Day 14 – The Starting Well Challenge: It’s Time to Take Action

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Photo Credit: eflon via Compfight cc (text added)

(You can find links to each day’s post and worksheets along with other helpful resources here: 2014 Starting Well Resource Page.)

(Click here for Day 14 Worksheets)

The whole purpose of these last two weeks was to help bring focus to your year so you can be more intentional about taking the action you need to take.

It’s this last part – intentional action – that can be difficult.

Two years ago, I went through a similar process for the first time. I took two days and wrote out everything: core values, key areas in my life, a vision of the ideal future and specific goals in each area, and habits or practices all geared to help me realize the vision of the ideal future in each area.

I discovered that as important as it was to go through that process, it wasn’t the silver bullet.

What the process gave me:

  • Self-accountability: I wrote the thing with my own hand. It was like a mirror showing me what I needed to work on at any given time.
  • Filter: It made some decisions easier for me.
  • Reminders: The picture I painted of ideal futures in each area reminded me of what I truly wanted, and what is possible. These reminders have been extremely helpful when I’m stuck in the muck of the day to day.

What it didn’t do was make me take action. No words on a piece of paper can do that.

What do you do from here?

Take action.

Use whatever tools you have at your disposal, whether you found them in this process or not, and take action.

The last few days of the Challenge have been built around making your plan more actionable. The main thing I hope we all do from here is this:

To boil it down and keep it simple:

Get to work on your top four. 

(Click here for Day 14 Worksheets)

What do you do if you struggle?

As I’m way too familiar with the struggle, let me offer some points to consider:

1. Keep it simple: If you feel overwhelmed by your lists and your battle lines and your goals and habits, pull back. Choose one thing and do it. One thing only.

2. Choose one theme: In light of keeping it simple, you might want to commit to one theme, word, or idea that anchors all of your efforts. Write that word at the top of  your master document and, even if you forget all other things, remember to filter by that one theme.

3. Forgive thyself: Nobody perfectly keeps habits, especially if this is a new thing. Simply forgive yourself, pick up where you left off, and continue.

4. You’re not in control (Part 1): Many of your goals are dependent on others (marriage, parenting, even work goals). You can’t force ‘better communication’ on someone. You can only do your part, unselfishly and with grace.

5. You’re not in control (Part 2): Children (especially young ones) or other people dependent on you will make keeping scheduled habits difficult. Give them and yourself some grace and just be intentional. You’ll figure out what works.

6. You can start over at any time: If you feel you need to hit a reset button, do it. Sit down, review your document, pick a new key goals to focus on or re-resolve to the ones you chose. Just keep it as simple as possible.

A Few Final Words

I hope your year is, above all, full of joy. Sometimes, I allow my determination to be productive trump simply enjoying the amazing blessings that happen to be in front of me at any given time.

May this Challenge and any plans or goals that emerged simply help you to steward your time, blessings, and relationships a little better.

As always, I invite and value any feedback. Drop a note in the comments or email me with suggestions for making any future versions of this Challenge better.

Have a wonderful 2014!

Don’t forget to click a social media button below and share this post if it’s helpful to you. Also, you can find links to each day’s post and worksheets along with other helpful resources here: 2014 Starting Well Resource Page.


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