Hope for your financial life and beyond

2013 Goals Update – March Madness Edition

Just like Florida Gulf Coast and Wichita State (my poor Buckeyes…) busted many NCAA brackets, so was my Time Bracket busted this past month. March roared in like a lion and brought with it extra family activities that included:


Image courtesy of CBSSports.com

After school basketball league for my son,

County rec-league soccer for my youngest daughter,

Easter church cantata play practices for my two oldest,

Renovations to be completed by April 1st on one of our rental houses, and

School poetry recital for my youngest son in K4 (that was a hoot!).

While extremely fun, all these activities ate into much of our down time spent at home. And while this past week was Spring Break for the kids and I, that didn’t cut down on the busyness. I had a ton of work around the house to catch up on, including several awesome manly activities.

So here is my update on where I am at presently with my 2013 goals…

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Winning is More Valuable Than Losing

Michael Jordan

“Bulls win! Bulls win!”

Let’s face it…losing sucks! In the moments right after a defeat, there are no positive feelings. Dejection, pain, frustration, anger, confusion – these are the immediate emotions of losers.

Winners experience something quite different. Their victorious moments are bursting with euphoria, pride, joy, amazement, and gratitude. That’s how I felt Sunday when I completely blew away my stated goal for completing the Publix Georgia Half-Marathon.

Winners also experience another feeling that never presents itself when losing. It’s really a chemical reaction taking place at the cellular level. Some call it an “endorphin rush”. Some call it “runner’s high”. It’s best described as a tingling sensation that flows through the body. It clouds reason and logic. It dulls pain. It’s what allows marathon runners to sprint the last half-mile of a race having already completed 25 plus.

I cannot adequately describe how powerful that bodily reaction is. It has an addicting quality that pushes me to come back for more. It’s reason one that I say winning is more valuable than losing.

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February Goals Update – Sometimes Life Happens

software updateAs I see it, one of the great things about goals is that they are adjustable. When life comes along and smacks you down a bit, you can just regroup and adjust your plan. As long as you are making consistent progress toward the goal, there is no need to get down on yourself when life circumstances force you to alter your plans a bit. Sometimes life happens – we just have to move forward and stay positive.

That’s a little of what happened to me last month in regards to Goals #2 and #4 as you can read below:

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My 2013 Goals Update – January

software updateSeveral weeks ago, I detailed a list of goals I would like to accomplish during 2013. You can read more in-depth about these here. So, this is my first update for the month of January:

Goal #1: Read through the entire New Testament of the Bible and the book of Proverbs by May 31st.

I feel really good about my progress on this one. I finished the books of Matthew and Mark. I basically have read several chapters each day and am currently in Luke 7.

I have not started any reading in Proverbs yet, something I have to remedy soon.

Goal #2: Pay off our mortgage debt by the end of the year.

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I’m at the Top of the Hill…Should I Go On?

Hilly RoadI’ve been running consistently now for almost two years. In that time, I have learned that runners face many mental and physical challenges. From the everyday muscle aches and pains, to the mental exhaustion of a four-hour marathon, to getting yourself out of bed for that 30-degree winter morning run, there is much to overcome.

The obstacles we runners may despise the most are hills. I don’t mean gradual inclines in the road or the gentle rolling hills you can fairly manage. I’m talking about the long, steep, crush-your-pace kind of hills that make your heart feel like it’s going to pound out of your chest as you climb to the peak. These are brutal especially when multiple ones are strung together in a short distance. Up and down, up and down, peak then valley, peak then valley…ugh!

I’ve had a lot of experience running hills because they surround me where I live. I’m actually thankful because by running them, I have been better prepared on race day. During all my training though, I have found this to be true – it’s both exciting and intimidating at the top of a hill.

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My Goals for 2013

2013 GoalsA few days ago in her post “How to Stick with an Exercise Program,” Jordann at Making Sense of Sense noted that one key to following through with an exercise goal is to share your intentions publicly. There is great power in making our intentions known because it makes us accountable to attempt the follow through.

Sharing goals also connects us to others. When I read how someone is working through the process of pursuing a goal, it inspires me. It gives me encouragement to know that others have faced similar challenges and were able to overcome them.

With that in mind, I would like to share my goals for 2013. Not all of them fit into a category on the SPLASH Goal plan I outlined in my last post. But I believe they are basically SMART goals that will be of benefit to me this year. So, in no particular order:

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Developing a SPLASH Goal Plan

Dog jumping in water

In my last post, I outlined the acronym SMART as it relates to setting goals. Each goal we set should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. A goal that contains these elements has a greater probability of being reached.

Perhaps your new to the concept of setting goals and don’t know where to start. There are so many areas of our life in which to set goals it can become a little overwhelming. So today I would like to talk you through a program we introduced at our school several years ago that helped our faculty and staff narrow their goal setting focus to specific areas of life. It’s called a SPLASH Plan.

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How to Set Goals: Make Them SMART

how to set goalsWhat do you want to accomplish this year? I hope you have laid out several big-ticket items you would like to check off your list by the time 2013 draws to a close. Having targets to shoot for is critical if we want to move forward in life. I know I don’t want to be stagnant.

In regards to goals, I’ve challenged myself this year to continue to put my trust with God where it belongs, to give more generously, to plan urgently like there is no tomorrow, and to busy myself each day with what brings me joy. I believe these are valuable pursuits, but they are more broad focused, motivational goals. They challenge me, but do not address anything definitive.

So, today I would like to narrow the goal-setting focus by realizing that, if I am going to be successful in reaching my target goals for 2013, I’ll have to be really SMART.

How to Set Goals the Right Way

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Fall in Love With Work (Again)

Patched HeartAre you in love? Perhaps it’s that special someone you’ve chosen to share your heart and soul with for the rest of  your life. Or maybe it’s that favorite caffeinated beverage you must consume each morning to jump start your day. I’m sure others (not me) are completely in love with one of the two teams who will be pursuing the BCS Championship on Jan. 7th.

What about your work? Are you enjoying the daily grind of your career? That’s a tougher question for many people to truthfully answer.

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Plan Like There’s No Tomorrow

Big Ben New Years5…4…3…2…1…Happy New Year!

And so, 2012 was put in the rear view mirror this morning as the clock struck midnight. Across the world, the coming of the New Year was greeted with cheering, confetti, fireworks and kisses. We celebrated making it through another year.

However, New Year’s Eve is more than a celebration of the past. Its focus is really looking ahead with hopeful anticipation for all that we plan to accomplish in the coming year.

Do you know what you want to accomplish in 2013? Do you already have plans drawn up? If not, you need to begin now for one simple reason. You don’t know what the future has in store.

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Giving: Like Never Before

Give to charity - FDP CreditHave you ever taken a moment to evaluate and reflect on how you organize your monthly budget? What line items find their way to the top of the column? Mortgage…food…car loan…clothing…pet food…Netflix subscription? What tends to get left over and pushed to the bottom?

I believe our budgets give us an indication of what we value most in life. We put the have-to-happen items at the top and the things-you-could-do-without-if-you-had-to items at the bottom. Makes sense. I mean, after all, we have to prioritize.

Everyone’s priorities are different and there is nothing wrong with that because our individual situations are unique. However, there is one priority we could probably give more attention to, and in 2013, I want to make it a goal. I want to give like never before.

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