Focus on “Little Wins”

Posted: January 29, 2022 in Uncategorized

I’m not sure why exactly, but some folks try to find a word of the year. I wasn’t really looking for one, but one sort of “found”me and that word was “focus.” I have this real habit is getting caught up in the things going on all around me and sometimes I get really distracted. Within the first week or so of the year, I read a book called Chasing Failure by Ryan Leak. The idea behind the book is to put aside your fear of failure and being intentional about trying things until you succeed, sort of failing forward rather than being afraid to fail. I found a lot of it useful, but I know of already do that, but there was one thing I really thought might work for me and it has. Leak mentioned that he makes a list every week of 30 to 40 things he wants to accomplish during that week. Well to me 30-40 sounded a little excessive. Mainly because a lot of the things I do are pretty time consuming. Still the project sounded worthwhile so I decided to give it a go, using 20-25. I’m in the third week of this discipline and it’s working like a charm. 

Last year, I determined in my heart that I was going to do one design and one blog post every day and to be honest it was sort of lackluster. My hope was I would grow this blog and my art blog by populating with more content. I did a lot of work. Without bearing a lot of fruit. I think what I learned was, 1. You have to do more than create content to build an audience and 2 I felt like my efforts were not focused. There are really important projects that sort of fell by the way side while I worked on stuff that wasn’t gaining traction. Time to refocus. 

So this year, I will make the lists. I start each week with the things I want to do every day. This is daily Bible reading and reading at least one chapter of a book each day. I had originally added prayer to that list, but I didn’t feel like prayer was something to be checked off a list so I removed it in favor of something else, which I will get to in another post. The Bible reading moves me toward the goal of finding a new translation of the Bible for my preaching in the coming year and of course, my daily devotions. And the (at least) chapter of the book each day, while including some recreational reading, is mainly to keep me focused on completing my Doctoral dissertation this year. From there I am breaking down things I want to accomplish this year into manageable pieces. I am hoping to minister at a camp this year, so I have broken down each of my sessions into manageable pieces which I will add to the weekly schedule. I am also attempting to write a chapter of my dissertation (at least the rough draft) each week. If I can accomplish that, I will be able to finish the rough draft of the paper by July. I also am working on a new ministry video, so I scripted it and am now place a few off the illustrations into the schedule each week until it’s done. Rather than trying to do a piece of art each day, I have decided to try to create one new design for a line I am trying to develop each wee; Of course I am also working in some of the mundane things that just need doing, like tax work, sales calls for my speaking ministry, etc.  

Of course the main focus of the list next to my devotional life is on my church ministry. Those are the things that must be done first and for which there is a specific schedule. So far it’s worked. The first week I finished the whole list. Last week I finished all but one. I didn’t panic about that, I just reevaluated what I wanted to do and moved it to this week. In this way, all the priority work things get done, and each time I finish something it feels like a “little win.” Now this system is mainly for my professional life and my projects, but what I am realizing is there needs to be a list for my personal life as well. Stay tuned.  

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