Time is interesting. Without time being divided into periods, a bad year continues on forever with no way of dismissing it or putting it behind. With times and dates and years it means that we can divide our experiences into periods allowing us to put a difficult year in the past and plan for a better year ahead. The markers along the way allow us to evaluate where we are going against our stated goals for each time period. As we enter 2019 both individually and as a country I would like to point out some strategies to ensure the greatest opportunity for success.
It is important to reflect on the past year and to take note of what went well, what did not go well, what worked, what didn’t work and to use the lessons of the past year as building blocks for the new. Savor the good and congratulate yourself for what you were able to accomplish of a positive nature. Never minimize or dismiss your successes because they should serve as inspiration for what is possible. In the same way we should also reflect on our mistakes and bad decisions and use them as learning tools to ensure a better tomorrow. Time periods allow us to evaluate and move forward compartmentalizing experiences into convenient segments.
How did our performance stack up against our goals?
As individuals and as a nation did we achieve our goals or not?
Was it our fault or not and what factors led to non-achievement?
If we did not live up to our goals are there adjustments we can make?
Are there things we tolerated from ourselves or tolerated from others that led to poor performance?
Perhaps there are some people who were a part of your journey in 2018 who do not qualify to be a part of the journey in 2019. It is hard to remove people from your life or from your inner circle, but honest evaluation means you make decisions that are in your best interests and that take you forward toward your goals. If you are a business or political leader it can mean your viability and continued survival is at stake. Evaluate and make the critical and difficult decisions.
Maximize your strengths
In sports there is something called a go to move – something that you are gifted at that you count or when the game is on the line. Determine your go to moves. Continue to utilize your go to moves that have delivered best results in the past. It may be a speech, it may be a type of meeting, it may be a special methodology or tool that has produced results in the past, whatever it is, remember your go to move and go with it.
Win with what you have
Many of us have the habit of looking at what we don’t have and bemoaning what is missing. In most cases what is missing is currently unattainable so focusing in on it means valuable time is wasted. Learn to win with what you have. I recall the story of Moses in the Bible – he told God all he had was a stick and he didn’t speak well. He focused on what was missing but God told him since all he had was a stick to use his stick. He also told him he didn’t speak well but his brother did so they would use his brother to do the speaking.
It may not look perfect but what you have you can win with it. If you don’t have the team you want, win with the team you have until you can do differently. Do not postpone winning until you get everything in place that you want.
My goals for each new year are similar. I want to be the best I can be according to my faith in God and my personal belief system. I want to help as many others as I can to achieve their goals, particularly those who face challenges that I am equipped to help them overcome. I want the organization I lead to achieve its maximum potential and I want to ensure that my family is first and their well-being is enhanced and assured by my efforts.
It is important to write things down. We call them New Year’s resolutions but the Bible calls it writing the vision down and making it plain. Whatever is written is not left to memory and can be referred to as the months go by allowing us to make adjustments if we are not meeting our stated goals. The vision is the road map or the GPS. Whenever you forget your way just look to the GPS for the next turn. No GPS means you have to survive wrong turns, get to your destination late or never get to your destination. God provides a GPS for us in two forms – his written word and his spirit. Listen to the voice of the GPS and follow the map of the written word and arrive at your destiny in 2019. Happy New Year and blessings to you and yours.
• Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange.