Archive for the ‘My Life’ Category
This is totally random. But hey…that’s how my brain works, so here I go.
5 things I’m anal retentive about:
1. Burned out light bulbs.
2. Smudged windows & glass.
3. Nasty smelling candles (vanilla, potpourri, cinnamon, & other artificial’s).
4. Bed sheets not tightly pulled and smooth.
5. Dull dry erase markers.
Believe me, there’s more where those came from…
Your turn! Comment below.
First of all, let me officially say, “Happy New Year!” I truly hope this is a great year for you and yours.
One of the most valuable things I do each year is to take time on the first day or two of January reflecting back on the previous year. It’s something I’ve been doing now for about four or five years and although it is a bit time consuming, slowing down and being intentional about this has been one of the most beneficial things I do all year. Here’s what it looks like for me.
SPACE & TIME - I set aside about 5-6 hours (preferably uninterrupted) in a quiet space. This year, I ended up having to break the time up over three days, which was not ideal.
RECORDS – I put in front of me: my journals from the year, my blog, and my personal calendar.
DOCUMENTING – The next thing I do is open up a fresh journal and record key moments and events that I felt had any sort of meaningful impact on me over that year. I begin with January and browse through my records – creating bullet points and a brief description of key “earmarks”. Sometimes they will be quotes from my journal, a mention of a trip taken, a key conversation that impacted my thinking, things I prayed about, felt God speaking to me about, etc…
THEMES/BIG IDEAS – After documenting the entire year, I begin to go back through to start looking for and identifying themes, key ideas, patterns, changes in thinking, answers to prayer, areas that have improved, and in some cases areas that haven’t…
POSITIVES/NEGATIVES – This year I started doing something I’ve never done before. As I went through and looked at the major themes and ideas, I put a “+” or “-” symbol next to each one, indicating which of those seemed to have had an overall negative or positive impact on my soul at the time. (Ultimately, there is no real way to judge this since over time we often end up seeing negatives as positives and vice versa… But it does help me see and understand why there may have been seasons I felt depleted, depressed, or discouraged….or others where I felt energized and strengthened. Identifying patterns or rhythms is important!)
GRATITUDE – Through this process, there almost always comes a point where my heart swells with an immense amount of gratitude and thanksgiving for what God has done in my life and in the lives of those I love and lead. So I take time in the midst of this reflection to offer thanksgiving and gratitude to God.
QUESTIONS – At the very end, I’ll take some time to journal and write my response to a handful of questions that I’ve borrowed from Michael Hyatt:
If the last year were a movie of your life, what would the genre be?
What were the two or three major themes that kept recurring?
What did you accomplish this past year that you are the most proud of?
What disappointments or regrets did you experience this past year?
What was missing from last year as you look back?
What were the major life-lessons you learned this past year?
LOOKING AHEAD – By the time I’m done with all of the above, I’m usually pretty overwhelmed and just need time to digest and process it all. So my first week or two of January is spent praying, thinking, and setting goals for the year ahead. Then comes the personal adjustments and changes that are needed to help me move towards those goals.
That’s pretty much it! Tweaking and improving on this process seems to be on-going, so this is certainly not a formula. It’s just what seems to work for me at this juncture.
What about you? Do you take time to reflect back on each year? If so, I’d love to hear what your process currently looks like. Please share!
Just read an interesting article on the correlation between getting up early and productivity. I don’t know about you, but overall, I am way more productive on days when I’m up early than on days I’m not.
Here’s a few things I’ve learned about myself in regards to staying up late and waking early:
- For the most part, staying up late is unproductive and a waste of time.
- It took me a long time to admit that.
- It’s also the time of greatest temptation and negative thinking for me – especially when I’m tired or exhausted.
- I am very cautious about trusting my emotions or thought processes when I’m tired.
- Getting up early sucks. But only until I’m a few minutes into my shower.
- Sleeping in sucks even more. I hardly ever feel good after sleeping in. I feel groggy, tired, and out of it for several hours.
- Having time to get quiet, read, journal, write, and spend time in solitude is one of the most important parts of my day. If I try to have that time without getting up early it seldom works.
- My ideal amount of sleep is 5-6 hours.
- I’m not a “natural” early riser.
- I use my iPhone as my alarm clock and keep it plugged in far away from my bed so that I’m forced to get up and shut it off. Otherwise, snooze will win.
