The Year of “Why?”

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Welcome to 2016!

This is the year where you will either A) figure out what you want to do with your life, B) continue to push forward toward your goals, or C) reclaim your lost passion and start over.

But there’s one question you need to ask yourself every single day should you decide to act on your passion or goals.

Everyday, when you feel beat up, worn out, tired, depressed, whatever, ask yourself: “WHY?”

WHY do you want to lose weight?

WHY do you want to finish school?

WHY do you want to get your painting in an art gallery?

WHY do you want to be famous?

You see, when you ask this question, it puts your inner-self right back at the beginning. It mentally places you right back in that moment when you decided you wanted to achieve whatever goals you want to have achieved.

And then, when you re-enter into the present, you’ll happily realize you’re several steps closer to your goal than you were when you first set it!

Here are my WHY questions answered:

I want to be a bestselling author. WHY?

Because when I see my name and my book on the bestseller charts, I’m taking the family to Disney World.

I want to pay for my kids to go to a private school or have the option to homeschool.

I want to have the freedom to live and work wherever I want.

I don’t want any person or corporation to tell me when I can or cannot take vacation (or be sick).

I want my wife to never have to work.

I want to not look back five years from now and wonder: WHY NOT? 

My upcoming books: 

  1. These Great Affects – An emotionally-driven young adult novel about a girl who falls in love with a boy – after he dies. (Click here to be one of the first to review it when it’s done!)
  2. Profit Over Patients – The true story of a patient advocate doctor who sued Big Insurance and won against all odds.

Follow my Facebook Page for updates!

My New Year’s “REFUSELUTION”

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We’re all familiar with making New Year’s resolutions, and we’re even more familiar with breaking them by February 3rd. Let’s face it, most of the time New Year’s resolutions don’t work.

But what if you went into the new year with a different mindset?

Instead of making a New Year’s resolution, do what I’m doing and make a refuselution! 

What the heck is that? Glad you asked.

A resolution is the act of resolving to make a change to one’s life, usually targeting a specific goal and/or accomplishment.

Another way to put it is, it’s like pressing the button on a launch missile and hoping the target gets bombed.

My problem with resolutions is that it leaves a lot of room for failure, because targets are easy to miss. You have a much higher chance of not getting the soccer ball in the goal because there’s so much open space around it.

But what if you said, “I refuse to let the ball land on the left side of the goal. Anything else is victory.” Much higher change of success. You’ve just raise the odds of winning from a mere 10% to a whopping 60%.

This year I’m not making the same resolution I’ve been making every year for the last decade and a half. I’ve always said, “I want to be a bestselling author.” Sure, I still want that, but I have to examine why I want that.

Well, I want to be self-employed. I want to make money for me doing what I love to do – not slave away at a mindless job making someone else money they didn’t earn (corporate America).

So while I am still going to strive with all of my heart to land on the New York Times bestseller list by December 31, 2016, I am open to any other way I can safely quit my day job and have more time to spend at home with my growing kids, make my own schedule, work my own hours, take a day off whenever I want, travel, and be happy doing what I’m doing.

My refuselution is simple: I refuse to be at my day job (or be obligated to any day job) by December 31, 2016.

See how that leaves a much wider area for success? Instead of bombing a certain target, I’m just having to avoid a certain spot. Instead of having to find the needle in the haystack, I just have to avoid the needle.

Instead of resolving to be a certain weight, refuse to reach a certain poundage. (“I refuse to hit 250 pounds all year.”)

Instead of resolving to watch less TV, refuse to allow yourself to be dependent on TV. (“I refuse to say no to activities and life in general because I’d rather watch my stupid shows.”)

Instead of resolving to be a better parent, refuse to yell at your kids so much. (“I refuse to be known as the guy who screams at my children.”)

Or instead of resolving to be happier, refuse to find your happiness and worth in others and chart your own course.

Making a refuselution leaves a lot of room for error and mistakes. But it also is sort of a map of a minefield and tells us where to avoid stepping. Everything else is fair game!

Share with me your refuselutions. What are you going to avoid next year? And refuse to not share this with your friends!

My upcoming books: 

  1. Profit Over Patients – The true story of a patient advocate doctor who sued Big Insurance and won against all odds.
  2. These Great Affects – An emotionally-driven young adult novel about a girl who falls in love with a boy – after he dies.

Follow my Facebook Page for updates!

5 Tips for Making New Year’s Resolutions

calvin-and-hobbesI mentioned in yesterday’s post that if you feel like you ought to make a resolution this year, then that probably means you need to make a resolution.

But the word resolution is overused and not as heavy as a word I am going to propose in its stead for this post. This year, I plan on making a few New Year’s commitments. But how do you decide if it’s worth it?

You know what I mean… you resolve to lose three pounds a month and it’s December before you even realize you gave up on that back in March. But this year, let’s make deeper commitments than just meager weight loss and less video game time. Let’s examine a structure for how we can set commitments for 2013 and actually keep them.

