Friday, June 24, 2016

New Life-Plan Retreat Dates! (Spring 2017)



Can you really plan your whole life?  Well, the simple answer is yes. The more complex (and more accurate) answer is that it takes work and it takes help, but you can do it!  We just came off of a Life-Plan retreat in November of last year and the results have been outstanding!  As I've done some follow-up coaching with the guys who participated, each one has talked about the fact that he is a different guy and has been forever changed.  One even said this:

"The Life Plan retreat changed the course of my life and gave me renewed hope and a strategic plan for my life. By reviewing my life's story and identifying my purpose, passions, and values, I was able to discern how God had shaped my life and prepared me to fulfill His plan in pursuit of my Kingdom purpose." 
~ Craig Cross - Oil and Natural Gas Consultant

I'm very excited to be able to bring this retreat to men again this year.  Mark your calendar and save your spot.  I'm sure this one will fill up quickly,  just like the last one did.  It's just for men, it's super-affordable and it will be life-changing for anyone who engages the process.

Who is it for?  This if for you, if you are dealing with . . .
  • A major life transition
  • A move from success to significance
  • Yearning to know what God has prepared you for next
  • Burn-out and losing passion for your work
  • A desire to find a healthy life/work balance
  • Increased fulfillment and meaning in life
  • Alignment with who you are and what you do
  • True success, as God defines it, in your most important life and work priorities
What are the details?

When: March  23-25, 2017 (Thursday evening - Saturday early afternoon)
Where: Tulsa, Oklahoma area in excellent accommodations
Cost: $295 per person (plus $200 for lodging & meal cost) See accommodations here.
(*Done individually, this experience is priced at $1650.  The group experience is far more effective and far less expensive*)
Deadline: The deadline to register is Monday, February 20.  It's very likely it will fill up prior to this date, so move quickly.
Other: Maximum group of 10 men (first come, first served)

Where can I get more information?
Below are two very helpful links that give you an overview and some more details:

One-page SLP overview
Three-page SLP detail 

How can I reserve my spot?

Just click here to register. Paying your $295 for the Retreat experience will hold your spot.  You'll be billed separately for the lodging and food costs about a month before the retreat.   This deposit is not refundable.  You'll want to move on this quickly to get your spot.  

You've heard it before.  No one plans to fail.  We only fail to plan.  The reason you've heard it before is because it's true.  I hope you'll consider this opportunity to put in the hard work to make plans for your life that will serve you, your family and countless others for many years to come.

Friday, June 17, 2016

How To Get Yourself Out Of That Funk

I just don't feel like . . . { You can fill in the blank }  This statement has been the killer of many a dream. But why?  What if it were possible to move forward toward your dreams even when you don't feel like it?  As someone with big dreams, who is presently in a bit of a funk, I'm going to say that it is not only possible but the results are very predictable.  And it's largely up to you.  

I'm ambitious.  I'm a planner.  I'm a goal-setter.  When I set my goals for this year, I was on fire.  The pace at which I was hammering away at my goals was dizzying.  And this is where a new picture of working toward goals and dreams is needed.  You know that dizzying pace I was keeping?  While it's not wrong to go gangbusters toward something you're excited about, it's also not sustainable.  If you're in the place where you want to accomplish big goals, but you don't feel very motivated to get moving on those goals at the moment, here are a few things to consider.

Life moves in rhythms and seasons.  
The long and short of it is that your life falls into personal rhythms and seasons. Not only should you accept this fact, but you should get to know and understand your personal rhythms and seasons.   I wrote more extensively about this concept a few weeks ago.  You can read more right here.  

This is a long game. 
"We overestimate what we can accomplish in a day and underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade."  This is one of my all-time favorite quotes and life-principles.  I wrote more extensively about this here.  Please take a look.

Life is more about the journey than the destination. 
We tend to love some seasons and hate others.  But, maybe you can learn to embrace the funk you're in. Not because it's enjoyable but because it's a perfect opportunity for you to teach yourself how to break out of it.  Let's be honest, once you break out of this funk, you'll be back in another one again, at some point.  That's not a doomsday prediction.  It's reality for anyone who is learning, growing and pushing toward goals.  Embrace the reality.  Don't run from it. 

You create your own energy.  
You create energy by moving in the direction you want to go.  If you have a fitness goal that you're not moving toward, the temptation is to just give up. This, of course, takes you further from your goal and perpetuates the low state you're in.  What if you made a decision to just walk toward your goal even when you don't feel like it?  If you do, something amazing happens.  The energy you crave begins to come.  You truly can manufacture your own energy to reach your goals. Once you get down the road, the flywheel effect will kick in, but you might need to push pretty hard to get the wheel turning.  Get moving.

So, whatever goals you're working toward (family, fitness, business, spiritual or any other goal under the sun), if you're in a funk right now (like me as I write this), it's ok.  It will pass, and to a large extent, you have control over how quickly it passes.  Embrace every season of life.  Even the ones that don't feel particularly fun or energizing.  This is a long game and you'll accomplish infinitely more by staying on track, even if the pace is slow in certain seasons.  The tortoise was right. Slow and steady really does win the race.  

I'd love to know what goals you're working toward or what has you in a funk lately.  Very often, sharing it out loud is a big key to moving toward it or getting over it. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Your New Filter For Saying NO

Why is it so hard to say no?  Well, let's not make more of it than it really is.  There are only two real reasons you say yes to things you should say no to.  (1) Because you really want to do that thing and you've neglected to count the cost.  (2) Because you want to please people and the idea of disappointing someone is too much for you to bear.  If you're making yes or no decisions like this, your filter is simply either, "Do I want to do this?" or "How will it make them feel if I say no?"  Both are fairly immature and ineffective.  Consider this instead.


