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Recalibrate Your Life

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2. Identify goal areas and determine what "success" will look like. Ask, What changes do I want to make? I find it best to limit the number of goals to a manageable level. Change takes energy. If you try to change too many things at once, you can end up not feeling good about any of it. Usually, I try to build a strength area at the same time I'm giving attention to a weak area. That way I have some energy from my strength area to build momentum in developing my weak area.

I like being able to finish this sentence: "I will know I have grown in this area when?.." A mental picture that goes with your goal will help you be able to mark progress as well as celebrate when you reach your growth objective.

3. Build a plan. There's more to personal development than identifying your goals. You need a plan to support your desired changes. A key in building your plan is being aware of how you learn. Do you prefer to learn by yourself or with others? Are you a reader, or a hands-on learner? Consider resources you already have at your disposal, potential reading material, seminars that would be helpful. Sometimes the best way to learn is from someone who has real strength in your growth area. Look for a mentor or model. A personal development plan gets traction when you commit yourself to some experience or challenge will help you be accountable to practice what you're learning. If you want to take steps to get in better shape, schedule yourself for a 5K and walk or run it. If you want to improve as a speaker, set up the practice opportunities. A good plan will bring structure (when and where), content (what), and accountability (who) to your growth goals.

4. Create the right environment. Creating the right environment for your own growth is critical. Praying for yourself, asking the Lord to produce his own character in you, is essential. So is depending on the Lord moment by moment for his motivation, strength, wisdom, and power. It goes without saying, but sometimes in not saying it, I can tend toward my own efforts. Along with that intimate spiritual life, pursuing personal life or leadership change requires support. You need people around you who will help you when your motivation is lagging. You need trusted people who will hold you accountable in your goal areas. You need trusted friends who will cheer you on in the journey. And you need to check in with them often.

With those four steps, I have a much better chance to have enough fuel to break out of the gravitational forces that pull me toward my current behavior and move me toward something new, something fresh, something more like Christ.

March26, 2007 at 8:54 PM

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