A selection of worship music, including Give Us Clean Hands, Unashamed Love, God of Wonders and Agnus Dei, A New Hallelujah, and He Reigns.

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Setting Goals

By Nate LaClaire —  August 1, 2012 — Leave a comment

Goals. So many of us have some hazy ideas that we refer to as goals, but how many of us accomplish them? How many of us even go so far as to turn them into something solid and truly commit to them? We say things like, “my goal is to lose weight,” or, “my goal is to visit Rome,” but somehow we never make it. Why? In some cases, we are afraid. At least that’s been my experience. The thought of reaching our goals scares us, whether because of the unknown “what comes next” or simply because as awesome as the goal sounds, it’s something new and frightening. In other cases, we just don’t do what is needed to accomplish the goal, including solidifying what exactly our goal is.

Michael Hyatt has covered the topic of goal writing from various angles. He says that goals should be S. M. A. R. T.:

  • Specific – define exactly what you want to accomplish with as much specificity as possible
  • Measurable – for example, “lose 20 pounds” not “lose some weight”
  • Actionable – start it with a verb
  • Realistic – yes, you want to push yourself, but don’t set the bar so high that you can’t possibly achieve it
  • Time-bound – give yourself a deadline

Michael also says that goals should be written down and made public. This gives you accountability. Maybe you share your goals with an accountability partner, your spouse, your family, or maybe with the whole world, but publicize them somehow.

I’m terrible at setting goals and worse at accomplishing the ones that I do set. I could leave it at that and continue “spinning my wheels” and never accomplish anything. After all, I’m bad at it. It’s just the way I am.

I’ve chosen to not do that, though. Goal #1: prepare a list of goals for the next year and revise my “contract with myself” by August 1 (I created this goal on 7/18). The list of goals should prepare me for the undertaking I’ve recently committed myself to and for future success. Goal accomplished!

I will be announcing here more about that undertaking in the next few of weeks. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I’ve decided that I’m not going to allow it to become one of those things that I “never got around to.”

I’ll also be detailing at least some of my goals and discussing portions of my contract on my blog in the near future. The focus of my blog going forward (Faith, Life, Intentional Living) is directly related to my contract and my goals. Some of the goals and portions of my contract are between me, God, and my accountability partner, but the rest will be public. I’ll need your help staying on track.

By the way, I’ve set another goal: lose 6 pounds by August 20, 2012 (my 31st birthday), by using the Lose It app to ensure that my caloric intake stays within a daily budget and exercising at least 30 minutes daily. It’s specific (what and how), measurable (an exact quantity), actionable (lose), realistic (2 pounds per week, based on my current weight, is easily accomplishable), and time-bound (August 20). That’s step one in a larger health-related goal, but we’ll talk about that later.

What about you? Please share your experience with goal setting and/or a S. M. A. R. T. goal that you have set.

The Heart of Worship – Matt Redman

You Raise Me Up – Selah

In Christ Alone – Travis Cottrel

Here I Am to Worship – Michael W. Smith

Shout to the Lord – Darlene Zschech

I Give You My Heart – Hillsong (Featuring Holly Dawson)

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus – Michael W. Smith

This week’s Sunday Morning Worship consists of the music we are singing at my church this morning.

Come, Now is the Time to Worship – Phillips, Craig & Dean

You are Holy (Prince of Peace) – Michael W. Smith

Ancient of Days – Ron Kenoly

Above All – Michael W. Smith

Your Grace Still Amazes Me – Phillips, Craig and Dean

To my friends in the USA, I wish you a happy and healthy Independence Day. May we remember today the sacrifices of so many who made possible the freedoms that we enjoy.

For this week’s Sunday Morning Worship, I’ve selected seven songs that have been on my mind this week. May you be blessed as I have been.

Saved the Day (by Phillips, Craig & Dean)

Revelation Song (by Kari Jobe)

Your Grace Still Amazes Me (by Phillips, Craig & Dean)

By His Wounds (by Mac Powell and company)

Mercy Came Running (by Phillips, Craig & Dean)

The More I Seek You (by Kari Jobe)

Midnight Cry (by All Star Choir)

PS Sorry that this week’s selections are skewed toward two artists.

Good morning! Today I’m launching a new weekly feature for my blog, Sunday Morning Worship. Each week I will choose a handful of worship-centered songs, find YouTube videos, and include them in a blog post. Below are the songs that are speaking to me this week.

Filled With Your Glory

Be Thou Near to Me

Great Light of the World

Mighty to Save

Never Been Unloved

Testify to Love

Bless the Broken Road

Not a worship song? I beg to differ.

By the time you’re finished with this book…you’ll not only recognize love for all that it is, but break through the fog of your relationships into the light of an amazing new day for you and for those you love the most.

Thus ends the introduction to Dr. Tim Clinton and Pat Springle’s new book, Break Through: When to Give In, How to Push Back. A lofty promise indeed, but one upon which Clinton and Springle deliver.

In the book, the authors give insight into unhealthy relationships, such as codependency and abusive relationships. Why does a wife make excuses for an alcoholic husband? Why does a father continue to bail out a deadbeat daughter? The answer may surprise you.

Using biblical insight and real-life examples, Clinton and Springle offer clear explanations for the real causes of unhealthy relationships and a clear path to forming healthy relationships. Each of the easily digestible chapters ends with a series of questions designed to make us think about our own relationships. The book also includes a guide for groups and classes who are looking to make the most of the book’s teaching.

To say that I found this book enlightening would be an understatement. It has caused me to think about my own relationships – both healthy and unhealthy – and to start to address the areas of concern. I found the writing to be very easy to read, the print perfect for my lately very tired eyes, and on top of that I love the feel of the book jacket – very soft and nice to hold.

Whether you recognize unhealthy relationships in your life or not, I highly recommend this book. You and your relationships will be changed for the better by reading it.

The book is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine print and electronic book retailers.

After having several people ask me about how I spread my posts to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn throughout the day, I decided to create a video explaining how I use Buffer, a tool that makes posting to social media on a regular basis super easy. The video is below. Please watch and comment. If you find it helpful, please share the video as well!

Thanks for watching! You can sign up for Buffer and get an extra space in your Buffer by visiting http://bufferapp.com/r/4ca49 (disclosure: I will get an extra space as well when you use that link). The Buffer for Chrome extension mentioned in the video, which enables Twitter and Google Reader posting to Buffer is available at https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/noojglkidnpfjbincgijbaiedldjfbhh.

About a year ago I read a fantastic book by Seth Godin called Poke the Box. The publisher describes the book as such:

Poke the Box is a manifesto by bestselling author Seth Godin that just might make you uncomfortable. It’s a call to action about the initiative you’re taking— in your job or in your life. Godin knows that one of our scarcest resources is the spark of initiative in most organizations (and most careers)— the person with the guts to say, “I want to start stuff.”

I have an extra hardcover copy of the English edition that I’m giving away to one of my readers! Please enter below!

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