weekly goals.

27 03 2011

So, I know I haven’t posted up my goal page lately, so here’s the latest. I’ve been keeping up with the book each week, I just haven’t been posting it up.

The goals this week suffered because I was slammed with work. I spent most of the week working on the written and visual content for the new web site (which by the way launched this weekend – check it out, Blickenstaff’s) The design guys from Always Creative nailed it!

The week was also spent working on the latest edition to the Riverwoods: Blickenstaff’s Candy Junction.

It’s been one of the busiest weeks I have had in awhile. Usually the busiest times are filled with the most accomplishment. Even though the goals I laid out didn’t get done, I feel really good about everything else that got done.

The quote at the top of my weekly goals is from Aeschylus: “God ever works with those who work with will.”

“Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors” (Alma 36:25)
We can’t expect the fruit if we’re not willing to spend time pruning, digging, watering and taking care of the tree.

The only problem with super busy, super productive weeks is that they are also super-exhausting… So, now it’s time for a little Sunday nap! (by little, I mean a few hours!)

? Were you able to get everything done on your list of to-do’s this week?

happy 1 year anniversary.

6 03 2011

1 year ago I sat at home (my parents home) trying to figure out what to do with my life.

I was clueless.
I was a college graduate with no job and an increasing load of debt.

Luckily, I was asked to teach early morning seminary as well as the Gospel Principles class. I began to remember how much I loved studying the Gospel as a missionary.

I remember how good I felt and how my life seemed to have more focus and purpose as I studied harder.

I had lost that.

There are many of us who can do great in the short run.
I can do the spiritual sprint with the best of them.
Hometeaching for a few months.
Reading the scriptures daily for a few months.
Paying attention in church for a few months.
Saying my prayers nightly for a few months.

The trick is to learn to balance your life so that you can become a spiritual marathon runner.

Our time here is not a sprint.
It’s a marathon and we need to treat it as such.
“I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.” (2 Nephi 31:16)

As I thought about how far I had drifted from the individual I had become as a missionary I quickly became frustrated and decided it was time for a change.

One year ago I set a goal to liken the my life to the scriptures each day.
I started a blog and began writing.

I didn’t accomplish my goal.
Out of 365 days, I have only written 340 posts.
25 days off from accomplishing my goal.

But this experience has been a HUGE blessing in my life.
Sometimes the relationship between an activity of the day and the scriptures was a stretch, but it still helped me to at least look for a connection.

I’ve decided to try again this year.
I’ve got 365 days ahead of me to try and find connections between my life and the scriptures.

I would love to hear how you liken the scriptures to your life or stories you have along the way. I sincerely appreciate the comments and feedback I have received this past year. I am always open to criticism and welcome the opportunity to be better, so let the comments keep coming!

This past year was filled with changes and growth.
I’m excited to see even bigger changes and more growth this coming year!

? How can I make this blog better?

service is inconvenient.

30 01 2011

We had Stake Conference this weekend with Elder Kevin W. Pearson a member of the seventy.
If you have not heard him speak, you are missing out.

He is vibrant, dynamic and fun to listen to.
The Saturday night session (a session I do not normally attend – haha) was incredible.

Elder Pearson spoke about the importance of staying near the tree. (The tree of life)
He said that one of the best ways to stay near the tree is to serve.

And then he said this:

“service is meant to be inconvenient”
This is part of what makes service so important to each of us.
It allows us to put aside our selfish desires and focus on another one of Heavenly Father’s children.
“O ye that embark in the aservice of God, see that ye bserve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand cblameless before God at the last day.” (D&C 4:2)

The session was wonderful.

As far as my goals for the week…

They went well… but as usual, could’ve gone better.
How are your goals going?

the law of commitment.

16 01 2011

As promised, I am holding myself accountable at the end of the week to myself and to all of you.

I struggled a bit with some of the goals.
Weak, I know.
But they’re back on the list this week and I’m going to get them done!