Here are some interesting snippets from the 99% article:
- Early risers tend to have a more proactive – and thus productive – mindset…
- If you’re getting up early, you probably already have a good idea of what you want to accomplish that day – otherwise it would be hard to motivate to get up in the first place.
- Being an early riser also indicates a natural affinity for ritual and discipline – both key traits of especially productive people.
- You accomplish tons of meaningful work before most people even get started – allowing you to coast through the rest of your day with a sense of achievement and significantly less anxiety.
How about you? Are you an early riser? If so, is it natural for you? If not, how did you develop the discipline to do it?
Read some good tips on rising early in the 99% article here.
Ok…wow. These past couple of weeks have been KA-RAZIE. Feeling a tad overwhelmed right now, but getting a lot accomplished. And now….some A.D.D.
- Our Christmas Eve candlelight gatherings are a beautiful Orchard tradition that we’ve been doing for many, many, many years. They are always really, really great and this year will be NO exception! Can’t wait… More later, but mark your calendars now. Friday, December 24th. 1pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm. Free tickets will be available online soon.
- Since Christmas falls on a weekend this year, and since our teams will be crankin’ out at least five Christmas Eve services, we’ve decided to give our teams a break and give them more time with their families by canceling our weekend services on Saturday, December 25th and Sunday, December 26th. Thinking about attending a traditional Christmas service somewhere with my family that weekend… Any suggestions?
- Looking forward to hanging out with Jon Peacock today! Not only does Jon have a slammin’ last name, but I’m excited about the church he and his wife are planting in the northwest suburbs next year. And oh yeah….have you ever seen Jon dance?
- I have hardly even looked at Twitter these last couple of weeks. Did I miss anything important?
- Currently reading: Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality by Anthony de Mello and Decision Points by George W. Bush. Looking forward to diving into: Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandella next.
- The Beatles are now on iTunes. Praise the Lord. But where the HECK is iOS 4.2?? Everybody loves The Beatles, but that was some lame timing IMHO.
- Orchard Tribe……don’t forget about our food drive happening this weekend! Details here.
- Celebrating and updating our community on The Generosity Challenge this weekend! Lots to be thankful for!
- Lastly…..this photo needs a good caption.
Collide Magazine recently asked me to contribute to their “Weapons of Choice” feature for a recent issue. Other contributors included Carlos Whittaker, Barton Damer, DJ Chuang, Michael Buckingham, and others. You can read the entire feature here.
Thought I’d share my weapon list in this post, but would also love for you to share yours in the comment section. Here’s mine:
This is the Getting Things Done system for creatives. Action Method is flexible and allows you to organize based on you rather than a “set” system.
Adobe Connect makes my online coaching community run smoothly. It’s expensive, but the consistency and features are amazing. My likes: consistent video quality, voice via phone (which saves bandwidth), multimedia capabilities, and a great iPhone app.
TUL Black Retractable Gel Pen
I love a good pen. I have a small collection of Mont Blancs that either belonged to my dad or were gifts. But I also lose things, so I no longer travel with them. I’ve found a good alternative in the TUL pen (only available at OfficeMax).
It’s the Scott Hodge Brain Collection Agency. Evernote is a great place to store things such as articles, documents, spreadsheets, quotes, photos, emails, screenshots, voice memos, design ideas, etc. And the best part? It’s free.
15-inch i7 MacBook Pro
I’m going into my fifth year using a Mac. I love it, and I can’t imagine my life without it.
Sprint Overdrive 3G/4G
I move around a lot, and there’s nothing worse than paying a gazillion dollars for airport or hotel Internet access. The Sprint Overdrive works great and allows you to share the signal via WiFi with up to five users.
Mindmapping has forever changed my life. I use it to prepare teachings, organize projects, jot down ideas, and prepare articles like this one. There are also some great (and free) online alternatives.
I love me some Google. Our entire team uses it for everything from docs to email to calendars. It’s easy to share and Google even offers the business edition free to non-profits.
I’ve been using the black, hard cover, ruled notebook for more than five years. I use it every day for everything from journaling to sketching creative designs and ideas.
I love great food! Yelp has a great iPhone app for finding the sweet eateries in whatever city you’re visiting.
Skype is still the best and most consistent call and video quality I can find. It’s the way I stay connected to my family when I’m out of the country.