Only three weeks until 2012—21 days. It’s a busy time of year. There are parties and Christmas programs to attend; shopping, cooking and decorating to finish up; guest bedrooms to clean; maybe changing the oil and vacuuming the car before that frantic Christmas Eve trip to Grandma’s. Plus, there are still customers to please (especially in retail), sermons to prepare, etc., etc., etc.
No one needs a list of more things to do between now and January 1st. I’m going to give you one anyway. Why? Because you need to finish well in 2011 and these five things will help.
#1 Do That Thing You Have Been Putting Off For Months It’s that “call back” note on your desk…the garage to clean (me!)…a report to write…a visit to the doctor…you know what it is. Don’t let it continue to nag you in 2012.
#2 Spend Time With The Water Boy Every organization has a water boy. The water boy goes about his job in anonymity. She cleans the office at night or he opens up the church early on Sunday mornings. Take 15 minutes to sit down and talk. Learn about his hobby and her kids. Listen for that hidden message from the heart. Say “thank you.” It will be a great finish to the water boy’s year…and yours.
#3 Forgive Someone From the mega-best seller, Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand:
“The paradox of vengefulness is that it makes men dependent upon those who have harmed them, believing that their release from pain will come only when they make their tormentors suffer. In seeking the Bird’s death to free himself, Louie had chained himself, once again, to his tyrant. During the war, the Bird had been unwilling to let go of Louie; after the war, Louie was unable to let go of the Bird.”
When we don’t forgive, we become a victim twice. First, when we are hurt, and second, when we chain ourselves to the pain. Bitterness and a desire for revenge are heavier weights than the original hurt; carrying them will wear you out emotionally. It’s not easy, but 2012 will be a much better year if you let go.
#4 Escape For A Day For just one day, turn off your iPhone…don’t check email…turn off the tv. Let your mind and emotions fully escape and rest. The world will still be there the next day.
#5 Be Thankful Starting today and every day through December 31, be thankful for one specific thing. Did you have a warm place to sleep? Did you see a Salvation Army bell ringer? Were the police on duty on Christmas day? A list of 21 things will be easy if you focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have. A good starting place is to thank God for the grace and mercy he offers to all of us in Jesus.
No matter how busy you are, you have time to do these five things. Start 2012 by finishing well in 2011. You’ll be glad you did.
© Copyright 2011 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company
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"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner
Dick, Can you update my email address…it was email@example.com. The new email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org (note there are 2 “h’s”.
Thanks for you ministry to leaders.
Done, Gary. Call for that cup of coffee we talked about.
I almost didn’t read this today because of having so many things on my plate…isn’t that ironic. I’m glad I did. It changed my perspective. Thanks Dick.
Thanks, Matt. My first three Thank You’s are: 1. Jennifer Roy, Aaron’s piano teacher; 2. Full size Christmas tree in IN condo, looks great, thanks Dottie; 3. Hugs from my Sunday morning 4-yr-old girls-Ellen, Abigail, Macie and Emma. How is your list coming? Chicken House later this week?