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Growing Leaders Blog

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The One Thing I Do at the Beginning of Each Year

Yesterday, I blogged about a ritual I have performed at the end of every year, for the last twenty-seven 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?

Here are the issues I address to create the goals, actions and standards for 2013:

1. What are my greatest dreams for 2013?  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 2013?

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 2014 than I was January 2013. 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.

This week, I’ll post a video blog that compliments what I’ve shared here. If you don’t have an action plan, feel free to try mine.


  1. Greg on December 27, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Tim, your passion to improve is an encouragement to me. Appreciate you sharing your method of reviewing and previewing the year. Thank you for all you do to make a difference and help leaders rise above going through life mindlessly and take advantage of what God has blessed us so richly with…life. Pray your 2013 is a great one! Thank you.

    • Tim Elmore on December 31, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      Thanks so much, Greg! I hope that 2013 is a tremendous year for you as well!

  2. Robera on December 31, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Tim,Do you know that you have a daily follower in Ethiopia(East Africa).
    Every time I check my Email-one of the very few reasons is to check for your newsletter.May you keep up the good work.blessed!

    • Tim Elmore on December 31, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      Thanks for taking time to comment – that’s so encouraging to know that I have someone following all the way from Ethiopia! I hope the posts are helpful and that you are blessed in your work!

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The One Thing I Do at the Beginning of Each Year