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Growing Leaders Blog

on Leading the Next Generation


The One Thing I Do at the Beginning of Each Year

Yesterday, I blogged about a ritual I perform at the end of every year, for the last twenty-nine years. Today, I will share with you a second ritual I do, as a follow up. It enables me to enter a new year “on purpose.”  After I invest a morning reviewing the previous year, I spend the second half of the day previewing the new year. Once again, I think, I write and I pray as I open a new chapter of my life.

I don’t simply create a list of goals, although some of the items I will list below feel a lot like a “goal.” I like to view it as an “action” list and a “standard” list. What are the actions I plan to take, and what are the standards I plan to live by over the next year?

photo credit: creepyed via photopin cc

photo credit: creepyed via photopin cc

Here are the issues I address to create the goals, actions and standards for 2015:

  1. What are my greatest dreams for 2015?  What projects will these dreams require of me? What daily actions must I engage in to fulfill them?
  2. What standards will I live by, throughout the next year:
    • Health Standards
    • Family Standards
    • Financial Standards
    • Friendship Standards
    • Personal / Spiritual Standards
  3. In what areas of my life do I most want to grow in 2015?
  4. What books will I read this next year to achieve those growth goals?
  5. What mentors will I seek out to achieve those growth goals?
  6. What magazines will I scan and file to achieve those growth goals?
  7. What events will I attend to achieve those growth goals?
  8. What podcasts (audio recordings) will I listen to, to help me grow?
  9. What will I do Monday through Friday to be intentional about my growth?

I want to be better in January of 2015 than I was January 2014. To do this, I have found that the issue is not prioritizing your schedule but rather scheduling your priorities.  This means I must put into my calendar those things I say are the most important habits and attitudes I can embrace. Our character is simply made up of the habits and attitudes we possess daily.



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1 Comment

  1. Marcy on January 7, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Happy New Year, Tim — I just discovered your site/blog & LOVE what I’ve seen so far! The endeavor of raising leaders (and of course BEING leaders in order to do so) resonates deeply with the message I’ve been bringing since my book “Parenting for Peace” came out a couple years ago: If we really want to change the world, we need to raise a generation who are “hardwired” for peace — whose brain circuitry is mapped (from the very beginning) to express the leadership capacities you are all about!

    The habits & attitudes of parents figure SO strongly in this picture, which is why your stuff speaks to me. In the spirit of your wonderful post here about charting a healthy new attitude course at New Year’s, may I humbly offer something that I think complements it well, especially for parents?

    Wishing you & your community a vibrant, flourishing 2015!

    Marcy Axness, PhD
    author, “Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers”

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The One Thing I Do at the Beginning of Each Year