I gave a lesson last year to the YSA about the “Law of Commitment”. I read about this law in a book by Sterling W. Sill called, “How to Personally Benefit from the Laws of Success“.
The book is incredible and highly motivational.

I thought about this principle as I considered the goals I have set and the upcoming year.

One of the things that often keeps us from attaining our goals is the endless list of backup plans we make.

How many times have you made a goal and then secretly thought to yourself, “well, if it doesn’t work out then I can at least try to do x or y.”
(Note: I’m not discounting the importance of a backup plan, I’m merely saying that the backup plan should hold no weight in your mind at all until it is absolutely imperative)

When Caesar went to capture the British Isles, he first unloaded the ships and set up camp. Then during the middle of the night he instructed several of his men to burn the ships.

Retreat was no longer an option.
They would either win or die.

It is a smart thing for us to do when making goals to not leave many outlets for retreat. With no option for retreat you will approach your goal with a vigor you never thought you were capable of.

It is not an aid to success to be able to turn back from any point along the way. No one can really accomplish his maximum until he is definitely committed to his task and his mind has closed all lines of retreat. Retreat and surrender should not be made so easy as to actually invite us.” (Sterling W. Sill)

We set a goal to attend the temple last week.
It didn’t happen.
We casually thought, “well, we can go next week, it will be ok”.

NO commitment.
A committed person would have looked at the week and thought, I have to go now, or I will never make the time. There is no retreat.

Nephi left no room for retreat, even though he was unsure of how to accomplish the task before him.
“And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.” (1 Nephi 4:6)

This week, think about your goals.
Make sure you haven’t given yourself room to retreat.

? What did you accomplish last week?

*I have decided that since this blog is all about finding connections between the scriptures and everyday life that from now on I will ask the same question at the end of each post, “How did you liken the scriptures to your life today?” (But I obviously still encourage comments of all sorts!)

New Year, New Book.

9 01 2011

Our Internet has returned!
After being MIA for over a week, it has officially been revived (Big thanks to Bro Ostler our landlord!)

With the return of the Internet comes several other joys in my life:
(not necessarily in that order)

I love this time of year.

I lay out all of my goals and start my new “book” for the year.

Since 2007 I have kept a journal/goal book. (I owe the idea to my buddy Jeremy Hannan)
Each year I start a new one.

Here’s how it works:

1. I take some “me” time and decide what is important in my life and what I want to accomplish over the course of the year.

2. I then break those goals down into “weekly” and “daily” tasks.

3. Each Sunday I draw up a little chart with the goals for the week and the things I need to accomplish each day.

4. After the week has been finished I review what happened and do a short journal entry about anything that really stood out to me during the week.

Here is what the first week of 2011 (03 January-09 January) looked like:

Now, I also include in these little books other things crop up through the year such as:
lessons I have to teach.
general conference notes.
thoughts and personal revelations.

One of the best things about these books is that I can go back to three years ago and know exactly what happened during any given week. I can see how my moods changed from good to bad etc. and look for the relationship between my moods and how well I was accomplishing goals such as reading the scriptures daily. It’s crazy, but I could go back and tell you if I said my prayers on January 9, 2008. I do my lessons in the book because it is interesting to go back and see what a lesson on the Atonement was like during July of 2008 as opposed to a lesson I taught about the Atonement in March of 2010. They are different because I was different.

I read something this morning in Preach My Gospel that has prompted me to try something new this year.

“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.”
(Thomas S. Monson)

I’ve done a pretty good job of measuring my performance since 2007.

But what does that mean for 2011?
It means I’m going to start reporting.

To who?
To you.

I don’t care if anyone reads this.
It will be out in the open and I will be accountable for the goals I set for each day/week/month/year.

Every Sunday, my post will focus on goal setting and ways to make sure you (and I) don’t let our New Years resolutions fade with time.

“For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.”
(D&C 58:26)

? What is one of your New years Resolutions this year?

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