On January 1st I wrote the post 5 Things I Want To Do In The New Year-A 2009 Preview. I got a lot of encouragement for the goals that I set, as well as some questions to their vagueness and what it all meant. I agree, they were vague, especially to the outsider. But that’s because I have been in the process of needing/trying to define the steps that would get me to the values that I was aiming for.

You can see the list below that I wrote:

  1. Less is More. Or as Tony Steward put it, Doing Less Better. These last couple of years have been ones of juggling too many things…I feel as if I’m in a constant state of trying to keep the things that I’m juggling from hitting the ground. That is not a good feeling.
  2. Pruning. I love John 15, and I think that if I’m going to bear “more fruit” in my life, I need to start pruning…letting go of some things.
  3. Focus. It’s hard to focus on things when my attention is scattered in so many different directions. There are 1-2 things that I want to devote most of my attention to this year.
  4. Cut Out Distractions. What are those things in my life that distract me. I have given serious consideration to those and will be cutting aka “pruning” some of those things out of my life.
  5. Online Translates Into Offline. I’ve written about this already here, and will continue to do so.

So what does that practically look like in my life?  Though this is a work in progress, and things may continue to evolve for me, let me give you some insight into how I’m approaching things.  And hopefully in the process this will be of encouragement to you.

  1. Less is More: I’ve decided to cut certain elements of my life out that led me to do more and more and more.  I have decided not to write for anymore blogs (on a consistent basis) this year but my blog and Leadership Network where I post book reviews for them.  There were several other blogs I was writing for and it was just too much.  I’ve decided to watch less TV.  It was too easy to come home and sit on the couch after an exhausting day.  My wife and I created some goals and we have them on our whiteboard hanging up.  But we have mandatory no TV watching days in our house.  So less TV.  I have decided to take on less projects, especially if they don’t help me hone in on my focused goals.  This is more hard to explain but I had my hand in a lot of things, and I just can’t do that anymore.  I need to start saying no.
  2. Pruning: I call this one pruning because it seems more painful to me…but I have been working hard on my book for the last year or more and it has been overwhelming in some ways, very difficult and at times self-absorbing.  I have had to step back and put that on the backburner for now.  That is a real challenge for me because I have always wanted to write a book but it became so consuming that I wondered if it’s what God really wanted of me right now.  So pruning that out.
  3. Focus: Because of my desire to have my hands in so many things I lack focus.  2009 is going to be the year that I focus and bring clarity to some things in my life.  I have decided to filter my decision making process (when it comes to choosing things) through 3 things.  Does it help/hinder my desire to focus on counseling and build a private practice?  Does it help/hinder my desire to serve people in the church in the area of pastoral care?  Does it help/hinder my ability to be a voice in the world of technology/social and the church?  That may not be so clear to all of you, but for me I know what I need to do.  It’s like sifting things through a sieve until all that is unnecessary is displaced.  And my blog is going to be more focused.  I have specific issues and a specific voice I want to bring to the conversation.  Hopefully you will see that manifest itself this year in my writing.
  4. Cut Out Distractions: Obviously some overlap, but we have cut out a lot of TV.  We got rid of cable down to the basics.  I have put limits on my internet/computer time which I struggle with.  I have put rules on when and where I can have my cell phone and am considering getting rid of my data plan…considering.
  5. Online Translates Into Offline: Did you read Friday’s post?  I’m off to a good start.

Like I said at the top.  This is a continual work in progress, so I will continue to share and continue to clarify.  There are lots of things that my wife and I sat down in regards to our goals, desires for 2009…but for now, I’m sharing with you what I’m doing, especially as it relates to my work and blogging.