My 3 Words for 2010

On the one hand, I really liked the idea of an over-arching theme as opposed to a list of things to accomplish over the next 12 months. Goals, although I am always setting them, tend to be a bit frustrating to me. Once I reach one, before I really get to enjoy it, I'm already thinking about what's next.

by bob

Jan 1, 2010

So here is how this works.  This year I say, “Here is an idea I totally stole from Chris Brogan.”

If It works well, next year I say, “Here is something I saw on the interwebs a year ago…”

And after that, I can start saying, “Here is something I’ve been doing for the past couple of years!”

So, this year I give total credit to Chris Brogan in a link he wrote earlier this week called, “Wiring Yourself for Success.”  Brogan suggests coming up with three key words that serve to help you frame what you do & plan over the next year.  So how do these 3 words differ from say New Year’s Resolutions?  According to Brogan,

The three guiding words are lighthouses or compass directions for my efforts. If I’m moving in those directions, I’m doing well. If I’m not on the path to those goals, then it’s clear that I’m working counter to my goals. See how that’s far more fluid than a static list of resolutions?

In other words, if a key goal for the next year is family, and I take a new job that causes me to travel more, I’m working against something I’ve decided was important.

So why do I  like this idea so much? On the one hand, I really liked the idea of an over-arching theme as opposed to a list of things to accomplish over the next 12 months. Goals, although I am always setting them, tend to be a bit frustrating to me.  Once I reach one, before I really get to enjoy it, I’m already thinking about what’s next.  I’m much more wired to think in terms, of not where am I now, but what direction am I moving in.  Even goals are never really destinations, but rather “pit stops” along the way.

So all that said, my 3 words (as you may have guessed from the image @ the top of the page) are: Rest, Equip and Focus.  I want to break them down a bit, just so you can see what I’m thinking as I do this.

1) Rest: Those of you who know me probably recognize that this doesn’t mean I’m trying to figure out how to work less.  But my thinking here is that I spend too much of my time working out of a place where things are urgent.  And while I can work in that environment, it isn’t where I do my best work. I wrote a bit about this a couple days ago, but over this past week as I’ve had nothing I have to do, I’ve actually been able to accomplish quite a bit.

Let me give you an example.  Some of you might be thinking, “Bob, aren’t you on vacation, why are you blogging. Shouldn’t you be hanging out with you family?” A couple of things.  First I’ve done a lot of hanging out with Liz & the girls.  We’ve gone sledding, played way too much Wii, watched movies & just hung out & talked.  Thanks to the Williams, Liz & I even got a date night this week!

Secondly, with all of the time with nothing to do, I’ve had tons of time to think.  And with the time to think I’ve had tons of ideas.  The other night when we went out to see Sherlock Holmes, I almost skipped it because I needed some time alone to get get some of the stuff out of my head & down on paper.  As my daughters would say, I felt like my head was going to “a-splode.”

So this doesn’t at all feel like work…writing like this is extremely enjoyable.

Which leads back to rest.  I need to over the next year begin to structure my life…specifically my responsibilities at the church to allow me to work from a place of rest rather than a place of busyness. I’ve got a few ideas, but this will be one of the big themes I’ll be working on this year.

2) Equip: We started doing this a bit last year with the first leadership initiative at the church, but equipping new leaders, and more specifically, training leaders to be equippers at our church is going to be a central focus of this next year. We’ve got a great core of leaders already, but I think to get to where we need to be, this will be key for us.

At the same time, Equipping will be a focus for our family this year as well.  And it isn’t just that Hannah will start driving this fall (did I really write that?) , but there are things Liz and I really want to build into the girls over the next few years.

So part of what I’ll be doing over this next year is looking for opportunities to develop people who are interested in deepening their walk with God through leadership.

3) Focus:  Actually, this one’s a bit personal.  While I think there are some goals you should share with everybody so that they can hold you accountable (I’m going to quit watching so much tv, read the bible more, spend less time on Facebook & Twitter)…I think there are other goals that you share with a few key people.  There are certain thing that when you share them with a lot of people elicit comments like, “you don’t really think you can do that, do you? ” or  “Oh, I know someone else who tried & things ended horribly.” At this point, I’ve shared this with and I’ll probably only share it with 3 or 4 other people until things are a little further down the road.  The basic idea is, over the past several years it’s been in the back of my head, but I’m finally at a point where I need to focus, follow this & see where it goes.  If you’d like to throw up a prayer, that’d be great.

One final note, when I first read Brogan’s post, the three words that popped into my head were Rest, Equip, and dealing with this goal that I need to pursue.  After praying about it for a week, I was still left with the same three words.  The way our brains naturally work, the top three things you need to work on are already bouncing around in your brain…getting them down on paper is how we move them from random thoughts to actual progress.  So take a week to think about it if that helps, but most likely, these three words or ideas are already bouncing around in your head.  Please post them here, I’d love to hear what they are.

What about Bob?


I grew up in Western New York and have started and led missional church planting efforts for a little over 30 years. As you might gather, I have opinions about the church, and I share some of them here.

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