By: Kris Dolberry– I once heard ESPN college football analyst and national championship winning head coach, Gene Chizik say his strategy for leading his team to success was to simply, “Plan the work, then work the plan”. That statement seared into my productivity-nerd-soul. I have found that the times I am at my best, are the times when I have approached life that way. That’s why I love making New Year’s Resolutions.
According to a recent survey about 41% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions. Are you one of them? If you have already made yours for 2018 (Wow that’s crazy, huh?), maybe this article will help you strengthen them. If you haven’t yet, you still have time. Hopefully this can give you a good starting point.
In their book Oikonomics, Mike Breen and Ben Sternke explain that Jesus taught his followers to invest their time, energy, and money into 5 areas. They call them the “5 Capitals“. For me, that has become a great outline for how to “plan the work”. Here are 5 resolutions I customize every year based on what I sense the Lord wants to do in and through me:
1. Physical- Be Healthy
I believe that one of the most prevalent sins of omission in America today is neglecting pursuing physical health and fitness. Remember, the enemy’s strategy is clear: Destroy your life (John 10:10). For many, he will through gradually eroding your health and fitness. Don’t buy it. Set a realistic goal this year to pursue. Each year, I typically set a body fat percentage goal. I measure it every other week with an easy-to-use monitor. This is the one I use. If you’re looking for more intentional health and fitness advice, check out my friend Cody Bobay’s ministry, Soulcon.
2. Financial- Give Generously
I am making preparation for 2018 to be my best financial year ever. Like you, I have goals for my family. More than anything, I want to be increasingly joyfully generous with the financial capital the Lord blesses me with. I’ll bet you do to. The problem is, most of us just don’t feel like we can. This is one of the most stressful areas in most of our lives. If you need help here, The Money Challenge by Art Rainer is a great place to start for guidance. For more in depth coaching, find out more about Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.
3. Spiritual- Enjoy the Father
For much of my life, I viewed God as a strict disciplinarian just waiting on me to mess up. That left me feeling like God was mad at or disappointed in me much of the time. Over the last several years, I have come to understand more of who God really is– a good Father who desires to give good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11). This year I want to rest in that reality. Rather than living under the burden of a legalist performance-based mindset, I want to delight in, depend on and enjoy the fact that my good Father is captivated with me. Not some future more spiritual version of me; me just the way I am.
4. Relational- Intentionally Love People
If you’re anything like me, it is so easy for you to run so fast through life that you fail to treasure the people in your life. As a pastor for 20 years, I’ve been around the bed of many dying people. No one has ever EVER asked to have his bank statement, property deed, or list of accomplishments brought into the room. No one has ever said, “You know, I wish I had spent less time with my loved ones.” But, every single one has wanted to have the people he most values to be there during those final days. They would all tell you, don’t wait! Invest now while you still have the ability to. In 2018, wring your life out for the sake of the people you love. I promise you won’t regret it.
5. Vocational- Hustle
Whether you are a pastor or a plumber, builder or banker, work in the C-suite or the assembly line, God has called you to give your very best (1 Corinthians 10:31). Just because your job may not be technically vocational ministry does not mean you are less spiritual than your pastor. It simply means you have a different, just-as-spiritual calling. When you hustle and do your work well, you are glorifying God by showing the world what a gospel-centered person looks like. Wouldn’t it be a contradiction for a person who proclaims to know and be driven God to then be a lazy non-effective worker? This year, hustle! For more on this, check out the Bible study I wrote with Steve Graves entitled, The Gospel Goes to Work.
Kris Dolberry is a pastor, speaker, writer, and trainer of leaders. After serving in pastoral leadership for 17 years, Kris now leads Ministry to Men at LifeWay and serves as Executive Editor of Stand Firm, a daily devotional magazine for men. Kris is husband to Vanessa and dad to Konnor, Emma, and Brady. They live outside Nashville, Tennessee.