- Your political bet will not be with you in your deathbed.
- Your political view should not be an excuse to demean and divide relationships.
- Your relationships are more important than your political view.
January is about to close and most of us has already forgotten that we have a goal or a resolution, a habit to break, or a fitness goal we want to achieve. Whatever goals or resolutions you have set, it is bound to be forgotten if we don’t have a system that will keep it.
I always have my goals written in paper or Evernote but I still find myself forgetting it along the way. Especially when life happens — Somebody in the family got sick, or I got stuck in traffic or my baby started crying. When these pressures and challenges come, it is so easy to give up and fall back to my old “good” routines.
However, we picked our goals and resolutions because we want a better life, a better way of living it and also a better way of representing Christ to other people. So this year I started building this system that has been helping me continue and stay motivated to execute what I have planned to do. Of course, any system will fail if there is no intention to achieve the goal. That is the “why” behind the goals that we set. If the “why” is set in place, the “how” will have the power to move. Here are my 4 effective steps to keep myself motivated.
Write it down and post it everywhere where you can always see it. I have mine posted in my study table. Some people post it in their refrigerators, some in their mirrors in the bathroom. Wherever it is, it’s important that you see it everyday.
Translate your goals into a calendar. What I mean by this is that you put it in your daily schedule. When our goals are not connected to a schedule, it is bound to be forgotten and eventually fail. We give time to anything or anyone we value. Whether that’s a date time with your wife or study time for your academics, it needs to be written in a calendar.
Get a coach. There will be times that your will to win will not be strong enough to do what you intended to achieve. Someone has to encourage you and challenge you to continue with your plans and goals. It can be your friend who is not necessarily an expert but someone who can speak strength and challenge your status quo. That can be your wife or husband who always sees you. It can be your pastor. Whoever you choose to be your coach, it is important that they’re willing to lift you up and challenge you to keep what you have set.
Celebrate. Our brains are wired for rewards. We all want to feel that we are winning and celebration is one way to feel we are winning. If we don’t get rewarded we usually get tired and stop doing what we plan to achieve. It can be a day were you can eat a cake after six days of hard physical training or it can be a planned day were you can sleep longer after six days of waking up very early. Celebration should be planned and consistent.
The good news is we still have time to improve and achieve what we have set. We can’t perfect the whole journey but we should not stop. God has given us the grace and strength to have self-discipline and experience life to the full.
What has been your biggest challenge accomplishing your goals this year? How do you plan to improve it?
What does NBA Golden State Warriors 2015 Champs, Chicago Bulls of the 90’s and Joshua plus Caleb of the Bible have in common? They’re all champions. They all went through a lot of challenges and trials before they achieved the goal that they wanted. They went through tough oppositions but in the end they succeeded and won. I believe none of us wants to be a loser but we want to win the battles that we take every season of our lives. We want to win in all aspects of our lives – family, finances, relationship, academics and even in our spiritual lives.
Paul mentioned in his letter, Romans 8, that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us. What are the makings of a winner, a champion or a conqueror?
- They all have a clear picture of the goal. For an NBA team, its the championship trophy and for Joshua and Caleb, the Promise Land. The clarity of your goal will determine the amount of strength, discipline and willpower that you will exude as you journey through life.
- They have resilience. Resilience is the ability to respond right and bounce back from discouraging and tragic moments. For Caleb and Joshua, though they were faced with rejection and stoning because the people were not convince they can claim the promise land, yet they responded with faith and stood up for what they believe what God promised them.
- They went through it as a team. I think the saddest idea in the world is that you can win this life alone. It may be possible, but it’s not complete. Life in its fullness requires people involved in your life. You need some who can encourage you and help you when all odds are against you. Steph Curry has Iggy and Draymond and the whole team. Michael Jordan has Pippen, Joshua and Caleb are fighting together. That’s why they win and claim the goal that they envisioned.
Which of the three do you think you need to have or improve to experience a life of a champion?
- What would challenge my status quo?
- What are my values?
- What kind of person does God want me to be?
- What legacy do I want to leave?
May 2, 2015. The date almost everyone is looking forward to. People have been waiting for this fight for about 5 years and finally it has happened. Although the turn out wasn’t really what most of the people were expecting. Some said it was a boring fight, some said it was a waste of time and money, some congratulated the winner but many cheered for the loser of the fight — Manny Pacquiao.
