Posts Tagged ‘accomplishment’

Today I accomplished a new goal. Over the course of the quarantine, I got a little lax with my health. I think it truth I was trying to work through my anxiety by working a lot and combined with stress eating and, my weight increased while my health decreased. I needed to do something, then someone in my family introduced me to YesFit. It’s quite a program. YesFit uses virtual races in a variety of lengths. You simply select your race, pay your fee, and using a fitness tracker, (I use AppleFit on. my iPhone) it tracks your progress as you walk to finish your race. Today I finished my second “race” a 155.5 mile trek called Tortoise Creep. I previously did an Alien themed 97.7 mile race. I finished the first one in about 18 days. All along the way, the race sends you images and links featuring interesting things based on your theme. Using this program I’ve logged about 250 miles since June 7. I have lost about 10 pounds (it should have been more but as my wife points out, you can’t out exercise a bad diet). At the end of the race, you receive a pretty impressive medal in the mail, and while they are pretty cool and can be great conversation pieces, I don’t do it for the medal. I do it to try to get in better shape, but the races help by setting a measurable goal and allowing you to track your progress all along the way.

So why do I share this? Because measurable goals are extremely important and helpful for us in a variety of ways. Case in point, I am working on my Masters thesis. Now I really had great intentions of being done with it by now, but to be honest my work load has increased pretty dramatically with COVID and I now spend a considerable amount of time publishing and mailing my sermons as well as producing video content. Further, I have to confess I have been struggling with distraction and frustration as I look at all the things going on in our world, very simply put, I am way off track.

The thing is, my Thesis can be a measurable goal. There is a minimum page count and judging from what I have written and what is left in my outline, I will have very little trouble exceeding that, so I have set an estimated page count, and a time by which I want to be done. I can then divide that out to figure out daily benchmarks. Now life is uncertain, but every time I reach a benchmark, I am another step closer to my goal.

What goals do you have? What would you like to accomplish? Set an end goal and establish a few benchmarks along the way. Then check them off and work to your goal. Measurable goals are a great way to get where you want to be.

So here we are, and tomorrow is the big day, the start of a new year. We’ve talked about goal setting and coming up with those incremental steps that will get you to your goal. It’s now time to put feet to your goals and get started. “But wait,” you might be thinking, “I haven’t set my goal yet.” Okay I will issue a challenge. It’s really simple, but if you will take it, it will launch you in a good direction, your work will improve and you will quite possibly reach your goals.

It’s really simple. Are you ready?

Create every day. At least six days a week (even God rested). It doesn’t have to be a completed piece everyday, that depends on your process, but create something every day. Work toward your goal or improving your skills every day. If you’re a writer, write, if you’re an artist, make art. Do something creative daily. You’ll be amazed what you accomplish.

What if you miss a day? Pick it up the next day and keep going. You can hit your goals.

I set a goal for 2015 to create 12 marketable products in the course of the year. I was able to generate 7 books. Two of those books were adult coloring books, one was a sketch devotional, one was a book adaptation of one of my speaking presentations, and two were creative challenge books. None of these hit the best sellers list or anything, but they do provide additional income at my speaking engagements. I also created at least seven new T-shirts through Again these were not huge sellers, but I get a notification about once a week saying someone bought one. I also created a new presentation called Close Encounters with Jesus, which I presented for the first time this year. I had a goal of speaking 50 times this year, I think I hit 48 or 49, which was great. I also had a goal to post every day to this blog and my final stat was 375 posts for the year. It was a really good and fulfilling year.

I don’t say these things to boast, finding myself out of work incentivized me to work pretty hard. I do say them to show reaching goals is possible. So is being prolific and the key to getting there is really simple. Go to work. Treat your work as if it were your job and work every day. If you’ve ever wanted to turn your creativity into your living, that is a huge key.

I think this year, I am going to try to post my daily creations on a special page on this blog or I may just make them posts on the blog itself. My goal for this year is 30 speaking engagements, daily blogging (and upgrading my blogs), and a new subscription based teaching tool for ministries that want to use art as a teaching tool. I am also planning several activity type books.

As I alluded to yesterday, this was a year where once again God showed Himself to be faithful. Were it not for him, I could not have done any of this and all glory goes to Him. He showed up and He provided. If He is Faithful, and He is, and He called you to what you’re doing, the fitting and proper response is faithfulness on your part.

Basically the challenge this year is simple. Do the work.

settinggoalsYesterday we talked about your vision for the coming year. Now we need to look at goals. These are the steps to take to get to your vision. Think of it as breaking your vision down into manageable steps. Think back to the “simple math of success” post from a few weeks ago. For example, if you want to write a 320 page novel this year, writing a page a day will get you there with 45 days for edits. If you want to build a body of work for a portfolio, figure out how many pieces you need, divide that by 365 and you will see how many days you have to complete each piece, etc. Basically we are taking large things and breaking them into smaller things and then checking off those smaller things until we reach our goals.

