help you with everything in your life. For these secrets to work best, you have to build your faith. The only real way to do that is through a personal relationship with Christ.

Romans 10:13 – For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

3 Powerful Secrets You Can Learn From Bowhunting:

Secret #1 – Patience is necessary to get what you want.

In life things don’t always come easy. You have to work at it if you want to accomplish anything of real, lasting value. Most often, anything good in life will involve having patience. I’ve really learned that lesson this year. During the times that I sat in a tree stand I learned…Patience is hard. No one really likes to have it.

You know why people would rather talk about being patient instead of practicing it? Because patience involves waiting. No one wants to wait. But often the best opportunities come from simply waiting. Other people jump on the quick or the easy thing. When you wait you get the chance to receive the best thing. Now…Go be patient.

Secret # 2 – Good things take a significant investment.

One thing that I’ve learned by watching other really successful hunters is they make a huge investment. Time, money, effort, waiting, learning, practicing…all of these things and more are required to be a great hunter.

It’s the same in our day to day life. You’re not going to get something good for free. If you want to see growth and positive things start to take hold in your life…invest in it. Yes, it may cost you time, money, effort, waiting, learning, or practicing…but in the end you’ll be glad that you made the investment in your life that you needed to make. The funny thing about investments is they eventually pay off. Now…Go invest.

Secret # 3 – When your opportunity comes, don’t miss it.

I had the opportunity to harvest a deer this year. It was a great experience to take it up close, with my bow. I don’t really see myself wanting to do it any other way.

Here’s what I realized in that moment:

  • You need to have the skills in place to take advantage of the opportunity. When your moment of opportunity comes, you can’t take the time to get ready. You need to be ready.
  • You can’t get shaky. Don’t let excitement, fear, the unknown, or anything else keep you from using the skills you’ve worked hard to put in place.
  • Take aim…Release your arrow. You can’t aim forever. At some point you have to release. What does that mean for you? You may have to actually take action. All the learning, investing, working, and waiting have all been for this one moment. So shoot when you have the chance. Now…Go get your opportunity.

There you go. 3 secrets that you can pick up from bowhunting, use them in your own life.

Faith Building Challenge

Sometimes we know we need a little push, but we can’t seem to do it on our own. My five-day faith building challenge is the little push you need to jump start your faith. In it, you will find easy, actionable, and strategic steps to help you build your faith. I would love the opportunity to help you along the way. To join the challenge, sign up below, and I’ll send you an email to get you started.

4 Keys To Changing Your Life’s Direction At The Right Time

Do you wish you could change something in your life? Chances are you do. At some point you’re  going to desire change in at least one area of your life.

You’ve probably heard the old adage, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”. But…in our life it’s not always that simple. Sometimes things get complicated. There are hard decisions to be made…relationships that need attention…things that you want to accomplish.

There’s a time in life when we shouldn’t quit. In fact, I wrote a post about that very topic here. On the other hand, there are times when change is needed.

As a Christian, I believe that God has something to say about our life. Specifically, I think He wants to guide you to the best possible outcome in life. That means He wants to help you know when to change.

There isright time to shift your direction in life. If you are paying attention and listening to God…I believe recognizing that time has some simple keys. Admittedly, these keys come from my perspective as a Christian…They’re things that I’ve personally lived out. I’m sure that there’s many other times that a person could recognize in life as a time to change direction…But these four indicators come from my personal experiences.

4 Keys To Changing Your Life’s Direction At The Right Time:

1.) When you feel you’re going in the wrong direction and the feeling refuses to go away over a long time.

Let’s clarify…a LOT of people probably feel like they’re going in the wrong direction from time to time. That’s not what I’m talking about. This indicator is derived from a spiritual standpoint. It’s when you come to the conclusion that God is pushing you to change directions in an area of your life. You simply can’t find relief from this nagging feeling; and there’s a valid reason for that. It’s because God won’t leave you alone about it. If you’re feeling that it’s time for a change…and that feeling won’t go away no matter what you do…then it may be time to really pray about whether God has a new direction for your life.

2.) When you positively know in your heart that God has changed your direction.

If you know down deep that God is moving you and changing you, then give in to that. To do anything else will be worse than counter productive. To stay when God pushes you to go is actually going against God’s plan for your life. God will bless you if you’re obedient.

3.) When there is confirmation to change from an outside source that wasn’t aware of your internal debate.

For starters…that’s a lot to say! But what I mean is simply this: Sometimes God uses people to confirm what He’s saying to us. Any time you question in your heart about whether or not God is leading you to change something, or go in a different direction, you are having an internal debate. Other people aren’t aware of this debate. For example, I’ve had moments in my life when someone spoke something to me that clarified everything about my decisions; and they were completely unaware of it. It’s like God confirmed something in my heart that couldn’t have happened any other way.

4.) When God clearly gives you a call to action that ignites your passion and you’re compelled to fulfill it.

