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Moving Ahead Step by Step

My Friend Debbie      Last month, I wrote on Kingdom Influence and stewardship, holding off on talking about goals and dreams. This month, I will link the influence and stewardship with dreams and goals.

     Let's drill down a bit. In November, I discussed life categories. For more than 10 years, I've worked with these 10 specific categories:spiritual life, marriage/single life, family and children, work, church/ministry, financial stewardship, physical stewardship, personal development, social stewardship, recreation and hobbies. I first became aware of these life categories through Russell West and Doug Fike in 1998 and more recently have used them professionally through Lifeforming Coaching.

     Through prayerful consideration, think and pray about where you would like to be in each category in the next year, three years, five years and 10 years. Then think specifically about where your attention, efforts and resources need to go. The truth is everything cannot be a priority. We don't have the capacity to be working on 10 priorities at the same time. What is most important to God, you and your life calling?

     For the past three years, my family has been a priority to me. That might sound odd coming from a single woman, but I still have family. I've given significant attention, energy and resources to reconciling and building relationships and participating in family events and activities. My family has been through quite a bit which needed repair. On the outside, it may have seemed that I was NOT giving attention to other areas, but that was my choice as I focused on decisions and actions that would help me accomplish restoration and better family relationships. While I believe true reconciliation happens only through truth and Jesus, I know we have to do our part. God has been faithful. My Friend Debbie

     This year, family moves down to less of a priority. Relationships are good and healthy, and unimaginable healing and reconciliation has taken place in my family. With that area under control, my prime attention this year will be focused on physical stewardship (health) and career. The focus will bring about the desired results and accomplishment quicker. So here's how it would work. Let's take health as an example.

     An overarching desire is to be healthier at the end of the year than I am now. What might that look like? For me, that would be increased stamina and healthier eating habits. So keep going, what would be the evidence of these changes? I've chosen to train for an 8K run and to lose weight (I know I am pretty vulnerable here). The next thing to do is to consider the specifics. Changes typically don't last if they are radical, but, if done incrementally, they are enduring.

     The race officials of the particular 8K I am running have put a training schedule out for amateurs (I would be in that category). The schedule starts with times rather than miles. So day one is walk/run for 20 minutes. The changes continue, sometimes listing times, sometimes listing miles. Hear me on this: it takes time for this commitment to be lived out. Right now, I'm up to run/walking 25 minutes, but in two weeks, I&339;ll be up to 45 minutes, and the week before the race I'll be up to 60 minutes. So by the end of 11 weeks, if I follow the schedule and keep moving, I should be able to complete the 8K. By the way, the race is March 21 at the Virginia Beach, VA, oceanfront. My Friend Debbie

     Other components that pull this all together are encouragement and accountability. I have a friend who is committed to my success in this. She encourages me, challenges me and holds me accountable to the continued efforts of moving forward in this endeavor. All the components come together to help me accomplish what I have set out to do: prayer and faith, personal commitment, desire and a goal, incremental steps and changing habits, encouragement and accountability.

     Let me tie this all together. We gain a place of influence in the Kingdom, or anywhere really, by our commitments, faithfulness and actions. Consider how God would use you, and how your life goals would influence His Kingdom this year.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Diane Wiater, Ph.D.

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