It amazed me when Floyd was declared a winner, the majority booed him and didn’t appreciate what he has done. But Manny got a lot of cheer from his fans not just from the stadium but all over the media and the world. My question then is why did they still cheered for Manny (in some social media site, they said Manny should have won) but booed Floyd? What is the back story?
I believe what Manny had resonated beyond the boxing ring. He is more than a boxer, he is a great fighter and a great man in many respects. He really made a difference not just in his career but beyond it. He overcame many difficult situations in life that inspired many people. And the biggest thing that turned him into an unstoppable force is when he knew his Savior, Jesus Christ.
Floyd on the other hand, as he has spoken in one of his videos fought for money, record and legacy which I observed as very “me” centered.
I think the universal principle here is the more unselfish and humble we are the greater impact we’ll create. The opposite is also true, when we are self-centered and prideful, the little impact we’ll create in this world. I saw it after Manny lost and Floyd won the boxing match. I observed these impacts that Manny Pacquiao made in his generation.
1. Whenever he has a fight, he is able to make the Filipino people (even other nationalities) watch and unite to support him. The immediate result of this is like having a holiday celebration with families and friends with lot’s of food on the table, not to mention zero crime rate and no traffic in Metro Manila for a day. Cool!
2. He inspires a lot of people to rise up from ashes to greatness.
3. Because of Manny’s exposure in the media, we hear a lot about his faith in Jesus Christ and Bible verses.
After 12 rounds of boxing. Manny lost the fight. But Manny’s life is not confined in the boxing ring that’s why after the match, people still cheered for him. His life made an impact to the world because he made a point that it wasn’t about him.
What can happen to our world if our lives that makes positive impact to others? I believe we don’t need to be a Manny Pacquiao to make a difference. But we all need to refocus our lives from our selfish ambitions to Jesus. That’s how a person change the world.
2015 is just around the corner and a lot of thoughts are coming to our mind these days like how am I going to go through this year? What are my new year’s resolutions? Or what am I believing God for this new year?
I believe these questions are good to ask ourselves, think through and act upon as the year 2015 unfolds. But sometimes it can get to overwhelming that it paralyzes how you can act upon it. Some of us gave up already and just want to recycle what we had thought before and hope it can happen this year. I want to share three things that may help your personal planning this 2015. These thoughts have helped me when I started applying this since 2012.
1. Think about your “one thing” this year. I know its difficult to think about just one thing and miss out on another. But the concept of deciding on the “one thing” is that it will be where you will give more energy, time, effort and money. The reward after 365 days of investing into it is that it becomes second nature to you that when another year comes, you can easily bring it with you. Of course, it doesn’t mean this is the “only” thing you’ll do for the year. It’s just the main theme, it’s the burden for the year or it’s the focus of your soul.
For example, last 2012 my one thing for that year was communication. I am a campus missionary and youth pastor so I need to communicate more than any common guy usually does. So I invested most of my time listening to people with good communication skills, received lots of speaking engagements and read books about communicating effectively, specifically the Gospel. It was worth the investment. Until now I still reap the benefits of it.
2. Instead of just writing your to-do list, write your to-be list first.
This is a huge separation from what we usually think of when we plan our year. We usually focus on what we feel like we need to do but forget that behind every to-do list is a character that acts upon it.
For example, last 2013 my one thing was relationships. So I thought through my sphere of relationships and gave my energy, time, effort and money in this area of my life. My to-be list were as follows:
- to be more loving to my wife
- to be friends with people outside my sphere of influence
- to be more intentional in spending (not about work) time with people.
Under this to-be list is a to-do list. Your to-do list is always done through the foundation of your character.
3. Instead of just writing what you can do, write down what you believe only God can do to you and through you.
I call these faith goals. These are the things that are beyond me. I can only go to God and ask Him to make it happen. This list makes me humble and makes me grateful that God is ultimately in control of every detail in my life.
One of our faith goals this 2014 was clarity of direction. I believe God answered it through people as we moved from the Philippines to US to do campus ministry.
I believe there are many great ways to plan the year but I hope these will help you frame your planning this year 2015.
Happy New Year and may God guide you through the year 2015!