A New Filter:  When you say yes to one thing, you're always saying no to another.  This is just one of those principles always at work; one that will either serve you well or bite you in the rear end.  Just think it through for a minute.  Your time, energy and money are finite resources you're tasked with managing.

  • Yes to overtime, no to rest.
  • Yes to dessert every night, no to fitness
  • Yes to an extra hour of sleep each morning, no to personal growth
  • Yes to a vendor at work who wants to come by and sell you more stuff, no to your real work
  • Yes to another sports league for your kids, no to church and family time
  • Yes to a huge luxury home with a huge payment, no to financial freedom

The list can go on and on.  If you're a parent, the easiest place to see this principle at work is with your kids.  How many personal desires have you said no to simply because you said yes to children once upon a time?  In this case, that yes to children was a great decision, but it illustrates this principle well. My twins will be thirteen this Fall and my drums have been stacked up in the corner of the garage for just about that same amount of time :) 

The Filter In Reverse: If you say no to one thing now, it makes room for yes to another down the line.  I serve on the staff at Solace Church.  One of my responsibilities is to respond to the requests we get from the community for financial help.  A few weeks ago a couple showed up to the church asking for money for groceries.  Based on our policies and my gut feeling about this couple I had to tell them we were unable to meet their request.  They didn't like my answer.  He told me some sad stories about how he was put out of work and she told me she was still recovering from a surgery.  She even proceeded to lift up her shirt and show me where the drain was still inserted to drain fluid off from the surgical incision.  Although it made for  a good story (because it was so gross) , it's didn't change my decision.  Now, even though I didn't fully believe their stories and I knew my decision was right, I still felt kind of bad about saying no to their request.  The truth is, I could have said yes.  I've got a budgeted amount of money to work with and I'm free to go outside what our policy says if I feel like it's the right call in that situation.  But, then a few hours later, I received a call from a couple in our church who were in a similar situation.  They met the criteria and I felt good about this one.  That finite resource of budgeted money to help these kinds of needs was still available to the second couple because I had said a somewhat difficult no to the first couple. It felt so good and so right that I could say yes now because I had said no earlier. 

What's out of control for you?  Is it your schedule?  Your money?  Your rest?  Your family time - or lack of?  Chances are if any part of your life feels over-committed and out of control, you might need to reset your filters.  What's an example of this principle at work in your life?

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Secret to Long-Term Productivity

Ok, it's not a secret, but I don't think many of us understand, and even fewer of us respect the ryhthms of our lives. Do you even know I'm talking about?  Well, if not, let's talk about them some.  If you're going through the effort of reading this blog, written to help you lead yourself better, I'm going to assume you're either (A) my mom, or (B) someone who is pretty motivated and ambitious about a great many things in your life.  Since just one of you is my mom, I'm going to write to the rest of you today.  I hope this helps you too, mom. Love you :)

"We over estimate what we can accomplish in a day and under estimate what we can accomplish in a decade."

I'm not sure who first said this.  I heard it from Blaine Bartel and he attributed it to Tony Robbins. Whoever it was, never a truer statement has been made.

I spent some time with a few guys who I highly respect yesterday and we were discussing daily and weekly routines.  One of them mentioned how he pushes to get up early several days a week, but not seven days a week.  Another said he's found, through experimentation, what time he can consistently get up in the morning without crashing after a couple weeks.

The key that I want to ask you to think about today is sustatinability.  I get that you're driven.  So am I.  I get that you want to accomplish a lot with that day you've been given.  I'm glad.  Each day is a gift and I believe we're irresponsible when we go into a day without a plan - even if the plan is to rest.  But, please hear me Mr. or Mrs. high-output, driven, world-taker.  You over estimate what you can accomplish in a day and under estimate what you can accomplish in a decade. With that being the case, you too must experiment with what works and does not work for you.  You need to get to know your personal rhythms and respect them.

There are many examples we can use, but let's use sleep.  How much sleep do you need?  Sure, you can read medical journals and find out what's recommended, but we're all a little different.  Experiment for yourself.  I know you want to get more done, but remember, you'll get more done over the long haul, if you will do the work it takes to find sustainable rhythms in your life.  I've found that a good and sustainable rhythm for me is to be in bed between 9:30 & 10pm and get up at 5am.  I do this Monday-Friday, sleep till whenever I wake up on Saturday and get up at 6am on Sundays.  I'm not suggesting this should be your rhythm for sleep.  It's just mine that I've found through several years of experimentation, false-starts and failures.  For example, I know that I can get up at 4:15am for about 6 weeks before I begin to crash during the day, but the only way I  know is that I've tried.

Two Sidenotes:

  1. This is all a moving target.  Just about every cycle you find to be healthy will change as your season of life changes.  So, don't misunderstand and think this is a one and done exercise. 
  2. If you think you can operate effectively on 3-4 hours of sleep per night, you're a fool.  You're probably about 50% of what you really could be. You're cheating yourself and everyone around you.  Grow up and stop believing you're super-human.

Sleep is just one example.  You can apply this toward all kinds of activities - exercise, food consumption, reading, study, hours at work, time alone, time with other people.  You name it and you'll find a healthy rhythm for yourself - if you're willing to look for it.  Remember, you will accomplish a lot more over the long haul than you will today, so choose your activities (even your rest) wisely.

I'd love to hear about some of the healthy and unhealthy rhythms you've found for yourself.