2015 Annual Theme: “Change the Script!” It seems that I’ve built a life script of making excuses instead of working to bring out the best in me and those around me. In order to begin to bring out the best in me and in others, the script that plays in my head, I need to change the script that “writes” my life. Instead of striving to achieve a breadth of goals a mile wide and an inch deep, I choose to focus on areas that bring the greatest joy, satisfaction and return on investment.
Have you developed an annual theme that captures your desires in coming year? I would love to hear from you!
2015 Annual Plan
Last week, I shared my 2014 annual review. Putting forth what I learned in 2014, here is my annual plan for 2015:
Long term desires:
How to structure to move forward: Minimalize. Essentialize. Throw out about 90% of old key result areas.
Note: Just about all of these are process-oriented rather than SMART goals. As I move ahead in the year, I will need to tweak current processes and put new ones in place as occasions arise to move from vision into action.
Looking ahead, what are your desires for 2015? How do you plan for a new year? I’d love to hear from you!
2014 Summary: For my wife and I, this was a year of many transitions. My wife’s beloved grandmother, who loved me like one of her own sons, was called home to glory this past summer at 96 years old. Our oldest son got married in the summer, and our youngest son went off to college, leaving us as empty nesters. To “prepare us for this,” our daughter studied abroad in Great Britain. My sister moved in with us as she needed more care later in the summer. I started to transition into a larger pastoral role in our church. Then it became apparent that the “puzzle” of my own desires, God’s call, our family’s interests, our educational nonprofit, and church fit together better with me in a smaller role in the church and a larger role at our nonprofit. In the aftermath of all these things, I experienced a significant episode of depression required medical care and a break from church responsibilities. So, there were a number of goal set for 2014 that were not achieved. A result of this is a re-evaluation of goal-setting and annual planning for 2015.
2014: What went well?
What didn’t go well?
Bottom Line on evaluating 2014: In a year that felt like “failure,” there were an astounding number of successes. It’s important to keep “the big picture” in mind rather than to dwell on the negatives.
What went well with you in the past year? What lessons did you learn? I’d love to hear from you!
Back after a long absence! It’s a new year. My theme for this year is “Take Permission.” I’m indebted to Andy Traub of for the idea. “Take Permission” encapsulates so many things that I want to put into practice this year. The concept is that it’s as if we are waiting for someone to give us permission to what would be good for us and beneficial to others. We need to take permission instead of waiting for someone else to give permission
I’m taking permission to develop my walk with God. I’m taking permission to spend time in prayer and in the Scriptures. This is something that is not just going to happen on its own. What people want to “give permission” for are activities with tangible returns. Developing your walk with God may not have immediate, tangible returns, but it is something worth doing.
I’m taking permission to develop myself. For too long, I’ve allowed the unstated expectations of others to rule and direct me. I’m going to develop character and competence, knowing that time devoted to this is never wasted.
I’m taking permission to write. This is another solitary pursuit that may not have immediate, tangible returns, but one that is worth pursuing.
I’m taking permission to reach out to people. It’s time for me to take the initiative to reach out and build friendships rather than waiting for other to do so.
I’m taking permission to say “no.” By saying “no” to others, I can say “yes” to the things that are important.
Below is my annual review for 2012. I publish this, not because I think I did a great job or had an enormously successful year, but so that if you are looking to do something like this, this is a way to do it. I’m sure there are better ways to do this, but I thought I start with what I have. I would enjoy any comments or feedback that you would like to send my way.
2012: What went well?
Determined to preserve current life situation — place, income, lifestyle
Completed a marathon with Hannah (Charleston, January)
Entered Chattanooga Stage Race and completed first stage under cutoff time
Completed 2 50 K races
Signed up for a 50 mile race
Personal best in Half-Marathon
Read 27 books
Preached 23 times
Organized church missions conference
Taught Getting Things Done seminar at Providence Extension Program (the organization I teach for) annual meeting
Taught six classes at Providence Extension Program with perfect attendance
Support role in new Providence Extension Program campus start
Augmented GTD with life, long-term goals, annual review, and planning
Started 10 chapters per day Bible reading plan
Started journaling consistently
Organized and executed church missions conference
Got Hannah off to college
Stuart had excellent SAT score
Contentment level = highest ever
Did a better job identifying the onset of anger and preserving mental health
Stayed out of debt
Started contributing to retirement again
What didn’t go well?
Both Amy and Hannah were hospitalized this summer
One of my classes needs a redesign
My income went down so Amy has had to work more