This happened to the apostle Paul in the book of Acts.

Acts 9:1–8

1 Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest.

2 He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.

3 As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him.

4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting!

6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

7 The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one!

8 Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus.

Not everyone’s call to action will be so dramatic.

But usually at some point in life, a believer will experience some sort of call from God. In fact, I believe God has a plan and purpose for every person. A call from God may be life long, long term, or short term. The important thing to remember is that God has a unique purpose for your life that will, at some point, push you out of your current direction. Being open to this will put your life in a place where God can use you and bless you.

Here’s what to do:

  • Schedule a time to pray and seek God about your upcoming decisions.
  • Pray about your current direction and ask God if it’s still the right one.
  • Ask God to lead you in your family, finances, and future.

Doing these simple things could save you trouble, bring peace of mind, and lead you into God’s blessings.

To Keep Your Dream Alive Remember This One Simple Thing


Maybe this year hasn’t turned out exactly as you planned.

Every year I have plans that are laid aside because of setbacks, resource issues, or just plain bad luck. It happens to everyone. No one is immune to the fact that sometimes plans don’t work out.

This year may have been one of those years for you. Several years ago, I learned a principle that has helped me to keep focus even when plans don’t go just right. And here’s the deal…many times your plans are really more than just plans…they are the starting points of what you hope grows into the fulfillment of your dream.

Whether it’s beginning a new small business, or parenting your children better, even becoming a more faithful christian…the best laid plans don’t always work out; and sometimes those plans have to do with your dream for your life

Some things are planned out of necessity. Other things are planned because they point us towards our dream. When those plans don’t seem to work out, it can really get us down.

To keep your dream alive remember this one simple thing…

Plans are measured in months…Vision is measured in years.

Plans are just that…they are short term goals that help us reach a preferred future. Your vision is your preferred future. Vision is what you hope your life becomes or what you desire to accomplish in your life. Simply put…Vision is a long term idea of what you want your future to look like.

We all have a vision for our life of some kind, even if we’ve never put it into words.

But here’s the problem…We let the failure of short term plans knock us off the path to reaching our long term vision. Don’t fall for that trap.

One of the best things I’ve ever learned is this: plans change, vision doesn’t.

There are many possible plans that God can use to point you toward your vision. Just because something didn’t work out quite right this year doesn’t mean that the world has ended and your dream is impossible…no…a thousand times no!

I believe that your vision is in your heart for a reason. In fact, I believe that God gifts every human being with a unique vision for their life. It’s part of our work to find it, and (with God’s help) make a plan to capture it.

Beginning this blog, among other things is for me, a step towards my dream. It’s what I feel is a God-given dream.

Remember this:

Dreams don’t come true over night.

Dreams require work, sweat, and sometimes tears. Your best plans are the short term means to a long term end…and plans change…

Plans are measured in months, vision is measured in years.

If you want next year to be better and put you closer to your dream…Here’s what to do:

1.) Learn to roll with it.

Life is going to throw you into things you didn’t expect. Life is tricky like that. When something comes up that’s outside of your plan…learn to adjust…learn to roll with it…learn to change quickly. Where I live, we have an active whitetail deer population. Sometimes at night, those deer like to cross the highway. Many times I’ve found my headlights staring down an unlucky deer that just happened to be crossing my path. I’ve learned that in that situation, quick thinking and change is an absolute necessity if you don’t want to crash. It happened to me again just two nights ago. Bottomline…something unexpected is going to cross your path this year and you are going to either plow right into it and wreck your life, or you’re going to make some quick adjustments and roll with it. Which one will you do?

2.) Live day by day…plan year by year.

One of the best things I’ve ever done is make an overall yearly plan. I’m always surprised by how many people have a great dream; but they never make a plan to reach it. If vision is long term, then it makes sense to look further down the road. You need a yearly plan. Set aside some time to see where you’re going next year. It will help you all year long. I promise.

3.) Review what happened this year.

Figure out what could’ve and should’ve changed. Think about what went right. There’s no better way to see where your life is headed than to look in the rearview mirror and see where you’ve been.

4.) Determine what personal changes you need for next year.

Author and consultant Chris Brogan, mentions finding three words that you want to describe your life next year. I love this. I’m already finding the words that I feel God wants to describe me next year. This is a simple, powerful way to point your personal life towards the direction of your dream.

5.) Stick with your dream.

You are going to encounter difficulty. That’s a given…in every difficulty you have a choice. To stick with your dream or to abandon it. Let me ask you a question…What are you going to miss out on if you don’t reach your dream? Maybe you’ll miss out on seeing your kids go to college…maybe you’ll miss out on finding your career…maybe you’ll miss out on something God has waiting for your life. Is it really worth it to miss out on your dream simply because you give in to the pressure of short term difficulty? Stick with your dream.

Question: What are you going to do differently next year to put you closer to reaching your dream?

Please answer this question in the comments box below. I’d love to hear your feedback!