Once you know where you want to go, and what you need to do to get there, the next step is to do something. Here are a few things you need to know:

1. You will not always meet your goal. There will be times when life happens and you miss your goal. This is not fatal, but how you react to not making your goal might be. If you set a goal to write a novel in a year and it takes you a year and a half, you have still written a novel. If on the other hand you have to miss two days in a row of writing and you give up, you have nothing. Keep going. The only thing fatal to a vision is quitting.

2. Set realistic goals. I know, I hate that word realistic too, but sometimes you just have to be realistic. If you are a young single person with minimal responsibilities, you can go for broke. If on the other hand you are a young mom with 2.5 kids, your working time is going to be impaired. This does not reveal a lack of commitment. It’s simply a reality of life. Do what you can with what you have, which brings us to my next point.

3. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Phrased positively, focus on what you do have. In other words, very rarely do we have everything we need to accomplish a goal when we start working toward it. As a matter of fact if you do have everything you need to accomplish your goal when you start, I might be tempted to say your goal is not aggressive enough. Start with what you do have and keep moving forward.

4. Do not compare. There is always a real temptation to measure yourself by someone else. Avoid that. It may be okay to admire someone, even go to them for pointers, but for the most part, the people we admire are further down the road than we are. To try to be them is usually a fool’s errand. Instead, bring the best you have to your own work each day and be the best you, you can be.

5. Be as prolific as you can. There is no substitute for hard work. The more you do, the better you become. Practice, practice, practice. That being said, do not neglect the other important things of your life. The creative life is supposed to be a balanced life, sometimes it’s a balancing act, but an unbalanced life will damage your creativity.

6. Share your work. Nothing is more maddening to me than creatives who hide their work until it reaches some level of perfection. Usually this level is unattainable, especially when you bring number four into the mix. Your creation is your gift to the world, but a gift ungiven is not a gift. At some point, you have to let the world see what you have done.

7. Have a thick skin. Rest assured, there was someone who thought Michelangelo’s, DaVinci’s, Rembrandt’s, Van Gogh’s (fill in your favorite creative’s name here)’s work was pure crap (can I say that here?). Not everyone will like your stuff. With critics, you have two choices, learn from them if they have something of value to offer, or ignore them. Art is subjective. Some people will hate it and many will have no problem telling you they hate it. Glean what you can and move on.

I was going to share my goals for the year here, but I decided not to. I don’t want you to emulate my goals. Some people say I am very prolific, sometimes I think I’m crazy. I want you to create healthy, attainable goals that will stretch you, but not break you, not make you quit. Instead I will confess something. I didn’t make all my goals this year. I got really close, but a couple things just took longer than I imagined. In some cases, my life changed and goals changed with it. Here’s what I will say though. This has been among the best years of my life and probably my most successful. Want to know how I did it?

I trusted God and I kept going.

You can do that too.

elephantcookbookYou’re not going to learn anything from today’s post, but you could gain a lot. You see the math here is so simple any second grader could do it, but the outcome of learning this simple truth could be astounding.

Is there something you would like to accomplish? Does it seem like it may be too large for you to do. Does the size of it seem daunting? Does that “dauntingness” make you give up? You need to change your thinking with simple math.

Here’s an example from my real life. I am wanting to create one of those adult coloring books, with the really complex designs that are a gateway to creativity for many people, some of whom have long since put creativity out of their minds. It looks as though I will need about 100 pages. At that level of complexity 100 pages of art would be enough to make me say, “Forget it.” Of course if you’re a long time reader here, you know that’s not my style and it doesn’t have to be yours either. While 100 illustrations seems daunting, I can easily do one or two a day, three on a good day. That means I can finish the project in one to three months. That feels a lot more doable doesn’t it. It’s simple math 100 divided by 1 = 100, 100 divided by 2 = 50. You get the point. 365 blog posts feels really huge, one a day is really manageable, and guess what, in one year, 365!

Want to write the great American novel? 320 pages is probably about an average length. Seems like a lot, but can you write one page a day? Of course you can, and your novel with edits and everything else can be done in less than a year. Want to create a body of art for an exhibition. Figure out how many pieces you need. Set a goal of when you want it done and do some simple division. It’s really all about goal setting and dividing that goal into manageable chunks, then faithfully carrying out your goal each day.

So what happens if you don’t meet it? You get busy. You get lazy. Something unforeseen happens. Simple, you pick up where you left off and keep moving forward. If the deadline is self imposed, it’s really just a matter of pushing back your goal a bit. If it’s imposed by someone else, you have some catching up to do, but you can do it.

You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t start. So start, set a sensible goal, a sensible deadline and do the math.

It really is that simple.