My 2019 Writing Goals

I share all my writing goals below so you understand how I structure my goals and work to be fruitful and productive; what can you add to help our readers set their own goals and be more fruitful? WritingPIc

  1. New Year's morning, the first thing I did was edit my daily devotional (today from my book A Daily Taste of Proverbs); then I copied and pasted it to Facebook; then I posted it to LinkedIn and Twitter; I do that Monday through Friday and draw material from five of my daily devotionals. It helps me to jump start my writing day and keeps me in touch with my followers all over the world.
  2. On New Year's Eve, I set up my manuscript for my Corinthians commentary (written and 115k words); I will edit that in January and have it ready to publish in March (It would be February, but I am going to Kenya in February).
  3. On New Year's, I began editing my next book (my 'Go and' series from the Monday Memo) titled 'Go and Obey'; my goal is to have it finished in January for publication in March/April.
  4. This week, I will sketch out my revisions for my 2009 book "Changing the Way We Do Church" I will start to edit and write new material in January, but most probably won't get much into that until late Feb/early March.
  5. After I finish Corinthians, I have three more volumes of my New Testament commentaries (written but need to be edited), which will be done, with God's help, by Dec 31, 2019; here is the link for the commentaries that are complete (Romans is done but in final stages of publishing).
  6. Someone gave me the idea this past week for a book I will title "Put Me in, Coach!" That is on the horizon for 2019.

What are your goals this year that will enable you to activate, stimulate, and rejuvenate your creativity?

W47D5 - Goals

"It took Solomon thirteen years, however,
to complete the construction of his palace" - 1 Kings 7:1.

Solomon was a builder and spent 20 years constructing the Temple and his personal residence. What he wanted to build could not be finished quickly, so he had to learn how to plan and work for the long term. Leaders are under tremendous pressure sometimes to produce short-term results, causing them to avoid or lose sight of the long-term benefits they can bring to their organizations. Thus they should be asking where the company wants to be in five, ten, fifteen or even twenty years - and what needs to happen today to hasten and contribute to those long-term goals.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to give some thought to the long-term goals you would like to be associated with and remembered for in your organization. You don't have to do this by yourself, but you can convene various groups to deliberate the long-term company (or family) vision. Then facilitate a process to identify the goals that will make the vision a reality. Be prepared to stay the course as short-term urgencies try to steal your momentum and zeal.

W42D5 - Goals

"Now the Israelites had been saying, 'Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel'" - 1 Samuel 17:25.

Goliath and his comrades had been harassing the people of God, so the king offered a rich reward for anyone who would successfully conquer him. Even though the reward was lucrative, no one took the king up on his offer except David. David was tantalized by the reward but ultimately brought Goliath down because the giant had taunted God's name and people. The point is that the reward for achieving this corporate goal was not enough until the reward was coupled with a personal value that stimulated David to action. Leaders often struggle to find the right incentive plan, which must communicate the company's priorities but also resonate with the worker's personal needs and wants. Until that happens, incentive plans are often ineffective and meaningless.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to examine the effectiveness of your incentive plans for your team members. Are the incentives truly working or are do employees expect the reward regardless of performance? Do your incentives accurately represent and support what is most important to achieve? Are your company goals clear enough for people so they can understand how their activities fit into the overall work plan? What adjustments do you need to make?

W37D5 - Goals

"And David said, 'The Lord who delivered me
from the paw of the lion and from the paw
of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand
of this Philistine.' And Saul said to David,
'Go, and may the Lord be with you'" - 1 Samuel 17:37-38.

David knew how to draw on the power of his past successes to propel him into new ones. He had already faced other giants, so this slightly larger one would just be another testimony when David brought him down. What's more, David had to go it alone, for Saul offered no support, advice or backup, except to try and have David fit into his two-sizes-too-big armor. Yet David was not alone, for he knew that God was with him from past experience and God was not about to fail him. This is what real leadership is all about: drawing on past experience to see what others can't and then setting lofty goals that lift everyone's performance and possibilities.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to see if you are leading by setting lofty goals or by playing it safe. One way of knowing is to examine the goals you have set for you and your organization. Do you have any past success stories? Do you know how to draw on your past successes to encourage you or your team to new ones today? If your goals lack the ability to stir the imagination and energy of others, spend time today crafting new ones, with or without your team.

W32D5 - Goals

"One who is slack in his work
    is brother to one who destroys" - Proverbs 18:9.

If a person were to build something and someone else destroyed it, it would be seen as a criminal act. Yet if someone does not build something that was possible to build, no one would see that as criminal. But the end result is the same. In both cases, the world is deprived of something that could have been built or done that perhaps had the potential to help or bless many. The point is this: A leader's inability to be productive robs the world of what he or she has in them that is unique, giving them something in common with one who would destroy what another built according to today's verse. And there is nothing better to help a leader be productive than the goal-setting process.