1. Start Now

If there’s something you know you ought to change, we’ve less than a week before New Years; start today. Get a head start and prove to yourself that you can indeed make this change in your life. Don’t wait till New Years Eve. If you plan on drinking less, start now and persevere through December 31st. That way, when you’re tempted on January 3rd, you can look back and say, “If I can make it then, I can make it now.”

2. Replace, don’t omit

As creatures of worship and busy schedules, it’s not really possible to omit something from your life. We’re all completed puzzles, but if you take a piece out, we’re going to search frantically for something to fill in that missing piece. If you decide you want to play less video games, have something positive to fill in that block of time you usually play games. And make it fun! If you can afford it, go out for coffee during that time. If you’re trying to cut back on your cursing, learn to replace curses with blessings or positive words.

3. Commit to add 

When we think of New Year’s resolutions, we often think of depleting something from our lives, like sugar or bad habits or attitudes, or time spent online or in front of the TV. If you’re like me, you read too much, oft times at the expense of my loved one. So, instead of merely reading less, I am going to try to involve her in my reading more, and propose we read more together. If you watch too much TV, try watching things your kids would rather watch and join them in their interests. Add your loved ones to activities that have become solely about you.

4. Commit to fail

I’m an all-or-nothing kind of guy. If I fail once, I throw in the sack. But if I make room for imperfection, then I have a better chance at success in the long run. When I started this blog back in March I never made a commitment to post every single day. I just sort of generalized it by saying I’ll post 2-6 times a week. That’s a pretty big margin for failure if I’m committed to to posting every day. But 2-6 times a week – that’s doable, and it’s worked!  Leave room for imperfection.

5. Commit to achieve 

In exactly one year from this very moment, what do you want to look back on and say you’ve achieved? Want to have that book finally written or published? Want to have that degree in your hand? Want to have a stronger relationship with your spouse? Keep this future moment in mind. Every day. All year. And remember how fast a year goes by. It’s but a breath, so you really have very little time to achieve these goals.

Get a head start and begin today, before the 31st. Replace something bad with something good. Add things to enrich your life. Know your potential and leave room for imperfection. And always have the end in mind and imagine how wonderful it will be to reach it with a job well done.

Please help us achieve our goal to foster-to-adopt in 2013 by purchasing my book here.

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Moving Forward

NO LIMITS SIGN BLOG_0Post Christmas blues. December 26th – the most depressing day of the year. I’m sure Ebenezer Scrooge once had this day marked on his calendar with smiley faces and highlights while the rest of the world cried boo-hoo-hoo like the Grinch wanted to hear from Whoville.

The wrapping paper is torn and thrown out, the Christmas cookies are half eaten, the sink is piled up with dirty dishes, work starts back up, and reality sets back in. Through the magic and joy of Christmas, the Curse sets back in and reminds us of our daily duties and responsibilities and the grudges and burdens we carried on December 23rd set themselves back upon our shoulders, causing us to mope and drag our feet with breaking backs.

Last night, as Christmas came to a dreadful close, I made a couple of promises as to how next Christmas will be better than this year. And I perked up a bit because I have an entire 365 days stretched out before me to ensure that I accomplish what needs to be done to make Christmas 2013 a year for Sarabeth to remember for the rest of her life.

It was hard, I admit, celebrating another Christmas without a baby giggling in a crib. But if God allows it, those sounds will ring through our house next Christmas morning, and God will provide a way for us to pursue our foster-to-adopt goals.

Some of you know that we have been keeping Sarabeth’s sister’s two dachshunds for the last fourteen months or so, as she and her husband are over-seas as missionaries. They’ll be back next year, which we’re SO excited for, but they’ll be taking Rox and Syd back. So, not only do I pray we have a baby in the house, but we’ll also have a new puppy.

So 2013, as I have it set in my heart, will be a really great year. Now, maybe relatives will die, and disasters will strike and finances might deplete. We can still rest at peace if we are daily walking with the Lord, because we know that whatever happens this coming year, God has already got it written out, and has permitted to happen.

And everything that happened this past year happened because God allowed it. Maybe you had a bad year, and there are things you want to do differently in 2013. If you’re like me, you’re wondering if you should bother making New Years resolutions. Well, here’s a rule I generally go by. If you keep thinking you ought to make a resolution, that means you probably need to make that resolution, no matter what time of year it is.

Resolutions aren’t something you decide you want to make and live by. They’re generally something you need to make. But make them while looking forward. If you had a bad year – maybe you fell into some nasty habits, or you strayed from your relationship with Jesus, or you haven’t been running from anger or selfishness, or you have been denying your calling – then commit to making this very moment in exactly one year from now, one where you look back and can say, “Some things happened that were out of my control, but overall, I’m more refined by God because I allowed Him to do a work in me that needed to be done.”

Wouldn’t that be beautiful? Wouldn’t that be a great moment? I should say that that would definitely make up for the Christmas blues!

Or maybe you had a great year. Then I still say, make next year even better. How can you be more loving to your family? How can you spend more time with the Lord? How can you be more kind to others?

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

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