LEADERSHIP STEP: It's time to get back on your goal-setting track. What is the world losing by your inactivity? Where are you excusing your slackness as 'no big deal'? Where do you need a change of attitude to create more urgency and less slackness? Your Step today is to examine your usage and effectiveness of goals. Spend some time and set two or three goals in a few areas - physical, personal, business or financial - or revisit and reset goals you have abandoned. 

W27D5 - Goals

"David had said, 'Whoever leads the attack on the Jebusites will become commander-in-chief.' Joab son of Zeruiah went up first, and so he received the command" - 1 Chronicles 11:6.

David offered a reward to others who could help him accomplish his goal of conquering Jerusalem. Joab's goal was to lead the army, so his personal goal fit perfectly into David's bigger goal.  Leaders must be clear on what goals the group, department, or company are pursuing. Then the rewards must reinforce those goals, and the rewards must help people motivate themselves to action. All corporate goals should offer a reward that someone wants and not an ultimatum that they must achieve the goals 'or else.'

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to examine the rewards system you have in place. First, do those rewards communicate what is most important to you and the company? Second, do the rewards provide a clear and desired incentive to those involved? Third, are your goals clearly communicated to those working to achieve them? The easiest way to discover the answers is to ask those involved to evaluate your goals for clarity and your rewards for relevance.

W22D5 - Goals

"I press on toward the goal to win
the prize for which God has called
me heavenward in Christ Jesus" - Philippians 3:14.

This verse indicates the anatomy of a goal: 1) it causes a group to 'press on' while the inertia of tradition and fear is working to keep it stagnant and in the same place; 2) there is prize, which means there are winners and losers; 3) it is a 'calling,' something special that only this organization can embrace and accomplish; and 4) is 'heavenward,' which means the group pursuing the goal is elevated in its self-esteem and efficacy. Leaders understand these components and that is why they help their followers establish, clarify, focus and achieve group goals.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Today is review day. Your Step is to sit down and write out all the current goals for your department, family, organization or company. Then ask those involved in those entities to do the same thing and get together to compare notes. If everyone has the same goals written down, there is clarity. If not, then it's a good time to get everyone on the same page by enumerating clear and measurable goals so all are pulling in the same direction.

W17D5 - Goals

"Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God" - Psalm 145:3-5.

Leaders are often charismatic people who gets things done by sheer force of energy and vision coupled with a dynamic personality. Yet all leaders have limitations and weaknesses, and their ultimate weakness is they are mortal. They age and eventually retire and pass from this life. While leaders and organizations need to set goals, they are working in a fallen world with people who have limitations, weaknesses, and physical frailties. Therefore, they must temper their aggressive goal setting with the realization that their best-laid plans will oft go astray and lead to less than they had hoped. They must accept that eventually their own influence and effectiveness will diminish and they will have to pass the baton on to someone else to continue the work.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Are you grounded in your own mortality and limitations? Do you accept the limitations of others? Today, start to give some thought to and then develop a succession plan for your position, realizing that you may move on to take a new one at some point. After that, examine where you put your hope and faith. Is it in your abilities and experience, or in the God of your abilities and experience? The psalmist of today's passage said you are blessed if you put your trust in God. Finally, evaluate how you react to other people's human weakness—with grace or impatience?

W12D5 - Goals

"In the eleventh year in the month of Bul,
the eighth month, the temple was finished
in all its details according to its specifications.
He had spent seven years building it" - 1 Kings 6:38.

Solomon built the Temple of the Lord as his father David had directed him to do. When reading the verses before this one, one sees how detailed the plans for this Temple were. When leaders set out to do something significant or great, those things don't just happen. They require the use of goals, plans, faith, flexibility, teamwork and vision to make it all happen. What's more, this job wasn't finished in a day, but took seven years!  That's certainly a long-term goal but shows the time-tested value of goals and visions when leaders employ them in their work.

LEADERSHIP STEP: What are your long-term goals for your organization? Where will you be organizationally or personally in five years? Ten years? Your assignment today is to do some dreaming, alone or with your family or team, and write the vision down. Then spend 15 minutes setting some goals and developing plans to go with those dreams. Don't try to make it all 'perfect,' just let it flow for now. Later you can go back and fill in the gaps and tidy it up a bit.

W7D5 - Goals

"Now David had said, 'Whoever strikes down
a Jebusite first shall be chief and commander.'
Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first, so he
became chief" - 1 Chronicles 11:6.

Leaders help establish goals and rewards for the people in their organization, and promote people based on performance - realizing that team members are motivated by different things.. In today's verse, we see how David attacked Jerusalem and set a goal to see which of his fighting men would respond with faith and zeal. David made good on his promise to promote the man who led the way, and the city was taken, becoming the capital of Israel and a city that to this day is the focus of much of the world.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Are you clear in your family or organization what behavior is desired and will be rewarded? Then are you consistent to follow through on the rewards? While loyalty is desired, you must reward people for performance and not just staying around. Set some time today with your team and see if they are clear on what they should be doing, what it is you desire from them, and what rewards are connected to those desired outcomes.